We’ve all heard the adage about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish. For those drawing blanks, it goes, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” This principle embodies the spirit behind a new programmatic approach to serving commercial and industrial customers called strategic energy management (SEM) programs. SEM programs move away from traditional demand-side management approaches that give customers fish (that is, rebate incentives), and they instead teach customers how to fish, or, rather, how to manage their energy usage internally more strategically over a longer term.
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