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 Phillip Rollfing  

Energy Workshop

College of Architecture workshop held
to help utility customers save money



A one-day workshop created to help private companies, government and nonprofit organizations save money in Texas' increasingly volatile energy market was held March 24 at Texas A&M University's College of Architecture.

Titled "Cutting Energy Bills in Texas: How to Develop an Energy Risk Management Strategy," the course was held in the Langford Architecture Center Auditorium on the Texas A&M campus.

The energy workshop was designed for building owners, managers and others responsible for electric and natural gas budgets in commercial, industrial, government and institutional buildings. It was also intended for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of recent changes in Texas energy markets and ways modern risk management principles can be applied to reduce energy costs and risks associated with today's energy markets.

"Sharp increases in electricity prices are substantially impacting commercial, government and institutional utility customers in Texas," said workshop developer Jerry Jackson, an associate professor in Texas A&M's Department of Construction Science who has a doctorate in economics.

"In response," he continued, "many Texas retail electricity providers are providing new 'pricing products' that offer significant savings while incorporating various levels of risk tied to energy market conditions. At the same time," he said, "natural gas prices have increased dramatically and exhibit unusual volatility. Forecasts indicate that conditions will persist for the foreseeable future, creating energy budgeting and planning problems."

Jackson, who has 30 years experience as an energy expert, is also a faculty affiliate with the Texas A&M Energy Systems Laboratory. He has consulted on energy matters with more than 90 companies and government agencies and his clients include 20 Fortune 500 companies, national research laboratories, state agencies and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has assisted Texas retail electricity providers in the development of electricity-pricing products and has provided cost analyses for utility customers.

"Workshop participants will gain information on energy pricing and efficiency options that can help them start saving money on energy bills," Jackson said. "They will also learn how to develop energy risk management strategies specific to their organizations using a process that can continue to reduce energy costs and protect against volatile energy markets in the future."

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