Insights from our Editorial Team
Meet the default rate of the future: critical peak rebate
By 2020 Energy Central's Christopher Perdue expects the default rate offered by the majority of electric utilities will be completely different from now, and expects the future of default pricing will be critical peak rebates or CPR.
Readers offer angles on California's approach
As California develops public policy regarding energy storage's role, several stakeholders have communicated their views to the California Energy Commission, which will report on options to Gov. Jerry Brown this fall. Utilties want flexibility, vendors encourage mandates. Our readers expressed their diverse views this week, illuminating the discussion.
California Energy Commission program manager describes work
The California Energy Commission is taking an approach to energy storage policy that includes early stakeholder participation and weighs applications, technology options and cost-effectiveness. Why should you care? Your state and your utility may well follow in the Golden State's footsteps.
Innovation amidst diversity on Colorado's Western Slope
A century-old rural co-op in Colorado has always looked after its primary duty to its members: drive out costs. But it has found the will and and the way to innovate on many fronts, drawing national attention. To find out who, what, why and where: read this column.
Engagement through empowerment, prior to smart meters?
Connecticut Light & Power is running pilot programs to test how best to engage and empower its customers, well in advance of a smart meter rollout. The utility is also holding back on smart meter deployment until relevant standards are determined. Learn how one savvy utility is approaching and finessing several of the power industry's leading issues. Read this column.
`Clustering' remains central concern
With nearly every major automaker planning to introduce a plug-in electric vehicle over the next three years, utility companies are increasingly working to make sure their customers will be able to charge their cars worry-free - while protecting the grid from anticipated impacts. In this article Energy Central's Christopher Perdue talks to Roddy Diotalevi, senior director - client services at the United Illuminating Company (UI), to discuss how they are preparing for electric vehicles (EVs).
Southern California Edison cuts through the fog
Southern California Edison (SCE) has thought through how to think about storage ("storage" is not a unified concept), how to determine its technical feasibility and its economic viability. In a paper delivered to the California Public Utilities Commission this week, SCE makes a number of clear points that bear repeating.
Lessons learned: listen, then talk, manage expectations
Portland General Electric decided to make its smart meter rollout an exercise in customer engagement. Every utility in the land could benefit from PGE's approach, which strengthened its ties to the community and lay the foundation for future smart grid initiatives. You cannot afford to ignore PGE's approach described in this column.
What's ahead for 2020?
What will the electric utility industry look like in 2020? Despite the hiccups, despite the blips, despite the negative consumer stories that get a lot more play than they deserve in the popular media, there is a long-term vision inherent in this industry's focus. There's also a ton of technical and operational brilliance -- and, quite frankly, a large and encouraging measure of hope and faith -- that's going to get us where we need to go in this decade. New questions posted about the future beg for answers -- get involved in the discussion.
Set-top boxes underscore need for customer engagement
The inefficiencies of "always-on" DVR set-top boxes, which in aggregate waste billions of kilowatt-hours per year in the U.S., underscores the need for customer engagement and a proactive utility stance on electronics creep. This is a variation on the phantom load issue, one that needs to be addressed.