We had a chance to speak to JD Dodson, President of Rapid Power Management, about making wise energy decisions.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Jay Curry: Hello Texas. Welcome back. Texas Business Radio. We’re really excited to be here today. We’re at the 2017 Dallas Vistage Summit. Executive Summit. Very excited, there’s like five hundred to eight hundred CEOs, business owners and service providers, that provide service to those people. All in one big convention and it’s pretty exciting. So, Matt has stepped out for this session but we have our, our tried and true partner, George Walden is here with us. George what do you think?
George Walden: Well, I’m happy to be here. You know, we’re about to learn a little bit about energy and the cost of energy. Business owners today face lots of issues, not least of which is the rising cost of doing business, especially energy costs. What if there’s a better way? We’re about to talk to a gentleman, who’s going to show us a better way.
Jay Curry: We sure are. So, our special guest for this segment is JD Dodson and he is the CEO, president?
JD Dodson: CEO, president and an owner.
Jay Curry: Okay, for Rapid Power Management.
JD Dodson: Yes, Sir.
Jay Curry: What the heck is Rapid Power Management.
JD Dodson: That’s a great question, Jay. I get that question a lot. An elevator pitch is we lower costs for businesses, as far as your energy bill goes. And we do that through various different ways. One happened with the inception of deregulation of electricity in 2002. That’s the inception of our company, was to come along and have an educated way to help different businesses choose which products, the strategies around which products would be best for them. As far as the term length and lowering their energy costs and what players they should go with and all the dynamics that deal with that decision. Besides that, we added a technical bent. So, we’ve got a lot of demand side management. And not to bore with the details but basically go in plants and facilities and look at different things. Like lighting and LED’s, is kind of going through a revolution right now. And we bring new solutions to the forefront. So, it’s not only about helping you procure the power but on the back end we’re going to help you keep lowering the cost. As well through implementing solutions that lower how much you use it.
Jay Curry: So, it all kind of started, what, in 2002, when they deregulated and all of a sudden, CEO’s and business owners, they have no idea, are they in a regulated area, non-regulated. Is it the county, is it half the county? And now the whole industry has popped up to try to help them and now it’s really expanding beyond that. Right?
JD Dodson: Absolutely. For too much of a story. But you’re exactly right. I was working for Reliant. I helped them open up their Dallas office in 2001 a year before deregulation. And a lot of these CEOs were saying “Oh, crap. This new…”
Jay Curry: Here they come.
JD Dodson: Yeah. “This new law, this new tiger called deregulation. How is it going to affect my bills?” I remember sitting at a table with the CEO from Acme Brick. Who said that exact… “What the heck is going to happen JD? What, what is going to go on in my costs. I’ve got all these facilities with furnaces that cure my brick and energy costs are a big, big deal for me. So, help educate me about the direction and what’s going to be smart and what’s going to happen when deregulation goes forward”.
Jay Curry: So, I got to think that the way deregulation, the way I understand it is, it doesn’t affect everybody, everywhere. It’s certain sections and nobody knows weather their in that. And that’s probably how you started, is going into those areas and informing the CEOs, there is a new opportunity for you. But now you’ve expanded, so you can provide services to about anybody. Right?
JD Dodson: That’s correct. It is very fragmented. There’s about 12 electric deregulated states and about 16 natural gas and also including Canada. A little bit into that, in different parts of Canada. So, we have spread, as our clients have spread to their different facilities in these deregulated areas. And also, the law here in Texas was kind of the wild wild west. If you didn’t make a selection right away your costs were going to go up 35 percent. So, it created a real, real incentive to shop right away and get a solution. These other markets kind of were slower about it. And so it’s been kind of a migration. It’s enabled our company to kind of grow slowly as the market has deregulated. But yes, we’re in all these different fragments. And in Texas it’s not everywhere. Back when the bill was being…
Jay Curry: Makes it complicated, doesn’t it?
JD Dodson: It does. Absolutely. There are certain parts of the state that are regulated. If you talk about municipal power in co-ops. Part of getting that deregulation bill passed in Texas, they had a great lobbying effort. And George Bush said “OK, I really want to get this bill pushed forward”. It’s called senate bill 7 and he made an agreement with them that you can either opt in or opt out. Well, if you have a monopoly…
Jay Curry: Yeah.
JD Dodson: You don’t really opt in. You keep your secure but if you’re a public entity and you have stock options coming around the corner, you’re all on-board with deregulation.
Jay Curry: So JD, what’s the… Is this true for all sized companies, certain high power companies. Do you provide service for lower power using company. Tell us about your clientele.
JD Dodson: That’s a great question Jay. When we started we take everybody.
Jay Curry: Well of course. Your trying to build a business, right?
JD Dodson: Yes. And our forte today is kind of middle market. And if I would describe that, it would be an energy bill five thousand up to two million a month, energy spend. And that seems like a wide but the small business customer is not really our forte. Because we’ve got all these technical products and so the guy that has multiple facilities spread out across the United States but not behemoths at this point is kind of where we’re making our forte these days.
Jay Curry: Wow. So you’ve got to be spending at least five thousand in energy kind of as the low side and up as high…
JD Dodson: We try to help everybody.
Jay Curry: Well, I mean.
JD Dodson: If you’re asking where are forte and where we’re really growing, it’s that middle market at this point.
George Walden: So, If you could give me an example of that. How would you work with a business owner that fit your current criteria.
JD Dodson: So, we’ve actually, recently and that’s a great question George. We have a customer recently that’s been using other services and they’ve come to us and said “We really don’t have an energy strategy”. And I’m not going to use their name because it is a fairly large and big name in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And we kind of looked at the porfolio and said “How are you going about procuring your power and all these different sites that are deregulated and the ones that are regulated. How do you know that your bill is correct? And then on top of that what other strategies have you implemented to keep lowering your energy bill?” So, we have started by just doing discovery because I’m not going to go in and pretend that I have the answer for you. Really, our approach is very educational and it starts with questions, questions, questions. And so we just have been asking them questions and we’ve uncovered value ads at different places and now it’s opening Pandora’s box. So how do we work with businesses to start with? It is we are asking questions to them to see if we’re right fit and bring value. I don’t have the right answer for everybody.
George Walden: So you trying to assess where they are.
JD Dodson: That’s right.
George Walden: And then if you can implement a strategy to help the facilitate. That’s a great benefit to the business owner.
JD Dodson: Absolutely. And if they’re fine. I’ll tell them they’re fine. And I tell them, we look for a long term partnership and hopefully you will remember my name and maybe I’ll pop back up and you’ll come around to me when there might be value there.
Jay Curry: So it’s, it’s kind of a free assessment?
JD Dodson: Oh absolutely.
Jay Curry: So, you’ll come in, hey folks, if you’re using a lot of electricity you need to have one of these. You need to be, you know, have the assessment done and figure out if there’s not a way you can save some money. I mean some big money over long term.
JD Dodson: Absolutely.
Jay Curry: Wow! We’ve been talking to JD Dodson. He’s the president of Rapid Power Management. So JD, how does somebody get a hold of you, if you were interested.
JD Dodson: Well…
Jay Curry: They need to have an assessment.
JD Dodson: Great question. Go to our Web site, rapidpower.net. We have a contact farm, form on page one. And really all you have to do is send us your e-mail and then we’ll be in contact with you. Cause it’s that easy. If not… That is the best way, is really to our Web site rapidpower.net.
Jay Curry: Just rapidpower.net. Got that folks? Rapidpower.net, you need to be going there. Look we got to take a break, pay some bills. We’re going to be right back. Let me remind you, get your calls in 844-814-8144. We also monitor #TBR, you can contact us there or you can always go to Texasbusinessradio.com. And everybody, all the experts, all of our guest, all of our CEO’s, sponsors, everything is there. You want to go to Texasbusinessradio.com. Don’t go anywhere. We’re going to be right back.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.