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Updated: 22 hours 4 min ago

Texas is forcing utilities to give home energy monitors to the poor

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 19:32
Texas regulators want utilities to provide low-income customers with ways to reduce their energy bills. Most observers take that to mean smart thermostats or home energy monitors. But home energy monitors have never gone over well with the public. Isn’t there a better use of the money allocated to help the state’s low income customers? Click for more details on the issue.

Get our latest infographic: How to make your smart grid even smarter

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 19:24
We can’t predict with certainty what the smart grid of tomorrow will look like. But we can identify the trends that are most likely to shape it and act accordingly. A new infographic from Elster Solutions highlights the top 10 trends most likely to change today’s smart grid, and it’s available now as a free download.

The essential next step for distributed energy (a transparent market that includes end users)

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 19:11
Distributed energy resources (DER) are becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in places like California and the Northeast. And growth will continue. But what now? Guest author Alicia Abrams outlines why and how a transparent and flexible energy market would leverage the very real potential of those energy resources.

The essential next step for distributed energy (a transparent market that includes end users)

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 19:11
Distributed energy resources (DER) are becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly in places like California and the Northeast. And growth will continue. But what now? Guest author Alicia Abrams outlines why and how a transparent and flexible energy market would leverage the very real potential of those energy resources.

Lessons from the field: Progress in integrating distributed energy (and creating virtual power plants)

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 19:17
The EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative, a seven-year program of field demonstrations concentrating on integrating distributed energy resources, has been making real progress. Click to read some highlights from the latest EPRI update and for access to the full version.

Smart grid wins: Checking in with the latest projects and developments

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 19:04
This week’s collection of smart grid wins features news from companies large and small, well-known and not so well-known. Read the story for an overview of an array of projects in addition to two new partnerships for Riello UPS and Itron.

NYC embarks on massive public building energy efficiency initiative

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 18:51
New York City is at it again. The city has committed to a massive retrofit of the city’s public buildings to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. The city says it expects $8.5 billion in cumulative energy cost savings over 10 years.

The march to renewables: Congress may extend and expand tax credits

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 17:28
A bill recently introduced in Congress would extend the production tax credit for wind power and provide the solar industry with the same access to credits at the beginning of project construction. Electric utilities will want to keep an eye on this one because it could affect their plans for future grid upgrades. Click for details on the legislation.

Smart cities disconnect? Survey finds most in U.S. don't know the term

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 17:18
In a way, the smart cities initiative is repeating smart grid history. A recent survey found that very few people had heard the term smart cities. While roughly half of electricity customers are aware of the term smart grid, it has taken considerable time and effort to get to that point. Cities that want to become “smart” face a similar challenge.

New evidence that solar progress is accelerating

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 16:59
Utility executives who think solar won’t be cost-competitive in their area anytime soon may choose to re-think that assumption. Three new reports from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory confirm that the price of electricity from large-scale solar projects has dropped dramatically over the past few years, and so has the cost of rooftop solar installations.

Nevada fire chiefs want to investigate the safety of smart meters

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 17:45
Two Nevada fire chiefs believe smart meters were related to a series of residential fires in their jurisdictions. While NV Energy, which installed the meters, says a state fire marshal’s investigation already found the meters were not a fire hazard, the fire chiefs are calling for the state PUC to conduct its own investigation. Click for details.

New technology: A sampling of the latest offerings for the smart grid

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 17:37
There seems to be a steady flow of technologies appropriate for the smart grid sector market. Read about Idaho Power’s new renewables integration tool designed to help grid operators use wind power more effectively, Oracle’s new offering to help utilities reach greater operational efficiency and more new releases in solar tech and asset reliability management.

Up or down? The impact of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on electric rates

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 17:30
Smart Grid News recently shared comments from an analyst who said there is plenty of evidence that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could lower electric bills. So it seems only fair to share an interesting perspective that comes to a different conclusion: that retail power prices in coal-dependent states could rise.

The utility that wants to build microgrids for customers (should you do the same?)

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 18:41
Some utilities think of microgrids as a threat, although they very well could be a new business opportunity and one of the ways electric service providers help ensure themselves of a sustainable future. Read the story to learn about the approach Central Hudson Gas & Electric is proposing and why.

Cap and trade -- coming soon to a state near you

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 18:34
Cap and trade may at first glance seem to have nothing to do with the smart grid, but it would have a profound impact on renewables integration, energy efficiency and more if enacted. While no action is expected from Congress, states could take up cap and trade to help them deal with the new EPA rules on power plant emissions reductions.

Utilities: Time is on your side (not Father Time, the magazine Time)

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 18:28
Utilities have found some supportive (if unexpected) allies in organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund. Now, a former critic argues that utilities won’t, and shouldn’t, go away. They just need a better business model. Click for details.

Webinar: Preparing for smart meter deployment and the mobile market

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 21:42
Join IBM for a FierceLive! Webinar on Sept. 30th to learn how to efficiently test scalability and to prepare the back office for the mobility and data explosion while keeping customers satisfied within your generation and delivery network.

Why utilities need to to future-proof their mobile networks

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 21:33
The move toward improved grid resiliency and reliability depends to a large degree on effective communications with workers in the field. And that of course means ensuring mobile networks are flexible enough to anticipate and accommodate changes in the business environment. Guest author Lee Johnson explains why flexibility is so important and shares thoughts on how to achieve it.

Testing steps that allow utilities to confidently roll out smart devices

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 21:26
Testing is as important for smart meters as it is for any other device. And of course it is best to ensure that those meters are as defect-free as possible and capable of functioning as intended BEFORE they are installed at customers’ homes. Click to read valuable tips about advance testing that will help ensure a trouble-free operation.

EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Update

Sun, 09/21/2014 - 15:15
The EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative is a seven-year collaborative research effort focused on design, implementation, and assessment of field demonstrations to address prevalent challenges with integrating distributed energy resources in grid and market operations to create a “Virtual Power Plant.” This newsletter provides periodic updates on projects, relevant industry news, and events.