There are no cookie-cutter solutions. J. Pollock is independent,
which means we work for you and not your energy suppliers.
J. Pollock assists clients to procure and manage energy in both regulated and competitive markets. We understand the industry. We know the players. We are familiar with the rules. We have the knowledge and experience to help clients develop and implement procurement strategy, including supplier choice, pricing, risk management, data management, contract analysis and negotiations. We have 24/7 access to energy markets, regulation information, and analytical tools. Our commitment to provide timely, accurate, and objective advice throughout the procurement process distinguishes us from other energy advisors.
The Legislature is playing a bigger role than ever before in determining energy costs. Policy makers are closely scrutinizing and debating energy issues related to the environment and tax revenues. Utilities are bypassing regulators to enact special ratemaking policies, such as recovery of construction costs for plants under construction and targeted cost-recovery riders. Thus, energy consumers are finding that an effective overall energy strategy requires active involvement in Congress and the various state legislatures. Effective legislative advocacy is both challenging and demanding. It requires a team of dedicated lobbyists and experts who are on call as needed to provide accurate and timely information; to review, interpret and draft amendments to new and pending legislation; to draft and critique whitepapers; and to respond to the ever-changing political dynamics. A thorough understanding of energy and regulatory issues is critical to the team's success. Our considerable regulatory and energy experience, dedication, commitment, and ability to simplify complex issues make J. Pollock an invaluable member of your legislative team.
Case Study - This Really Is Rocket Science
“Regulatory policies can be arcane and difficult to explain, especially to legislators and their staffs who are not familiar with electric utilities.”
A legislative coalition wanted to encourage the a Southeastern state to remove barriers to expanding biomass and waste heat (renewable) generation. J. Pollock was retained to prepare a report to the state legislature explaining how current regulatory policies were forcing electricity consumers to pay a premium for new utility resources when they could pay much less for reliable renewable generation. However, regulatory policies can be arcane and difficult to explain, especially to legislators and their staffs who are not familiar with electric utilities. J. Pollock’s report explained in very simple terms how electric utilities operate, their future capacity needs, and how changing the way these generators are paid can encourage them to step up and provide reliable, lower-cost electricity for the benefits of all consumers. J. Pollock presented the report to several legislative committees and key legislators.
Energy consumers operating multiple facilities may have an opportunity to combine (or "aggregate") the energy supply into a single agreement or tariff. In competitive retail markets, aggregation can be implemented across multiple service areas and involve a wide variety of participants. Aggregation is not limited to competitive retail markets. Several regulated utilities have multiple load/account management tariffs that allow aggregation. If properly structured and managed, aggregation can lower overall energy costs because it allows the customer to benefit from the diverse demands and flatter aggregated load shape. The resulting larger/flatter load is less risky and will attract more attention by competitive energy suppliers. Aggregation also creates further cost reduction opportunities by reducing transaction costs and allowing the customer to participate in company-wide demand-response and load management. J. Pollock is a licensed aggregator in Texas and has procured and managed energy for several aggregation groups. Using our many years of experience in both regulated and competitive markets, we will be your advocates to encourage “win-win” aggregation opportunities with your current supplier.
Case Study - Managing Multiple Sites
“Not only did this save time and money during the procurement, each client also benefitted...”
A client asked J. Pollock to advise it on how to buy electricity in Texas. For many years, the client was accustomed to paying the local utility for the electricity service provided at multiple facilities. Each facility received a separate bill based solely on the power and energy consumption. When customer choice was implemented in portions of the Lone Star state in 2002, larger electricity consumers could choose their retail electric provider (REP). What this client didn’t realize was that a REP could provide service to all of the client’s facilities located anywhere in the state where there was choice. To enhance the client’s buying power, J. Pollock recommended aggregating this client’s loads with the loads of other clients having diverse usage characteristics. As a registered aggregator of Texas, J. Pollock can represent multiple clients to procure electricity. Thus, we could conduct one RFP and negotiate one contract. Not only did this save time and money during the procurement, each client also benefitted because (1) there is less volume risk in a diverse group than buying for each client individually, (2) less “bandwidth” was needed to hedge uncertainty about the volume of future electricity purchases, and (3) a combined load of over 50 megawatts (instead of over 70 megawatts on an individual basis) was achieved. The clients paid J. Pollock a total of $35,000 in fees to conduct the RFP, instead of $10,000 to $15,000 per client. Further, they saved many times this amount during each year of the contract.
Utility Bill Audits
Accurate billing for utility service and obtaining the right services at the right price are critical to an effective energy management strategy. A bill and tariff audit will provide assurance that you are being billed correctly and that your facilities are on the right tariff. J. Pollock audits bills and tariffs for clients served by a wide variety of utilities. With our knowledge of utility tariffs and the underlying regulations, we are highly qualified to review utility bills, the services provided, and current contracts to ensure appropriate and accurate billing and to recommend alternative tariffs that are better suited to your load and usage characteristics.
Case Study - Utilities Do Make Mistakes
“Detecting the error cost the client less than $500. Fixing the error saved the client nearly $20,000.”
While advising a client on the costs and benefits of switching utility suppliers, J. Pollock found a discrepancy between the energy for which the client was billed by his current supplier and the hourly loads taken from the meter. Specifically, the billed energy exceeded the actual energy by 25% on two different days. Detecting the error cost the client less than $500. Fixing the error saved the client nearly $20,000.
Demand response can create opportunities for customers to reduce energy costs either by self-curtailing or allowing the supplier to interrupt energy usage at critical times. J. Pollock has extensive knowledge of utility tariffs, reliability requirements, and market rules to assist clients in identifying opportunities and determining the costs and benefits of specific alternatives. Where suitable measures are neither available nor appropriate, we will be your advocate to urge suppliers, regulators and system operators to implement "win-win" solutions.
J. Pollock brings the requisite experience as a seasoned energy advisor to assist in developing and implementing a strategic energy plan. In today’s rapidly changing environment, having the knowledge and insight to anticipate future trends are essential to a well-developed, proactive energy strategy. We have been advising clients on energy matters for over 25 years. We can ask the right questions and identify the key issues that determine your organization’s energy costs.
Case Study - Should Have Asked
“The audit revealed that the client could have saved more than $300,000 per year...”
Utilities are under no obligation to select the most cost-effective rate to serve a customer. In general, taking service at higher delivery voltages is more cost-effective, particularly for larger loads. A client operating a newly commissioned facility noticed that his utility bills were much higher than anticipated and asked J. Pollock to conduct an audit. The audit revealed that the client could have saved more than $300,000 per year if service had been provided at a higher voltage. While negotiating with the utility to bring electricity service to the new facility, the client was not aware of the benefits of higher voltage service. Had J. Pollock been asked to assist in the negotiations, we would have advised the client to invest in the necessary equipment to take higher voltage service because the benefits of the lower rate would more than outweigh the costs. Since completing the audit, the client engaged J. Pollock to determine the optimal rates for similar facilities in other states.
Requests For Proposal (RFPs)
A well-planned and implemented Request for Proposal (RFP) should be designed to bring "winning" proposals to the finish line. We handle RFPs for consumers who are focused on the bottom line cost. While some suppliers may offer the lowest price, this is usually at the expense of less favorable contract terms and conditions and customer service, which may have the unintended outcome of higher costs. We work with clients to balance these competing objectives to achieve their goals. Having solicited proposals from and negotiated contracts with many suppliers,
J. Pollock is well known and respected. Our RFPs are always at the top of every stack.
Case Study - Can I Fire My Electricity Supplier?
“Even in some regulated areas, customers can choose their electricity supplier.”
Several states have adopted policies that allow consumers to shop for their electricity supplier.
J. Pollock partners with the energy user to hire and fire a REP as necessary to obtain the best price and lowest cost for electricity. However, you may also have a choice even in regulated states. J. Pollock recently advised a client in the Southeast that had chosen to take service from an electric cooperative. That’s right, even in some regulated areas, customers can choose their electricity supplier. The choice may be as simple as where to locate the meter. The client was at the end of a long-term contract and was told that the cooperative could not provide service under the same general pricing terms. Replacement power would be priced at market rates. J. Pollock was retained to assist this client to identify options for providing reliable, cost-effective electricity after the contract expired. We conducted an RFP to determine whether any other suppliers could step up and serve the client at affordable prices. When no other alternative supplier could provide electricity at prices that would allow the client to remain in business, J. Pollock presented the case to the state public service commission. Ultimately, the commission agreed to transfer the client to another regulated supplier. This service transfer resulted in over $5 million in savings (versus only $30,000 in fees charged by J. Pollock), and just as important, it preserved jobs and other economic benefits by keeping the plant in operation.
Identifying potential sites for a new facility requires a fundamental knowledge of the local energy suppliers and the regulatory environment in which they operate. Having worked on projects in many states and several Canadian provinces, we have specific knowledge of utility tariffs, service areas, energy-related taxes and tax exemptions, market conditions, and regulatory policies. These are important considerations for Energy Price Surveys, Price Forecasts, and identifying the lowest-cost locations. J. Pollock’s experience allows us to assess the potential for negotiating a special contract and determine where there might be competitive alternatives, even in fully regulated areas. We are uniquely qualified to be an invaluable advisor to your site-selection committee.
Case Study - Should Have Asked
“The audit revealed that the client could have saved over $300,000 per year...”
Utilities are under no obligation to select the most cost-effective rate to serve a customer. In general, taking service at higher delivery voltages is more cost-effective, particularly for larger loads. A client operating a newly commissioned facility noticed that his utility bills were much higher than anticipated and asked
J. Pollock to conduct an audit. The audit revealed that the client could have saved over $300,000 per year if service had been provided at a higher voltage. However, while negotiating with the utility to bring electricity service to the new facility, the client was not aware of the benefits of higher voltage service. Had J. Pollock been asked to assist in the negotiations, we would have advised the client to invest in the necessary equipment to take higher voltage service because the benefits of the lower rate would more than outweigh the costs. Since completing the audit, the client engaged J. Pollock to determine the optimal rates for similar facilities to be located in other states.
J. Pollock has the expertise and tools to identify and achieve your objectives in negotiating with energy providers. We have reviewed and negotiated electricity and natural gas service agreements, as well as the more complex and time-consuming ISDA (International Swaps and Derivative Association) financial agreements. Contract negotiations require leverage. J. Pollock can develop the facts and arguments to tip the scales in your favor.