A brief history of Michael Williams’ experience
Michael is known for being an authority in energy cost reduction strategy for large manufacturers. The usual strategy for many operations is negotiating vanilla retail energy contracts every three years. Michael’s preferred approach is to buy electricity in the wholesale market, also known as the “pool”, rather than simply locking in high retail prices and achieving further cost reductions by implementing a risk management process to avoid high price spikes. this way, the risk premium is held in your own pocket rather than the retailer keeping it.
Michael’s knowledge and experience in energy management has been built up from the end-user perspective. This is fairly unique as most energy managers in large businesses have come from the supply side or through a procurement department career path.
Michael has worked in a wide range of roles including:
- General management of multiple operating sites and mines across Australia
- Plant management, production management and process engineering roles
- Commissioning management
- Commercial management of strategic supply commodities – particularly energy and raw materials
- Strategy formulation and execution management
- Joint Venture Board Directorship – Biofuels Company
He previously managed energy strategy and energy procurement for an ASX100 Company which had an annual energy spend of $130m. It became one of the first companies to change the way that electricity was purchased, saving $5m per year.
When other large energy consumers learned of this successful strategy, he was frequently visited by those companies to learn how to replicate this success. Some of those companies are now also leading practitioners of this strategy. Michael has also been invited to speak at several industry conferences and business luncheons to share his experience.
Michael has represented large energy users in energy market reform processes and founded and led major energy user groups in WA and the NT. He was often considered the “go-to-guy” for government when they wanted to understand electricity demand-side management and how businesses applied it in the real world.
Michael has now gone back to his Operations General Management role within the energy-intensive cement industry but continues to help businesses of all sizes to reduce energy costs using the strategies and techniques he uses in large business.