Actions speaking louder than advocacy: Microsoft programming for profit with carbon neutrality

The number of companies taking tangible steps to prepare for and prosper in a lower-carbon economy is growing — even absent a national carbon tax or cap-and-trade regime.  Their actions speak much louder than the hyperbole that many advocates are using to argue for and against paying for carbon emissions. One of the most instructive […]

Mapping Whole Communities and Homes with Thermal Images to Reduce Heat Loss

What if you could determine how much heat your home is losing, how much it’s costing you in higher energy bills and what insulation and other improvements would fix it? Oh, and you could accomplish without an energy audit, free-of-charge and from a mobile device no less? That’s the vision of Geoffrey Hay, an Associate […]

Fast Fix: Opower’s 5 Universal Truths About Utility Customers – Do You Agree?

Customer Service Week hosted a discussion this morning with Opower‘s VP-Analytics Nancy Hersch and Customer Insights Senior Manager Lauren Llewellyn about five truths about utility customers the company is finding in its quantitative and qualitative research. Since early 2012, Opower has reached beyond North America conducting this research, working now with 90+ utilities around the […]

With California Leading the Way, Energy Storage Is Ready to Earn a Real Place in Utility and Commercial Portfolios

The absence of a viable means to store a significant amount of electricity generated from renewable resources is one of the tallest hurdles limiting their growth.  After a series of financial setbacks and exhaustive regulatory deliberations, energy storage fed by renewables  is set to earn a scalable role due largely to a new mandate in […]

George P. Mitchell: Founder of Shale Gas — here’s how he and his team did it

The memorial services this week near Houston honoring the generosity and success of energy innovator, real estate visionary and philanthropist George P. Mitchell are inspiring accolades for his role in tapping the huge potential of natural gas from shale rock formations deep underground. He passed away July 26 at the age of 94. Mitchell — […]

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 […]

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 […]

Can Maryland create Utility of the Future that is more reliable & customer responsive?

That question has been posed by the now newly re-elected Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley. He is seeking a “viable method to explore the contours of the utility of the future” with a pilot program to be proposed by March 15, 2013. Utility of the future, in Maryland, you ask? That was my reaction because […]

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 […]

If half of U.S. consumers don’t know what a ‘smart meter’ is, how are they supposed to engage?

That is perhaps the most interesting question raised by the latest “Consumer Pulse” research by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative. In its third survey by the Collaborative of at least 1,000 consumers throughout the U.S. since 2011 reflecting the U.S. demographics, 54% of Americans who are heads of households and at least 18 years old […]