While everyone awaits the changing of the new administration and the rules and regulations (or repealing) that will be set forth in the next 100 days, there is no doubt that energy infrastructure is already at the top of the list. Electricity demands have remained the same, but delivery of natural gas and oil are predicted to increase in the next few years. Quite a bit of investment in transmission lines and pipelines has been planned – but it may still be too little.
The facts about our infrastructure are grim. The nation relies on an electrical grid and pipeline distribution that has its roots, in some places, in the 1880s. Investment has been steady, but other issues prevent our infrastructure from being up to scratch. Weather events and maintenance issues have made for a deadly tag team in some locations. In some places just getting the permits to make the needed upgrades is a challenge in itself.
Energy costs get passed down to consumers in a variety of ways. Environmental issues or political problems can increase the cost of energy. Sometimes environmental issues are simply caused by poor equipment, and the results become costly for the government or the company to remediate. But poor equipment can also often generate income losses at the company level that are then passed on to consumers. For example, proper mixing to test crude oil is essential for a quality product. Mistakes in this part of the process can be costly to a corporation. By installing an innovative mixer before sampling is done, our clients like Chevron saved several million dollars in the first year due to improved mixing alone.
More investment in energy infrastructure is always welcome. But there are also ways to trim costs at home, so to speak, by investing in better equipment that leads to cost savings, more efficiency and cleaner technology.