What Have You
Done For Me Lately?
David W. Wade, P.E., RDA Engineering Inc.
Those of us in service businesses have
all heard our customers’ question –
“What have you done for me lately?”
While we hate to hear that question, it is
our customers’ right and duty to constantly
seek the best value in our competitive
marketplace. That dreaded question should
identified and communicated to customers.
With renewed awareness of increasing
energy costs, have you offered to help your
customers conserve? Energy audits, energy
conservation tips, newsletter articles, etc.
are excellent ways to demonstrate your
commitment to energy conservation and
to help your customers increase their bottom
line. Helping customers obtain tax credits
under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT
2005) should also be welcome. You’ll find
most of your customers have little or no
knowledge of the new act. (Relatively good
synopsese of the act are available at http://en.
005, which also has a link to the full text
of the act, and www.energy.wsu.edu/ftp-ep/pubs/library/EnergyPolicyAnalysis.pdf.)
By the way, while you’re making sure
your customers are aware of the benefits
of district heating, ask for a referral. If you’ve
done your job, you’ll find customers eager
to share their good fortune.
With renewed awareness of increas-
ing energy costs, have you offered
to help your customers conserve?
remind us to make sure our customers
realize the full value of our service to them.
The exceptional price increases in natural gas offer the district heating industry
a unique opportunity to demonstrate the
value of our industry. Building owners using
natural gas for heating are experiencing
40 percent to 50 percent increases this
winter in their fuel bills. District heating
prices, while increasing, should be a lower
percentage increase and represent a more
stable energy outlook.
Make sure your customers know that
their heating bills are rising at a much slower
rate than customers who convert their own
fuel. Hopefully, district heating system
operators have hedged against fuel cost
increases or use lower cost fuels than the
competition. Make sure customers know
the efforts that have gone into securing
the best and most competitive fuel prices
to meet their needs.
Even with the best efforts, fuel prices
are going up for everyone. I am sure every
district system has implemented energy
conservation measures, recovered waste
heat, and worked to increase the efficiency
of the distribution system to the benefit of
all customers. Make sure these efforts are
David W. Wade, P.E., is
president of RDA Engineering
Inc. in Atlanta and has been
an IDEA member for more
than 20 years. He has served
on IDEA’s board and is a past
chairman of ASHRAE’s
national technical committees
dealing with Building Steam and Hot Water
Systems and District Heating and Cooling.
Wade may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Column also available at
Seeing Is Believing:
Policies To Progress in
Danish District Energy/CHP Industry
District Energy/CHP Study Tour to Denmark
March 19-25, 2006
The Royal Danish Consulate General Chicago and IDEA
are pleased to announce the 2006 Technical Study Tour
of Denmark’s district energy/CHP industry. Denmark
boasts the world’s highest market penetration of CHP/
district energy, with 60 percent of the nation’s total
heat consumption supplied from CHP facilities. This
one-week comprehensive tour is 3,150 USD per
person and includes lodging, ground transportation,
most meals, and planning and logistics. Airfare to/from
Copenhagen (CPH) is not included. Tour and site hosts
include global leaders in energy-efficient technologies,
policy, community energy planning and implementation
for world-class facilities.
Visit www.districtenergy.org/calendar.htm for registration
and tour details. Registration deadline: Feb. 10.
Space is limited; register promptly.
Supporting organizations: U.S. Department of Energy;
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency CHP Partnership;
United States Combined Heat and Power Association;
and Danish Board of District Heating.