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Energy management comes to Valley

BOARDMAN – Rodney Nespeca decided last year to rebrand his energy management company to better position it for growth.

He chose Parkside Power as the company’s new name in honor of West Parkside Drive, which is the street he lived on while growing up in Boardman.

“Parkside represents a fresh approach to energy management solutions. It’s also a sense of pride as Parkside is the name of the street I grew up on,” the 1997 Boardman High School graduate explained.

Last year, Nespeca, Parkside’s president, announced the rebranding of NOVA Energy Partners under which the company changed its name, established a new logo and adopted the tagline “Energy Management Solutions Through Analytics.”

The company, which operates across multiple deregulated energy states, including Ohio, is looking to expand its footprint in 2016 and offer its commercial and municipal energy management solutions to businesses in Trumbull and Mahoning counties. Nespeca said the company is poised to help customers reduce their annual electricity and natural gas costs by an average of 10 percent.

“Our methodology is grounded in cloud-based analytics and competitive wholesale energy markets,” he said. “Our operating model is to strategically integrate our natural gas and electricity procurement, energy analytics and advisory offerings to add holistic value to our customers.”

Nespeca started Parkside about a year ago after leaving his job at Calpine Corp. in Houston. He returned to Ohio in March and is living in Columbus, where Parkside is based.

Parkside’s customers range from small businesses such as restaurants and youth dance studios to large commercial office buildings, health care facilities, local government bodies and manufacturing companies.

Nespeca said the company works with commercial organizations to help them “efficiently manage their energy purchasing process, while reducing electricity consumption.”

“We are big believers in utilizing technology to optimize energy consumption and our approach is deeply grounded in data and analytics,” he said.

Nespeca has worked in both the regulated, at American Electric Power, and deregulated, at Calpine Corp., electric power sectors. He also worked for Richard Cordray, who is the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, when Cordray was state treasurer of Ohio.

“Forming Parkside was based on the belief that my energy, finance and public policy background, combined with an emphasis on data and technology, served as the right foundation to build a company aimed at helping businesses with their energy management needs,” he said.

He said he noticed that many existing energy services companies did not have local ties.

“Our team has deep experience on the technical side of deregulated energy markets and we believe that applying a more analytical tech framework to energy management is the future of the energy management sector and will result in meaningful savings for businesses large and small,” he said. “We are poised to enter the Mahoning-Trumbull market in the coming weeks and, with Boardman being my hometown, I am personally excited to begin talking with folks at home, to discuss ways in which we, the company, can help them consider their energy management needs.”

He said Parkside also will be looking to identify people who share a passion for helping commercial businesses manage energy costs and would like to join the company.

Ohio is a deregulated energy state for both natural gas and electricity. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) oversees the market in the state. To date, there are 100 PUCO-approved electricity marketers and 122 residential and commercial natural gas marketers from which consumers can choose, according to the PUCO website.

Nespeca said that allowing consumers to choose energy suppliers promotes market competition and results in lower prices to the consumers.

“Before energy deregulation, local utility companies set prices for retail electricity and natural gas. They also owned the distribution channels and transmission lines. Deregulation forced utilities to spin off generation from their distribution and transmission infrastructure and allowed consumers to choose their electricity and natural gas suppliers,” he said.

“A trend in the energy management sector is using data and technology to identify what devices and processes are responsible for electricity consumption within a building, or portfolio of buildings. We want to bring that level of sophistication to businesses in the (Mahoning) Valley and offer our services at little to no cost by packaging them with traditional energy procurement services. Our approach is to utilize electricity consumption data to identify areas where business operations or equipment such as an HVAC plant can be optimized in order to reduce electricity consumption and efficiently identify needed upgrades or potential failures to equipment. We can do this while measuring both the impact on indoor temperature and business operations.”

He said Parkside is also able to use the electricity consumption data to make “fairly accurate predictions” on expected future electricity consumption and provide “a much clearer visibility into an organization’s budget process.”

Along with helping a company reduce its energy cost, Parkside also helps forecast future costs more accurately and identify potential equipment failures and timing of upgrades, he said.

“I am confident in our energy market competency and the analytical framework we use to drive cost reductions for commercial organizations. We believe that the manufacturing, health care and municipal sectors align with our expertise and are positioned to realize significant value from working with us. This is due to their large consumption of energy, available data and operational complexity.”

Several family members, including his parents, still live in the Boardman area.

“Having an opportunity to come back to the Mahoning Valley and help reduce costs for the businesses that are the engine of our community is something I am very passionate about,” Nespeca said. “My plan is to grow Parkside to become a premier energy company and great culture. I have a strong sense of pride in the community that raised me and look forward to engaging in civic activities in the Valley.”

vshank@tribtoday.com

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