We asked Joe Ivey, CEO of Encompass Services Corporation for some opinions
useful to Buildings readers and got this Q & A.
What are the top energy issues facing building owners?
. - Tied to the energy supply and conservation wave is information.
Knowing for the first time the line-item detail of a company's energy bill.
In a regulated industry, costs were fixed, unbundled, and served up without
any meaningful breakdown. Now, knowing exactly what company dollars are paying
for may revolutionize the way in which business views its energy costs. But,
information overload on issues like conservation, indoor air quality, energy
procurement, and facility services can overwhelm building owners.
What trends do you see in requirements for electrical, mechanical, and
telecom building infrastructure?
- Seamless integration of environmental controls, user-friendly
point of control, and information on how the facility is operating, cost to
operate, and predictive maintenance services.
What can building owners do to protect themselves and their tenants from
electrical reliability problems?
. - The only sure way to protect yourself from the reliability of
the electrical grid is to go "off-grid" through the installation of
a distributed generation plant on site. This option rarely is cost justified
unless the cost of downtime for short intervals is unrecoverable. A better option
is to look at co-generation [combined heat
] so small peaker plants
will keep your critical systems on-line in an emergency and reduce demand charges
Should building owners feel any confidence in these new sources of energy
and the ability of the supply industry to satisfy long-term needs for energy
capacity in the future?
- Though the overwhelming amount of energy production comes from
traditional large fossil fuel or nuclear powered generating stations, these
new sources come from smaller units that can be situated in local, industrial,
and commercial areas. These plants are environmentally friendly and can be permitted
in a shorter period of time. On a nation-wide basis, Encompass is involved in
plant maintenance, retrofits, and upgrading to ensure that existing capacity
is viable for years to come.
What is your suggestion about out sourcing energy and facility management?
- A single source has many advantages if the firm can truly provide
a 'self-performed' program including engineering, auditing, design, construction,
and on-going facility maintenance. Research the companies that offer these services.
What advantages does a roll-up like Encompass Services Corporation offer
- We will provide business propositions focused on comprehensive
energy reduction strategies. Our ability to offer creative financing and leasing
programs and the resources to provide energy generation and curtailment mitigation
to our clients directly creates a competitive advantage. Visit us at www.encompserv.com