It’s that time of year again. The weather is turning colder, football is in full swing, and the kids are back in a school routine. Once school starts in our house each fall, the crazy begins. No matter how much preparation goes in the night before, mornings are chaos. There is fighting, moodiness, confusion, yelling… . Breakfast is every man for himself and resembles a scene from Lord of the Flies. The dogs circle the kitchen, desperately hoping that the baby is just sleepy enough to drop his waffle on the floor. A child screams, “Where’s my belt?” Well, it’s right where it should be of course – looped around the bathroom door by one brother to keep another trapped inside. continue
Category: Risk Management
About two weeks ago, as I was sipping from a cocktail on a white-pebbled beach in a Greek bay with crystal blue clear water, I started thinking about the enormous amount of energy that is used every year in making people’s summer holidays happen. Holidays account for a surprising amount of the energy we use each year, with flights, driving, hotel stays and added extras like boat trips all contributing to our carbon footprint. continue
What do Emily, Franklin, Gert and Harvey have in common? They each appear on the National Hurricane Center’s official 2011 list of names for storms. Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma have all been retired from that list because of their association with ferocious storms in the past. I think about hurricanes every year about this time, not just because I find them fascinating, but because I have lived through the havoc they can wreak on businesses, even as far away from the coastline as Louisville, Kentucky. continue
June has been a whirlwind of activity at Summit, and I’ve had trouble keeping up with everything going on. (Not that this is different than any other month, but I digress.) In the midst of all the standard nuttiness were some speaking gigs by Summit folks who are pretty well known as experts in their fields. continue
This year, energy-risk managers, meteorologists, geologists and evangelists have all had their hands full trying to interpret the signs. It’s been a devastatingly busy year. There were record snowfalls and rain totals in many parts of the United States during the winter and early spring. There was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March. Tornadoes ripped through Alabama and Missouri in April and May. Communities along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers were overwhelmed with floods, with more flooding to follow out west as rivers brace for the runoff from what was a record snow pack in many of the ranges from Montana to the Sierra Nevada. continue
I was making Easter dinner when I remembered that I forgot to buy butter. Real butter. Contrary to the belief of my sons, real butter is not the stuff that sits in a tub and never changes shape. I have to have real butter on holidays.
The grocery store was closed, so I made my way to an open drugstore hoping they might have what I needed. I noticed the tanning salon was open next door. Easter… Fourth of July… Festivus… nuclear holocaust… nothing could close the irreverent tanning salon.
Tanning salons are a lot like traffic court. You never know what you might run into. I think my favorite experience at the tanning salon would have to be the young mom who couldn’t understand why she couldn’t take her baby into the booth with her. I’ll save my traffic court stories for another post. continue
My wife is one (of many) who seems to subscribe to the theory of “The Holiday Gas Price Conspiracy.” Despite evidence to the contrary, there are people who insist that prices always go up as holidays approach. The most recent evidence to refute the theory came last weekend in Louisville – home of the Kentucky Derby. continue
This time last month, we were fearful of the direction and strength of price movements, considering ‘treacherous’ and ‘unpredictable’ times. At that time, we had gas for Q3 around 58p per therm and Winter 11 at 67p per therm. Considerably worse followed, with the devastating events in Japan followed by the German response on nuclear plants, and prices peaked at 66 and 74 respectively. The last two weeks have been a bumpy ride with prices back to these peak levels.
Summit Energy Risk Management professionals view prices as higher than the fundamentals support, but the question remains on when the market will react to what is actually happening than what could happen next. continue
At a recent conference in London hosted by EdF, the audience members (over 300 UK-based energy professionals) were asked to ‘vote’ on which of the four following aspects were of greatest concern now, and results (from my rough notes) were very interesting:
Supply Contracts 11%
Compliance to regulations 15%
Funding for Energy Efficiency 18%
Energy Price – volatility and risk 56%
My favourite sport is sailing. They always say that when you go sailing for the first time, you either hate it or you love it. Well, I’ve definitely fallen into that last category. Since I set foot aboard a sailing yacht about 10 years ago, I must have sailed more than 80,000 nautical miles, including 9 transatlantic crossings, on big yachts, on dinghies, in the Caribbean, in the Med, on the North Sea, you name it. I’m seriously hooked!
And come to think of it, I must have been hooked on energy management without ever even realizing it since the day I took on sailing!
Now, what on earth does sailing have to do with energy management? Well, everything. Think about it. Sailing requires energy to make your yacht sail forward. This energy is delivered in the form of wind (and to some extent waves and current), gets transferred to your sailing yacht, and with the right on-board energy management programme (right choice of sails and surface, trim of sails, steering at the right wind angle, tacking, gibing, navigating charts… ) your yacht starts to sail! continue