THIS is what net metering is coming to . . . at least in Maryland

One of the benefits of owning a solar photovoltaic system in certain states is any electricity generated beyond what the system owner uses earns a credit that the owner can bank and then use to displace grid-supplied electricity. Those savings can add up reducing monthly power bills and shortening the payback period on the cost […]

Proposition 23 funding update: $9 million for, $30 million against

Courtesy of Maplight.org, which tracks spending on California’s ballot initiatives, here’s their latest update on who is spending what to pass or defeat Proposition 23. “Prop 23″ would strike down California’s climate change law AB 32 until statewide unemployment — which was 12.4% in September — falls to 5.5% and stays there or below that […]

Meet Thor, the braintrust of Portland General Electric’s green prowess

Thor Hinckley is a unique professional in the utility ‘space,” a few of whom will be featured here intermittently on TheEnergyFix.com. Amid a sea of investor-owned, municipal and rural cooperative utilities lurching into “green power” and renewable energy programs, Hinckley stands out as the 24/7 driving force behind Portland General Electric’s enormously successful renewable powers. […]

Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative – Up To the Task?

Lip service, that’s what many Smart Grid industry experts in the U.S. agree is what utilities, vendors and governments have been giving to the potential for smart meters and interconnected information systems to boost energy efficiency and renewable generation and lower carbon emissions. Maybe the lip service can become a productive conversation. Enter the Smart […]

Power Grid and IT Security: Stuxnet Puts U.S. ‘Behind the 8-ball’

It doesn’t take a computer geek to grasp the looming threat of a cyber- attack on national power grids, along with networked systems that run or protect various industrial and national security functions of national economies and governments. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke  illuminated the threat at the opening session of GridWeek 2010 here in Washington, […]

‘Smart Meters Giving Dumb Results’ – a preview from Canadian media

A slew of criticism in the Canada’s mainstream media recently suggests tough sledding ahead for utilities globally as they slip and slide onto to smarter grids. Consider these headlines, all since the middle of September, on Ontario Hydro’s move to introduce time-of-use pricing. It’s newly launched program is designed to encourage electricity consumers to reduce […]

Measuring Smart Grid Benefits – Here’s EPRI’s Approach

The Electric Power Research Institute has just released a protocol for measuring the highly touted benefits of applications that make the operation of power grids more effective and efficient. It’s a survey developed with the Galvin Electricity Initiative to assess the development and deployment of Smart Grid projects worldwide. The survey identifies leaders in Smart […]

Smart Grid Means Different Things to Different Cultures

Perspectives converging at this week’s GridWeek 2010 conference in Washington, DC illustrate that a smarter grid means different things to different peoples. And therein lies a sizable challenge to vendors who operate on different continents: focus on the goals of each country’s leaders and deliver them while being sure to communicate their benefits to consumers. […]

Smart Grid Stakes Are High for Baltimore Gas & Electric and Its Customers

Baltimore Gas & Electric has made admirable strides plotting, researching and testing smarter grid applications (see p. 18) backed by a promise from the U.S. Department of Energy to help deployment with a $200 million “Stimulus” grant. But the utility made one miscalculation early in 2010, at least in the eyes of Maryland’s Public Service […]

Is a Smarter Grid a More Secure Grid? What if . . . ?

Just one of the many questions cyber-security experts, along with utilities and consumers, are asking as we deploy smart grid applications is: will all this interconnectivity heighten the expose of homes, businesses and governments to cyber attacks? “I’m not sure we’re paying enough attention to cyber-security,” asserts Peter Fox-Penner, a principal at the Brattle Group. […]