Washington Water Power Co. has formed a subsidiary that will offer energy information and analysis to large commercial and industrial power consumers nationwide.
WWP Energy Solutions hopes to retain current WWP customers and capture new ones in an increasingly deregulated energy environment.
“One of the things we are finding is that our customers are getting very intelligent about what is going on in the marketplace,” Gary Crooks, WWP Energy Solutions vice president, said Wednesday. “They are seeing other companies offer a variety of services, and asking us why can’t WWP do that?”
In the emerging marketplace, Crooks explained, customers now have a lot more options for support services. The customer might be tied to the utility in its geographical region for energy supply, but the customer will increasingly be able to look beyond that region for support services that allow them to use that energy most efficiently.
WWP Energy Solutions’ initial thrust will be to offer these services to existing customers in the Northwest. But the new company will soon expand with a national sales force and seek customers for these services throughout the United States.
Crooks said the Spokane-based company will provide services in six areas.
Energy information systems. WWP will provide analysis of energy use on an hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute, basis. The system will link all a customer’s locations into a single report.
Resource accounting. The company will provide comprehensive billing audits for all a customer’s locations. A customer will be able to compare energy performance of individual stores with all others, and WWP will provide a single consolidated monthly billing to the customer that encompasses all its geographical locations.
Energy management. The company will provide energy analysis of buildings and instruct the customer’s employees on how to use energy most efficiently.
Technology assessment. WWP Energy Solutions will analyze a customer’s current equipment and determine whether newer equipment employing emerging technologies would make economic sense for the customer.
Gas commodity analysis. Natural gas has been deregulated for a number of years. WWP Energy Solutions will work with customers to determine which brokers are offering the best deals.
Electricity commodity management. Retail wheeling - the ability of electricity suppliers outside a geographic region to share use of transmission lines inside that region to sell electricity there - is not yet a widespread reality. But this service anticipates the day when it will be, Crooks said. This service will operate the way the gas commodity analysis does, and help customers determine which is the best deal available in the marketplace.
“With some of the lowest energy prices in the nation,” Crooks said, “WWP can compete on price with just about anybody. But it will take more than just price to win customers, and we think the full range of products and services provided through WWP Energy Solutions will give us another advantage.”