This piece was originally published in the July/August 2020 issue of electroindustry.
In the past few months, we have undergone massive changes as a country. The pandemic has moved many of us to an entirely remote work environment—one where we must still engage with our teams. But we cannot forget the millions of people across the country who have continued to show up every day on factory floors or at customer sites. These are the people dedicated to keeping our food supply chain up and running, the lights on, and our hospitals operating. Many of these essential personnel are our colleagues, our peers, our employees, or even ourselves. This puts the electroindustry’s role in supporting the nation’s infrastructure into a new perspective for me.
This ei magazine focus on energy management is especially timely. At its core, energy management is about providing safe, reliable, and efficient power—three factors that have been key in supporting and maintaining our nation’s critical infrastructure during the past few months. Data centers have required reliable and efficient power to ensure people working and operating remotely across the country have stable bandwidth connections. Hospitals and temporary healthcare facilities have relied on quick-turn electrical solutions to expand their facilities to care for more patients. And consumer packaged goods manufacturers, facing higher customer demands, have counted on reliable and efficient power to keep their operations running at full speed.
In ways we all wish we did not have to experience, the pandemic spotlights the essential role played by our industry. Our contributions as NEMA Members have always been and will continue to be the backbone of America’s economy. We provide this bulwark through products and systems that enable the end-to-end creation and ultimate use of electrical energy. This is shared responsibility that we shoulder on behalf of the country at large—a charge that I know none of us takes lightly.
As we learn from this crisis, we will likely see new challenges and opportunities for energy management solutions. Our customers will undoubtedly be looking for products and systems that can help them imbue their operations with capabilities for the future. That means a need for assured reliability, a more digital, connected, and secure virtual environment, additional remote services and operations, and the next generation of resilient energy management.
I hope you enjoy the perspectives on energy management in this issue. Stay healthy and safe. ei
Chair, NEMA Board of Governors