The lessons learned and the second-guessing prompted by the polar vortexes that walloped the Eastern U.S. twice in January taught us that the power grid in the Mid-Atlantic states needs — quickly — to recast the rules by which peak power generators can meet demand during the winter months. Peak demands, at least in the […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
There is a lot of innovative thinking about the next generation of nuclear power plants. With so many bright minds, an extensive supply chain and some far-sighted research and development work underway throughout the world, I wonder how long we’ll have to wait until a truly bigger, better, game-changing nuclear power process or technology grabs […]
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 […]
Two settlements at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made public this year involving large civil penalties illustrate how the market for demand response (DR) services could be ‘gamed’ by artificially inflating normal levels of power consumption. In the most recent settlement, the FERC reached a consent order June 7 with the Enerwise Global Technologies […]
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 […]