Jimmy Jia Addresses Strategic Energy Planning at EMSE Seminar


Jimmy Jia, CEO and Chief Strategist at Distributed Energy Management in Seattle, Washington, made a fascinating presentation on strategic energy planning at a May 4, 2017 EMSE seminar conducted in the Science and Engineering Hall. He explained how energy plays a central role in shaping our society and infrastructure, making it increasingly important for today's leaders to understand the impact of energy decisions.

In his presentation, he described a new approach to manage and forecast the utility line-item with a Chief Utility Officer in the office of the CFO. Under this new concept, the CUO develops a resource strategy, manages the utility budget, and leads activities between product owners, facilities, procurement, finance and marketing. In this approach, energy is treated as a critical resource that drives revenue. Leading companies have improved their financial strength without spending additional money, representing an untapped opportunity to improve profitability.

Energy and utility resources can become a blind spot for organizations and discussions about energy often neglect important historical lessons about previous energy transformations and provide inadequate consideration of context. Reducing costs and increasing resiliency both depend on a grasp of a company’s exposure to energy volatility and equipment lifecycle while meeting customer needs. Companies that have become proactive consumers of utilities have created product innovations, positioning their companies for future growth.

Jia Present

Jimmy is the author of a new book on this subject, entitled “Driven by Demand: How Energy Gets Its Power.” The book has been sold in over 15 countries, providing an important perspective on energy's astoundingly central role in today's society, tracing how energy systems evolved to meet changing requirements of society and industry.

His writings on the Chief Utility Officer have been published in Harvard Business Review and Cambridge University Press. He has keynoted conferences and meetings internationally, including IDE Thailand 2017, Pacific Energy Innovation Association Vancouver BC, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Annual Meeting, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Town Hall Seattle, Clean Energy Showcase for the Clean Technology Alliance, MIT Energy Club, Energy Future Conference of WA, Sum+Substance, Rotary International, GoGreen Seattle and many more.

Jimmy holds a BS and MS degrees in Material Science and Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Oxford University. He is the current Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Northwest and holds patents in laser machining.