Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Grow Ur Biz - Well Done

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

I had the privilege many years ago of being trained by the United States Army.  I spent a weekend at the U. S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Memorable, oh yea! I was like a kid in a candy shop absorbing every single leadership lesson they had to offer.  The purpose of US Army War College is to produce graduates from all of their courses who are skilled critical thinkers and complex problem solvers, Well done!  I remember that all the lessons had a strong training component.  In the military, if you are not doing your job, you are learning more about how to do your job. Well done!  

What about your business?  Does your company have a commitment to training and a company culture laced with versatility?  I’ve worked for many companies over the years where training was not at the top of the agenda.  Putting out fires, solving problems, grabbing revenue and taking care of customers seems, sometimes, to take precedence over training.  I remember many years ago, I showed up for my first day of work with no knowledge of how to do the job and was thrown into a customer service position with ZERO training.  YIKES!  Not too Well Done!  Sometimes it’s even worse if you sit on a non-profit board.  Board members will say that they have no direction, no purpose.  Training can be an insightful way to spark new ideas, to make an employee or volunteer feel like they belong and it can become the launch pad for productivity.

Some ideas.....
  1. Include 10 to 15 minutes of training at all staff meetings
  2. Take random opportunities to teach the company culture
  3. Smash the Box and send them out of the office for training
  4. Appoint someone as your company trainer, challenge them to bring fascinating stuff to the table
  5. and build a climate filled with fun and energy and watch the productivity go way up- WELL DONE!

I just heard of a progressive software company that offers training to employees that has nothing to do with the job, just to keep them passionate, energized and dedicated to the mission.  That’s really WELL DONE!



Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writerwww.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks

Monday, April 28, 2014

BUSINESS MATTERS TONIGHT: Charter Schools - Helping or hurting LV students?

Watch #BusinessMatters TONIGHT on WFMZ-TV 69 at 7:30 p.m. with host Tony Iannelli and six dynamic guests debating the pros and cons of charter schools.

Charter Schools - Helping or hurting LV students?

Guests Include:
-Carlos Lopez, Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School
-Jason Billups, PA Virtual Charter School
-Harrison Bailey, Principal of Liberty High School
-Charlie Thiel, Allentown School Board Member
-Thomas Seidenberger, East Penn Superintendent
-Jason Scheurer, The Libertarian Party


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Grow UR Biz - Regular

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

“You can’t make up real life!”  Recently, I was at a high end hotel with premium restaurants and coffee shops.  Expectations are high, over the top customer service expected.  So, I’m an early bird and love good coffee, but it has to be decaf...can’t do regular anymore.  I’m first in line at the coffee shop which opens at 7:00am.  By 6:50am the line has grown and folks are getting antsy.  I hear, “What time is it, when does this place open, anyone have the time?”  I said, “It’s 6:55 and they open at 7:00am.”  7 o’clock came and went.  Now the crowd is restless.  All of a sudden an employee appears and instead of opening the door (7:05am) she starts moving signs around.  The gal in back of me says, “That’s right, move the signs before you open the doors.” But she didn’t hear her.  She approaches the crowd, doesn’t even look at us, bends down and puts her keys in the door and finally open the door.  The gal in back of me says, “Hello, Good Morning!”  The employee offers an anemic hello.  The best is yet to come.  I walk up to the guy taking the orders and he is bending down where only I could see him, sipping his coffee and hiding from the customers.  OMG, can you believe it?  So, my friend behind me says,“Who is taking our order?”  I tell her that he’s on the floor drinking his coffee before he waits on us. She is beyond appalled.  He pops up and says,”What do you want?”  What do I want?
I tell him I want a small decaf with room for cream.  He asks, “Do you want regular?”  I tell him that I want decaf.  He says,  “I know, do you want regular?”  I ask,  “What’s regular?” and he answers “It’s a latte.”   “Does it have caffeine?”  He says, “Depend.”  OMG, I’m so frustrated.  I’m thinking should have ordered water with no caffeine!.  “JUST CAN’T MAKE UP REAL LIFE”!  So, I move over to pick up my coffee and the sign mover is handing me the coffee, decaf not regular and still miserable.  Now I’m concerned that my coffee is regular, as a customer, I’m confused, disappointed and nervous that I have gotten regular coffee or, maybe I should say disappointed but not surprised!

Would you agree that this world is yearning for fantastic customer service?  I think so!

This advice is dedicated to the sign mover and the coffee sipper.

  1. Treat your customers like they are the only person in the world
  2. Take the time to greet your customers and, if you really want to go over the top, “SMILE”
  3. Don’t ever think that your coffee is more important than your customers coffee
  4. Moving signs is NOT IMPORTANT - Selling coffee is
  5. Just because your coffee tastes good doesn’t mean you can slack on customer service
  6. And last, but not least, if someone comes to your coffee shop and orders decaf it’s doesn’t mean regular.  

Just thinking...wonder what the owner was thinking when he or she hired these people!



Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks
  
Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog.Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com  Like Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Monday, April 21, 2014

20x the Money!

Over the last six years The Chamber Foundation has provided $250,000 in funding for more than 100 projects in at least 20 Lehigh Valley communities, leveraging more than $5 million, a 20x return on investment!

In keeping with the goal of urban revitalization, The Chamber’s 501c3 charitable foundation is releasing a 7th round of grants that will fund a variety of projects intended to positively impact the Greater Lehigh Valley’s downtowns and surrounding traditional neighborhoods. Eligible groups can submit funding requests for a share of $30,000 in amounts not to exceed $2,000 per project.  Examples of projects that have received support include Streetscape Amenities (Banners, Benches, Planters, Trees, Decorative Lighting, Gateway Signage, Landscape Plantings, Bicycle Racks, Directional Signage, Kiosks) Planning, (Downtown Master Plans, Market studies, Parking Studies, Site/Project specific Feasibility studies), and Marketing (Informational Brochures, Billboards, Restaurant Guides).

Applications and further guidelines are available at www.LehighValleyChamber.org/MainStreet or by calling 610-739-1597. Applications are due no later than May 31, 2014 and are to be emailed to lorier@lehighvalleychamber.org.  Proposals must speak to projects that are consistent with the Foundation’s mission: to improve the appearance of every main street in the Lehigh Valley. 

This year’s grant pool was made possible through generous gifts from Air Products, Bennett Automotive Group, Coca Cola Bottling of the Lehigh Valley, The Lehigh Valley Building Trades Council and from other contributors in the business community.  “The Chamber Foundation Grant Program is a unique opportunity for nonprofits and municipalities across the Lehigh Valley,” said Laurie Hackett, Manager, Community Relations and Philanthropy for Air Products. “The beauty and sustainability of our main streets is a high priority for The Chamber and the business community, and we are glad for the opportunity to provide support for projects that will provide a positive visual impact in our downtowns and on our Main Streets.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Landscape Havens for Birds

Guest Post by By Jenn Stumer

All over the Lehigh Valley and beyond is evidence of our determination to populate undeveloped farm area. Recent demands for new developments and housing are eating up areas of natural habitats for birds (not to mention other wildlife.) Here are some basic tips on how you can help these winged creatures find alternate havens in which to nest, mate and raise babies.

1. Recreate natural settings - Some of you won’t have to go out of your way to create a natural setting. If you already have a landscape or even a few shrubs or trees, you are on your way and probably attracting birds already. Sometimes planting a specific shrub or tree or adding plantings to your landscape will make it more appealing to birds. Plants can be installed in groupings to make it more natural for them, and creating a landscape that has different height plants and seasonal blooming/fruiting times is an ideal attraction. (Keep in mind that plant additions to your landscape could enhance the look of your landscape.)

2. Provide food and water - Birds require a food supply but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put bird feeders up all over your yard. Of course a bird feeder is a good idea, but birds eat other things besides “over-the-counter” bird seed mixes. They love berries and nectar and there are many shrubs and trees that will provide these. A birdbath is a good idea for a water source if there isn’t a natural one on your property. Adding a ground-level water feature or a small pond is great, but not in everyone’s budget and landscape design.

3. Include small havens and shelters - If you make sure your landscape has small havens and shelters, the birds will most likely stay to raise their babies. Birds will build nests in trees, hedges, and shrub groupings. They will also look for hiding places such as a rock pile or a brush pile. This is important because they will need somewhere to go to hide from predators. You can create these settings on your property. You can also set up birdhouses for them.

Of course there are habitats you can recreate and plants you can install to attract specific birds to your landscape. More in-depth research would need to be done on the bird to find out what you need to do. However, here are a few examples of trees and shrubs you can add to your landscape that bear fruit, berries or nectar and that the birds can use for building nests too:

Trees: Birch, Hickory, Ash, Sweet Gum, Oak, Dogwood, Crabapple, Hornbeam, Hollies, Pines, Spruces, Hemlock, Red Cedar

Shrubs: Serviceberry, Viburnum, Barberry, Beautyberry, Bayberry, Honeysuckle, Blueberry, Raspberry, Witch Hazel, Yew, Azalea, Holly, Cotoneaster

These three basic requirements remain true for most native birds in the Lehigh Valley. With persistence and a little bit of work, you can provide a safe haven and a more natural habitat for our winged friends.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grow Ur Biz - I'll Do It

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

Did you ever meet someone who raised their hand the minute something needed to be done?  On the contrary, did you ever meet someone who put their head down, doesn’t make eye contact and starts to cringe at the thought of helping out?  It’s called volunteerism.  Progressive companies and non-profits use them to assist in the enhancement of something; sometimes going to the extent of raising funds and building a presence in the community.  All sounds noble -- but -- there can be problems.  

My experience tells me that it isn’t always as it looks.  I recall working with volunteers who were willing to do anything and everything as long as they could do it themselves.  I recall one particular incident where a an entire board in Lancaster was ready to leave because the “I’ll Do It” volunteer did it all and the rest of the team didn’t feel wanted or valued.  I recall volunteers telling me that no one else can do it right or as good as they could.  This is a recipe for disaster and it never works.  Sometimes these volunteers are also seeking all the glory because it’s the only way they know to feel good about themselves.  

Here are some reasons why people volunteer.  They are connected to the cause, someone asked them, they have a family history, they want to be involved outside the home, it’s the only place they can be “in charge”, to socialize, to belong, they enjoy working on projects, they see a need, they want to make r society better, to develop skills, it’s fun to feel good and sometimes to run from problems.  

When working with volunteers: 
    treat them like they are the most important person in the world
   thank them for their service, 
   always provide opportunities to socialize
   celebrate success
   appreciate their talents and use them
   and contribute to build the relationship

So, if you volunteer somewhere and you see the “I’ll Do It” personality that makes everyone else miserable, the volunteer that insists on doing everything themselves or the volunteer who is running from personal problems... identify them, give them a chance to work cooperatively, and then, if that’s not possible, do it yourself!


Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks
  
Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog.Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. www.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 tellkids@aol.com  Like Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia
Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Emmaus Main Street Partners

Guest Blog Post by Gene Clock: Emmaus Main Street Partners President


This is a new day for the Emmaus Main Street Partners with a very exciting year ahead!

We have moved our office to 191 Main Street, Emmaus. See the photo of our new location and hopefully by the time you read this the snow and ice will be gone! Soon there will be new sidewalks and patio for outdoor dining.

Oh, did I mention that there is a new restaurant going in the first floor? Stay tuned.

On the second floor, Sanctuary for Healing Therapy has started their construction and will be moving in soon. Plus, we’ve had interest from potential tenants for the third floor.

There are 19 executive office spaces for lease, with attractive rates including utilities and off street parking. We would be delighted to show you what we have to offer. Call us today at 610-965-6279.

We have a fun lineup of events scheduled for 2014, starting with our 9th Annual EMSP Golf Classic on June 23. We are also looking for sponsorships for this event and others this year.

Add a new EMSP staff, and a reenergized Board, and you have the pattern for success in 2014!

Check our website www.emmausmainstreet.com and discover how you can be involved in our community.

“It’s all good” in Emmaus!

Friday, April 11, 2014

We're Hiring! Executive Assistant - Mission Councils

We're Hiring! Executive Assistant - Mission Councils

General Description

This position is directly accountable to the Vice President of Mission Councils, providing administrative/clerical support.  The position also supports the Manager of Mission Councils and the Executive Director of the Chamber Foundation.

Essential duties and responsibilities (other duties may be assigned):

·        Serves as staff support to the mission councils: Women’s Business Council, Small Business Council, Young Professionals Council, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, LGBT Business Council, the Non-Profit and Business Partners Council and the Chamber Foundation.
·        Database administration – ensuring that committee and board listings are accurate and kept up to date; up keep of member lists; event registration.
·        Marketing assistance – e-Blasts and newsletters; event flyers; Facebook & other social media; creation and distribution of media and event releases.
·        Assistant/Admin duties
o   Organizational assistance
o   Photo downloads
o   Envelope stuffing
o   Transcription of minutes
o   Meeting preparation– coffee and copies
o   Intern management
o   Field incoming phone calls - Member relations questions and new joins
·        General office duties
o   Check registry
o   Certificates of origin
·        Acts as a staff support with support staff members in other offices, assisting them as needed on project-based work including: verification forms, website registrations, mailings/merges, member relations packets, event preparation and execution.
·        Represents the Chamber to various organizations and during community and professional functions, such as mixers and major Chamber events.
·        Other duties as assigned by the supervisor.
·        Physical/work environment:  Employee will be required to sit for extended periods; bend, stand, and sit frequently; and be able to visually review correspondence.  Lifting required is typically less than 25 lbs.

Minimum qualifications:
*Associates degree with 2-3 years of office experience or equivalent work experience
*Requires excellent computer skills
*Requires excellent organizational abilities and communication skills
*Requires leadership and flexibility in a changing environment

If interested, please contactDanielleJ@lehighvalleychamber.org

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

International Business Council - Letter from the Council

Post by Alvaro Diaz
Director, International Business Council

Recognizing the significant role that international trade plays in Pennsylvania’s economy, and more concretely in the Lehigh Valley, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce launched in January its newest initiative, the International Business Council (IBC).

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Commerce indicates that in 2013 Pennsylvania’s exports totaled $40.9 billion, of which a combined 78% went to Canada, Mexico, China, the Netherlands and Germany. Pennsylvania export statistics for 2012 show that the Lehigh Valley MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) recorded exports with a value of $2.9 billion, the third largest figure in the state after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It is estimated that one in five jobs in Pennsylvania are connected to exports of goods and services.

The objective of the IBC is to become a leading information and networking forum to promote international trade opportunities in the Lehigh Valley. IBC will provide educational opportunities through seminars and presentations, networking opportunities, participation in trade missions and foreign trips (see the Panama trip ad on page 9), cultural awareness and assistance for international contacts. Our partners are companies already doing international trade or considering entering an import / export business or foreign joint-venture, economic development groups, business departments of colleges and universities, foreign government trade organizations and the U.S. and Pennsylvania Departments of Commerce.

The IBC has been well received by the local business community. Under the leadership of Alvaro A. Diaz and the IBC Advisory Committee, the Council has an ambitious program of activities for this year. Additional information on these will be released in future issues of “Connections” and email blasts. The Council can be reached by contacting alvarod@lehighvalleychamber.org, 610-554-4461 or sandras@lehighvalleychamber.org, 484-862-7428.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grow UR Biz - Perhaps

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of CarolTalks.com

 Perhaps it was coincidental, but was speaking this weekend on Extreme Customer Service in West Virginia. The convention was held at the Blennerhassett Hotel, listed on the registry of historic hotels.  I was greeted by Chris, he handled my bags and parked my car-complimentary.  When I checked in, the front desk clerk helped me find the room I was speaking in and was very helpful.  I’m thinking... I like this place.  When I got to my room there was no fighting with the WiFi (if you travel, you know that is hit & miss), the room was impeccably clean and they even had a Kuerig in the room for fresh coffee or tea.  I’m thinking... I’m liking it even more!  Had a magnificent dinner in the dining room, (I’m gluten-free and they had a menu for me - very unusual if you travel a lot).  The following day I arrived at my first speech.  The break-out room was set up perfectly and the electronics worked. I’m thinking... this is too good to be true! Back to my room, I ordered room service for lunch so I could work, it was delivered in record time and completely perfect.  (Blenny Salad with goat cheese and grilled chicken).  Off to my next speech, again everything worked.  Then, my final keynote to the entire convention body.  I walked into the beautifully staged room and saw no connection to the WiFi, starting to panic, one of the convention delegates went to get the WiFi expert and, lo and behold, it was Chris, the bellman.  He fixed the problem and said, “Can I help you with anything else?”  I said, “Yes, I need 2 glasses for water, he ran off and brought back two glasses filled with water, perfectly iced.  Then, it happened, the CEO of the Hotel stopped by to welcome the conventioneers.  He talked about having the best staff in the world and how if you need anything this weekend they will make sure we get it. Dinner the following night and all other meals were amazing, along with the waitstaff, they are a true example of EXTREME CUSTOMER SERVICE.  

PERHAPS - I’ll complete the customer survey, I did!
PERHAPS - I’ll write about them in my column, I am!

PERHAPS we can identify why this hotel did such a magnificent job. Leadership, leadership, leadership, training, training, training.  

PERHAPS - there are three ingredients to Extreme Customer Service - FLEXIBILITY - THE ABILITY TO FIND SOLUTIONS - AND THE WILLINGNESS TO GO THE EXTRA MILE, like Chris. 

HOW ABOUT YOU? DOES ‘EXTRA MILE’ CHRIS WORK IN YOUR BUSINESS?


Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writerwww.caroltalks.com 610-442-4545 www.youtube.com/caroltalks

Monday, April 7, 2014

BUSINESS MATTERS TONIGHT: Exclusive one-on-one with Richard Anderson, President & CEO of of St. Luke's University Health Network.

#BusinessMatters TONIGHT on WFMZ 69 at 7:30 p.m. with host Tony Iannelli for an exclusive one-on-one with Richard Anderson, President & CEO of of St. Luke's University Health Network.

Richard A. Anderson has served as President and ChiefExecutive Officer of St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, PA since 1986, making him the nation’s third longest-tenured health care network leader.

Tune-in TONIGHT to hear directly from Mr. Anderson on:

·The truths, and perceptions, about healthcare reform and how it’s impacted St. Luke’s University Health Network and consumers

·Responding to the community’s needs as a non-profit health care provider

·Staying competitive within the Lehigh Valley healthcare market



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lehigh, Bath, East Allen and Moore Chamber (LeBEAM): Letter from the President

Blog Post by Kristen Pittman, CyLutions

I am not sure if it is Old Man Winter or Mother Nature that is having the last laugh right now. Plans were in place, the people were registered, everyone was ready to go and then WHACK - almost 2 feet of snow on February 13.

Well, when something knocks you down you just pick yourself up and move forward. That is exactly what LeBeam is did. We rescheduled our Martini’s, Manicure and Massage to March 27 in conjunction with Final Thursday in Bath. The event was a huge success!

However, back to Mother Nature and Old Man Winter. Just when you were tired of hearing about the Polar Vortex and seeing the spike in your home heating costs, here is how the Winter of 2014 could have made you money: If you sell winter boats for humans and man’s best friend sales increased 40%; the snow removal companies have been busy; and ski resorts are welcoming the snow after years of so-so to no snow winters. PA liquor stores have seen a 55% increase in sales over this time last year, grocery and hardware stores are also seeing sales jump as consumers grab milk, bread and ice melt. Food delivery services have seen an increase in orders and tips; there has been a “strong increase” in calls for plumbers this winter from broken pipes; and hotel occupancy in Florida was up 5% over last year.

The glass is always half full somewhere! Keep thinking warm thoughts and summer will be here soon. Then we can complain about 90’s and high humidity; but just think how happy the ice cream stores, HVAC companies, movie theaters and bowling alleys will be.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Microgrids to Play a Major Role in Federal Government Energy Strategy

Guest blog post from Constellation 
Our nation’s ability to defend and protect itself is directly tied to our nation’s ability to secure stable and reliable sources of energy.  For this reason, federal agencies are focused on investing in long-term energy strategies that include microgrids, localized energy systems that can sustain energy independence separate of the grid by connecting and disconnecting when needed.
Recently, during the Association of Climate Change Officers’ Defense, National Security & Climate Change Symposium, I joined energy leaders from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP to participate in a panel discussion on energy resiliency and the role of microgrids. The clear takeaway from the discussion was that microgrids provide an incredible opportunity for the federal government to help meet their energy goals and public-private partnerships are central to these efforts.
Federal agencies face major challenges today as they must meet energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation mandates while achieving their overall mission. The federal government must significantly reduce energy consumption by 2020 and adding to this pressure is the fact that federal agencies are working with limited budgets and fewer resources.
While the panelists all agreed that the benefits of deploying microgrid are vast, the challenges in executing a well thought-out and comprehensive plan with limited budgets are just as great.
Many of the challenges related to microgrid implementation are not on the technical side of the project but in the procurement process. The contracting vehicles that allow for these projects to be built are complex and hard to navigate. In order to create a secure and energy efficient microgrid, energy contractors must work cross-sector and get approval from many different departments, all of whom use and consume energy differently, and bring them together under one holistic microgrid strategy.
That is why it is essential to engage all stakeholders, from the financers, to private sector partners, to the energy contractors, early on in the process. In fact, from the perspective of a private sector partner for the federal government, it is best to approach these energy contracts as a marriage because we must look at the long-term goals of the project with a holistic approach versus the short-term goals of one-off projects. These longer term public-private partnerships have a renewed importance today, as the federal government faces leaner budgets and the need to look outside the government for funding options.
One of the more popular funding options for implementing innovative energy technologies like microgrids is a Purchase Power Agreement, which provides the government up to 30 years to pay back its private investors. Purchase Power Agreements along with Energy Savings Performance Contracts and Utility Energy Service Contracts (all long-term contract options) allow for more creativity and flexibility in how funds are used and ensure that the microgrid operates at its most efficient and secure capacity.
These long term contracting vehicles are in the government’s financial best interest. The DOD’s Siting Clearing House estimates that on average, after about 7 years, the cost of the performance based contracts and the savings from the installed microgrids are about equal. More importantly, after 8-20 years (post payback period) the government actually starts saving money.
Other inherent savings comes from a properly designed infrastructure, where the equipment and operation systems in place outlive the contracts and continue to provide cost and energy savings long after the contract is over. In fact, a recent study by the Oak Ridge National Lab that was cited during the panel saw that the ancillary benefits associated with performance contracts tend to be about 1.75 times the actual contract value.
It is this long-term savings ability that makes microgrids such an appealing solution to government agencies, especially when you examine both sides of the energy balance sheet: conservation and revenue generation. Microgrids provide energy savings because they harness the collective power of distributed generation and can thoughtfully distribute energy back into the network. More than that, microgrids with proper storage capabilities can even sell their access energy to other utilities or save for the future. It is this ability to maintain a constant, independent, and reliable supply of energy that not only makes for a more efficient energy system, but also makes for a more secure infrastructure.
Every energy project Constellation works on for the federal government must be weighed against the yardstick of defense and security; every improvement and efficiency measure we take must also make the system more secure and resilient to attacks. There are three tiers to ensure resiliency: shoring up the existing grid infrastructure, providing the capability to be independent as a grid and managing other independent secure generation assets from private partner entities (like Constellation).
While there are many challenges to deploying microgrids in the federal government, the benefits for the government are clear. Microgrids are providing the public sector the ability to sustain energy independent of the electrical grid, posing a solution for the many energy challenges they face.
As a stable and reliable source of energy, microgrids are the future for the government.