Archive for May, 2011

Japan: Can social networking help avert an energy crisis?

The loss of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant has pushed that nation’s electric grid to the brink. Rolling blackouts immediately followed the plant outage after the earthquake and tsunami. Spirited energy conservation efforts by the socially conscious Japanese population has kept the lights on so far.

But more must be done soon. Rolling blackouts will once again loom when summer heat strikes in June. Japan has lost more than 20% of its electricity generation capacity, leaving the nation far short of its normal summer requirements.

So eMeter is launching a voluntary effort: Can we help Japan curb peak demand through social networking?…

Full story: Japan energy crisis: Can social networking help?

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May 28, 2011 at 2:31 am

New York: Businesses now get dynamic energy pricing

This week, the NY Public Service Commission approved Rochester Gas & Electric’s plan for more hourly pricing for business customers. Under this plan, all businesses with electric use that exceeds 300 kW (think of a Home Depot store or mid-sized office building), will be switched to hourly pricing based on the wholesale market price.

This plan will give these business customers access to the same low wholesale electricity prices that large utilities get…

Full story: New York approves dynamic pricing for businesses

May 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm

How does dynamic pricing benefit consumers?

On first glance, dynamic pricing (any electricity price that varies by time of day) may sound more complex than standard flat electricity rates. But in fact, this strategy can help consumers save significant amounts of energy and money. Also, pilot projects and large-scale programs have proven that consumers at all income levels can — and will — take advantage of these opportunities.

Dynamic pricing can include time-of-use rates, critical peak prices, peak time rebates, and hourly prices.

Last week I was part of a team of presenters in a webinar on the consumer benefits of dynamic pricing. Here are some highlights…

Full story: Dynamic pricing: How does it benefit consumers?

May 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Electric vehicles: How to provide the power consumers want?

According to a recent survey by Accenture, nearly one third of consumers said they would consider an electric vehicle in the near future — that is, the next time they purchase a car.

This could mean trouble for utilities. The key issue is: How can utilities manage vehicle charging times to prevent peak-time overloads of generation and distribution systems?…

Full post: Electric vehicles: How can utilities provide the power consumers want?

May 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Maine PUC allows customers to opt out of smart meters

Yesterday the Maine Public Utilities Commission decided to allow customers to opt out of getting smart meters. This is an unwelcome precedent.

I’ve written before about why allowing utility customers to opt out of getting smart meters is bad policy, although it’s understandable why a public utility commission may allow it. Here’s how this decision will probably affect Maine…

Full story: Smart meters in Maine: PUC allows customers to opt out

May 18, 2011 at 9:53 pm

20 million US smart meters now installed

This month, total U.S. smart meter installations passed the 20-million meter mark. There are commitments in place to install nearly 50 million smart meters by 2015.

Our table provides details…

Full post: US: 20 million smart meters now installed

May 17, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Ireland: Successful smart meter trial results

This week Ireland’s Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) published the results of its smart metering trial in 10,000 homes and businesses. This program assessed how smart meters affected electricity consumption, as well as the business case for a national rollout.

What CER learned: Irish customers respond positively to smart meters by reducing their electricity consumption and bills…

Full story: Ireland reports successful smart meter results

May 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm

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