Electric Business Understanding: Your Questions Answered

By John Ferrare, Enerdynamics’ CEO

Electric Business Understanding is undoubtedly Enerdynamics’ most popular instructor-led course. (We also offer a similar seminar for natural gas called Gas Business Understanding and another that combines both industries called Gas and Electric Business Understanding). Electric Business Understanding is a two-day seminar that provides participants a big-picture perspective of the business aspects of the electric industry. Topics covered include:

  • Customers
  • The physical system
  • Operations
  • Regulation
  • Restructuring
  • Market dynamics
  • Making money and managing risk

Following are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about this seminar and their answers:

When and where is Electric Business Understanding offered?
Electric Business Understanding is October 15-16, 2012, at the Omni Chicago Hotel in Chicago, and December 5-6, 2012, at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington D.C. Enerdynamics’ 2013 seminar schedule will be announced this December and will feature multiple dates/cities in which Electric Business Understanding will be offered in a public setting. We also offer this class customized for companies on site at their locations of choice.

Who is the intended audience for this class?
I’m continually amazed at the diversity among attendees at the public sessions of Electric Business Understanding. Types of companies represented include utilities, marketers, IPPs, financial services, regulators, technology companies, transcos, legal professionals, and co-ops among others. In short, anyone in the electric industry or selling services to the electric industry can greatly benefit from this seminar.

When is the best point in an employee’s career to attend this class?
The range of prior experience we see in this class is vast. In the same session I met someone who was in her second week on the job and a utility person who has worked for the company for 10 years. Ideally this class is for those with six months to a year of industry experience, though we often see industry veterans who take this course as a refresher or to get current on industry trends. Those with less than six months of experience can still benefit but tend to be a bit overwhelmed as they have yet to learn what they don’t know! I’ve also seen people attend this class twice, once when relatively new and again after a few years. They consistently tell me it was worth their while to attend again, and that they got different things out of the course a second time.

Why is it important for employees to understand the big picture?
Many industry employees have had long and successful careers while never understanding the big picture. But when they attend a class like Electric Business Understanding, all of a sudden things that never made sense suddenly do. And, more importantly, these people understand how they fit in and how what they do affects other areas of the business. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard an attendee say “I wish I’d had this when I started at my company.” So while it’s possible to be effective without the perspective a class like this can provide, it’s likely that employees will be even more effective when they understand the big picture. And that makes employees considerably more valuable.

Don’t most companies offer this type of training internally?
Surprisingly, no! We work with some of the biggest utilities in the U.S. and not one of them offers a business acumen class like Electric Business Understanding. When they hire us to teach it at their facility, the course is more often than not full with a substantial waiting list. Perhaps in the past utilities and other electric business companies have expected that employees will pick this knowledge up on the job. However, with the lightning-fast pace of today’s electric industry and the huge turnovers happening now and in the future, I think this expectation is no longer practical. So for many companies it makes sense to hire out to a company such as Enerdynamics to handle this important educational component.

More questions about this or other classes we offer? Email me at jferrare@enerdynamics.com. Or you can call our office at 866-765-5432.

About Enerdynamics

Enerdynamics was formed in 1995 to meet the growing demand for timely, dynamic and effective business training in the gas and electric industries. Our comprehensive education programs are focused on teaching you and your employees the business of energy. And because we have a firm grasp of what's happening in our industry on both a national and international scale, we can help you make sense of a world that often makes no sense at all.
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