I had a chance to sit down with the CEO of American Power and Gas, Mr. Tom Cummins and chat about the renewable energy space and how they’re disrupting the industry today. Currently, 80% of energy consumption in the US comes from the industrial sectors using crude fossil fuels, or “brown” energy and the subject has become very divided in opinion from both a public and political standpoint. They feel, however, that a green energy shift on a massive scale is inevitable, regardless of the current climate surrounding the subject.
Disrupting Energy With Exciting Developments
Q: What are some of the most exciting developments being made in the renewable energy space, and how will the technology trickle down to the consumer-level energy services?
Tom: We are mostly interested in two areas. The first one is the improvement in solar energy generation and production. The second one is the ability to store this energy more effectively. As we increase our capacity to produce and store this energy, it will increasingly become more affordable and more efficient. This is necessary in order to be able to offer green energy on a larger scale. You actually only need a small percentage of the U.S. territory for solar energy collection, to produce enough to power the entire country. For instance, we can use a tine corner of Nevada to provide the whole country with solar power.
Renewable Energy Space
Q: American Power and Gas is considered one of the fastest growing companies in the renewable energy space. What would you say has contributed to such a rapid growth?
Tom: We are a purpose-driven company, and we share this viewpoint with all our staff, our stakeholders, and our customers. We have been working as hard as possible to offer outstanding products and service to our customers. Our operation is focused on making renewable energy affordable, which has been our driving factor. The fast growth we have experienced is the culmination of common viewpoints, production, and dedication from all members of our staff and clients. Our goal is to making countrywide green energy a reality. We believe that it’s possible, it’s happening, and we aim to be the biggest player in this industry.
Renewable Energy’s Future
Q: Where do you see renewable energy in the near future? Are the consumers better off doing the shift right now rather than later?
Tom: It’s very important to make the shift as soon as possible. Energy prices will keep dropping as more people take more responsibility. The generous individuals who’ve made the switch in the past have played a huge role in making the cost of renewable energy almost the same as the non-renewable energy. The differential cost is pretty minimal, and today, a person has no reason not to shift to green energy. The change should occur as soon as possible.
Focus Of Company
Q: The focus of your company has been on the SMEs and consumers, who only account for a fraction of the total energy market. Do you intend to serve the large industries and enterprises? What challenges do you face when moving into these markets?
Tom: Currently, we have a whole unit that’s dedicated to serving the large usage consumers. In the last year, we actually started serving this sector, and our influence continues to expand. Once you have confident professionals, an outstanding customer service, and can provide good service, you virtually have everything the market needs.
Q: American Power and Gas seems to be committed to social responsibility including hiring veterans and providing support to housing projects. How important is this to you?
Tom: Corporate social responsibility is all about helping others, and is the driving factor in our company. We invite our staff to contribute to their preferred charitable organizations, which they deem close to their values and what they believe in. as a company, we are always on the lookout for more opportunities to help our activities like Toys for Tots, Frankie’s Friends, and Habitat for Humanity.
Q: North America experienced devastating hurricanes in the last year. How do such weather extremities influence your thinking as the leader of a major gas company?
Tom: Our company has always been concerned about these weather events, and the impact they can have on the energy prices. Much of the natural gas production has been relocated from the Gulf of Mexico into the Northern States of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. As such, hurricanes such as those that occurred last year will no longer affect the wholesale prices, as opposed to what they did 5 years ago. This is one of the main benefits of the fracking process, which established these Natural Gas Fields.
However, if you recall what happened in 2014 with the “Polar Vortex”, which skyrocketed the wholesale prices by up to 10 times. In an effort to protect our clientele, we purchase financial hedges to safeguard their energy needs from various natural disasters. Although these hedges are expensive, they bring a much-needed stability and peace of mind to the energy costs of our customers, which we believe are a significant role we play on their behalf.
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