Let’s face it, regulators won’t let U.S. utilities die; they SHOULD update rules to better serve customers by allocating costs to those who benefit from them

The tally of utilities and governments around the world imposing or boosting fixed charges for grid-supplied electricity is rising to make up for the decline in traditional, rate-based revenue.  In the U.S. this has been due primarily to ever-improving energy efficiency and the end of year-to-year increases in electricity usage. Now, the demand curve looks […]

How About a Wiki for Clean Energy to Share Best Practices for Improving Energy Efficiency, Boosting Renewables and Reducing Emissions?

There is no shortage of ideas on how businesses, governments and households in the U.S. and other industrialized countries can become more energy efficient; same applies on how to grow cleaner supplies of energy while lowering harmful greenhouse gas emissions and doing so in ways that create sustainable jobs. There are so many ideas, in […]

With LED bulb options growing, how smart are you about more efficient lighting?

The tipping point in the adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in households around the globe is rapidly approaching as 40-watt and 60-watt are phased out in the U.S. and their equivalent LED lamp bulbs drop below the closely-watched $10 (U.S.) price point. The race in many countries to meet the growing interest in LEDs […]

Real-time, big-data-enabled, demand reductions becoming THE go-to smart grid app

Of all the forward-thinking at this month’s 10th annual Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid in Washington, DC and similar conferences in the U.S., one new application is appears curiously off the main radar screen. I’m talking about software that utilities can use to automatically program large-scale demand reductions in real time by […]

With demand response & distributed energy growing: how long will regulators preserve traditional utilities’ business models?

In the six months since a consultant to the Edison Electric Institute wrote a paper describing “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business,” many utility officials, analysts, investors and consultants have been mulling over how investor-owned electric utilities may have to change principally due to the growth of demand […]

Homebuilders moving beyond Energy Star; Illinois gets its first net-zero energy ready ‘Challenge Home’

Ever thought about building a very energy-efficient custom home? What if this home would be one of the greenest homes of its kind in the country? Weiss Building & Development LLC and Tom Bassett Dilley Architects in the Chicago area have accomplished just that in completing the first home in Illinois meeting the U.S. Department […]

Energy and climate portion of President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address

To save you time searching for the energy and climate portion of Obama’s February 12, 2013 State of the Union address, which occurred not quite half way through the speech, here it is, courtesy of ABC News: “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce […]

Southern California Edison’s smart grid progress provides valuable lessons for utilities

With more U.S. homes receiving smart meters and more utilities deploying their smart grid infrastructures, there are handful of utilities that have made notable progress with valuable lessons to share for the rest of the industry. I’m talking primarily about CenterPoint Energy in Houston, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern […]

FAST FIX: How the Smart Grid can save households almost $600 per year

If you need to quickly grasp the potential and benefits of the emerging smart grid in the U.S., this infographic is the best effort yet.  It comes courtesy of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative and its 90+ member utilities, technology companies, non-profits, regulators and consumers advocates. Increasing the power grid’s efficiency by 9% equates to […]

With Obama’s win, cleaner energy has another chance, but these questions loom

Just because President Obama won four more years, doesn’t mean the next four will be any easier. Sure, it’s now his legacy he is beginning to focus on. But there are tall hurdles even the election results will do to change. Renewable energy developers and suppliers have a few rays of sunshine and a more […]