John Marler, Director of Energy and Environment, AEG

Live sporting events or concerts are probably not the first things that come to mind when someone thinks of energy management. But as energy management leads AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, I can prove that energy management is essential to our ability to provide a safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly experience for our customers.

Energy and utilities are AEG’s second highest operating costs. Energy management is an essential strategic and tactical tool for our business as regulatory requirements increase each year and the company adopts scientific targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sports and entertainment venues have unique usage requirements. On dark days, when there are no events in the building, non-essential loads are turned off, saving energy and money. During events, energy use increases dramatically to meet demand. Events are almost always in the evening, at the same time as local utility peaks. As a result, most of these places pay higher-than-average general prices because the greater part of their general prices consist of demand fees.

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Energy management is now also inextricably linked to environmental sustainability initiatives. In addition to costs and risks, environmental issues must be taken into account in every energy management decision

To ensure efficiency, we use energy management to manage costs and risk at the utility level down to the portfolio level. Data collection begins with monthly invoices; we work with a reliable e-invoice management partner to ensure that general invoices are paid on time and relevant data is uploaded to a central database for analysis.

We use this database for several purposes. First, the modes of operation must be monitored to detect anomalies, which may indicate a malfunction to be corrected. Second, utility costs and usage data, combined with intermediate data on utility meters and / or building management systems, can help identify opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades and support the creation of business cases to secure funding for such projects. Finally, the database allows us to comply fully with local regulatory programs that require companies to report their energy consumption publicly.

In addition, the safety of our customers at our events is paramount, and good energy management is essential to ensure the safety of our customers. Due to increased threats of power outages, such as the recent fire-related power outages in California, it is essential to maintain backup power supplies for emergency systems and operational redundancy. At our music festivals, energy management helps us manage our fuel supply in a safe and compliant way.

Energy management is now also inextricably linked to environmental sustainability initiatives. In addition to costs and risks, environmental issues must be taken into account in every energy management decision. It is everyone’s responsibility to manage their carbon footprint, but companies need to be able to optimally manage their CO2 reduction strategy through their energy management programs.

Fortunately, great strides have been made in areas such as lighting and dimmers. I’m also excited that the pricing of renewables on site and elsewhere and now battery storage has dropped so fast. These technologies are effective tools for energy management because they offer the opportunity for lower prices and less price volatility – with little or no carbon. That is progress.

In the future, I see energy management as a field of continuous growth. Effective energy management can mean the difference between leadership or stagnation and possibly failure. Companies and agencies that see this and implement energy management in all their operations have a real advantage today and in the future.

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