Archive for March 31, 2009

White House Energy Reform

As spring takes hold, Washington policymakers continue to move forward aggressively on energy reform. Henry Waxman, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today issued a proposed energy bill to pick up the current momentum on smart grid and move it forward. His bill includes the expected elements promoting renewables, energy efficiency, and reliability, but adds specific smart grid initiatives.

The “discussion draft,” believed to be consistent with White House policies, calls for states to consider setting peak demand reduction goals, including an overall reduction by 2012 and with increasing reductions by 2015. More significantly, the bill calls for each load serving entity to prepare peak lead reduction plans. These requirements serve the key goal of making demand response one of the standard approaches that utilities must consider as they make plans to serve growing electric demand, a direct contrast to historical methods. In the past, utilities built plans founded on power plant construction, with demand response as an afterthought. Demand response is now becoming mainstream, a powerful driver for smart grid.

Congress is expected to work through the energy policy bill through the summer, with final passage expected in late summer or fall.

– Chris King

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March 31, 2009 at 8:00 am


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