We slung around a few "big bold new ideas" this week and then huddled behind sand bags as "incoming" whistled over our heads. Thanks, dear readers, and enjoy this slice of your fellow readers' reactions.
Call it spring fever if you will, but readers weighed in on two major issues we presented this past week, setting us straight and sharing their insights.
In "Customers Need Energy Data First ," I looked at research into customer engagement strategies presented to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) by Roger Levy of Levy Associates, which worked in conjunction with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Smart Grid Technical Advisory Project.
The fundamental finding presented was that in-home displays are essential. The fact is, "it's the energy use information, stupid." (My paraphrase, not Levy's.)
"I hope the decision-makers who determine what gets done and how it ultimately gets paid for are reading this article and thinking hard about what it says," wrote faithful contributor and consulting engineer Jack Ellis. "We don't need to have utilities invest billions of dollars in devices that get installed and gather dust. I also agree with Levy that there's absolutely no reason for customers to be limited in any way by the type of device they rely upon for usage and price information. In this [regard], consumer choice is necessary, it's feasible and it's paramount."
"I totally agree with the main points of this article," wrote Milton Scritsmier of Boulder, Colo. "A few years back I bought a Kill-a-Watt meter for around $25, which plugs between your appliance and the wall outlet and gives you accumulated energy usage info. By putting it on various appliances in my home, I quickly learned how much my PC, DVRs and stereo amplifier were adding to my electric usage. After that experiment which identified the power hogs, there was little to be gained from continual monitoring."
Greg Tinfow, CEO, Energy Informatics LLC, was especially excited to read about Levy's findings.
"It's about time t