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Customer Forum

Fortnightly Magazine - January 15 1996

Every year, Public Utilities Fortnightly holds a forum electric utility executives. And another for gas utility executives. And another for state regulators.

This year we decided to ask utility customers what they think.DuPont, the country's number one chemical company, operates in 70 countries. It is, perhaps, best known for its Teflon products, but it also makes refrigerants, pigments, fibers (Lycra), nylon resins, electronics, medical products, and many other products. DuPont also deals in petroleum through Conoco, its largest subsidiary.


Runs about 175 manufacturing and processing facilities, including 150 chemicals and specialties plants, 5 petroleum refineries, and 20 natural gas processing plants.

Uses approximately 10 million Mwh of electrical energy in the United States.

Produces about 20 percent of its own power in the United States.

Ken Towe is responsible for purchasing/purchasing strategy for #6 fuel oil and electricity/ steam for the Northeast and Midwest United States for Dupont.

Intel, the world's largest computer chip maker, is a leading manufacturer of personal computer, networking, and communications products.


Owns 11 sites worldwide (em five international, six domestic.

Uses 1.25 million Mwh of electrical energy in the United States, and .75 million Mwh overseas.

Gets none of its power from cogeneration. But recent drops in gas prices and improvements in gas turbine technology are making cogeneration a more economically viable option for Intel. It will be evaluated, as applicable, for new and existing sites. Obviously, environmental and other concerns are always an issue.

Phil Sarikas is responsible for power-quality management, energy management, and procurement for Intel. He also chairs a committee advocating customer choice in electric supply in Arizona.

Reynolds Metals Co. is a leading supplier and recycler of aluminum and other products to a global market. It is the third largest aluminum company, but also produces a range of plastic products. It employs about 29,000 people.

Reynolds Metals:

Runs 116 manufacturing plants worldwide, in 22 countries.

Uses approximately 6.2 million Mwh of electrical energy in the United States, and about the same overseas.

Produces 1.06 percent of its own energy.

Ken Younger is responsible for the procurement and delivery of the company's energy requirements. He manages Reynolds's interests in oil and gas properties, natural gas pipelines, and coal fields.

Topic Number One

Your Business: What unique requirement do you have for power, quality, reliability, load variations, or time-sensitive energy service delivery? Does your utility meet those needs?


DuPont is a diversified manufacturing company. Its quality and reliability requirements vary, from processes that are insensitive to interruptions to those that are extremely difficult and expensive to restart from power outages. This range of internal process requirements demonstrates how we could benefit if utilities customized offerings to the unique features of customers.

Some electric suppliers offer rate, power-continuity, and power-quality programs that match industrial requirements; many others need to improve.


Intel has three primary driving characteristics for its electric power requirements:

High-quality power. The manufacturing/testing of state-of-the-art, sub-micron microchips requires modern equipment with low tolerance for voltage variations. A variation of power quality for even a few cycles can shut down our