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Updated: 6 hours 24 min ago

Smart meters trapped between benefits and dangers, claims Forbes

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 18:13
It’s clear by now the smart meter debate over data privacy and other issues isn’t going away anytime soon. But now, through coverage from several news publications, smart meters are in the national spotlight. Click to read what some of those publications are saying.

Could Tesla's energy transmitter finally come to life? (some Russians think so)

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 18:17
In the early days of the 20th century Nikola Tesla tried to build his dream: a massive tower that would wirelessly transmit electricity. Tesla failed for a variety of reasons, but Russian scientists are trying to make his dream a reality, and they’re looking for investors.

Japan to its utilities: Screw the U.S. model, we're moving to competition

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:58
Japanese lawmakers may have stunned the country’s regional power monopolies when they voted last week to open the residential electricity market to full competition. Click to read about how disruptive the change will be, and the likely winners and losers.

Utility death spiral: Is decoupling a dumb idea?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:42
The traditional utility business model that ties revenues to the amount of electricity sold isn’t working now that energy efficiency and conservation are the goalposts for our energy future. Guest author Paul Alvarez says utilities, regulators and others should consider decoupled ratemaking as a possible solution. He explains why inside.

This week’s wins: smart grid projects and developments (and a milestone)

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 18:10
This week’s smart grid wins collection includes a milestone in energy savings for Ecova, a new contract for Landis+Gyr in India, a smart cities partnership between Gowex and Cisco and more news and developments.

Ohio governor puts renewable energy and efficiency requirements on hold

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 18:04
Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a controversial bill that freezes the state’s five-year-old renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements for utilities at current levels. Supporters of the freeze have said the state needs time to rethink the economic impacts of the standards.

The hard questions to ask BEFORE choosing your smart grid communications system

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 17:40
Shopping wisely for the right communications system is a critical step in any smart grid or smart meter project. Contributing author Paul Alvarez offers recommendations on the important questions utility executives should be asking before they buy.

Smart grid market research: Renewables, smart cities, demand response and more

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 18:33
Our smart grid market research roundup is heavy on renewables this time around, but it also includes news on markets for global smart cities, home automation and demand response. Click for details on how those sectors are performing and forecasts for the future.

Utilities: Get ready for your next convergence -- smart grids and smart cities

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 18:23
As the world becomes increasingly urban, cities will fundamentally change. And utilities will need to change to meet the new and evolving demands of those cities. Read the story to learn about what that change, the convergence of smart grids and smart cities, will look like and why utilities should be paying attention now.

The value signal that can revolutionize when and where utilities spend their money

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 18:12
Determining the right time and place to make investments can be a tricky business for utilities, particularly when they don’t know the cost of providing service for each customer. Guest author Tom Osterhus shares some very interesting thoughts about a value signal that could completely change the way utilities determine how and where to make those investments.

The consumer-centric approach that can reverse the utility death spiral (New York is on this path)

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:31
The utility “death spiral” predicted by energy and financial analysts does not have to come anytime soon if at all, says the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative’s Patty Durand. She explains New York’s initiative to revamp the role of utilities and develop a consumer-centric approach to energy markets that could bring a new era of “retail power.”

The existential threat to demand response

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:24
A recent court order that said FERC exceeded its authority in setting compensation for demand response providers affects no more than a small fraction of the total market. But as guest author Mike Gordon points out, the court’s decision could hamper FERC’s ability to regulate DR markets more broadly in the future.

The net metering debate: Solar power unfair to the poor says former regulator

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:58
It could be a good sign: a former regulator has criticized the net metering structure for unfairly subsidizing high-income families that can afford rooftop solar and penalizing low-income families that can’t. Utilities have frequently had a hard time getting net metering amended to remedy the situation. But if regulators are starting to listen… a change to come?

Massachusetts to utilities: Thou shalt modernize (for at least 10 years straight)

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 17:29
Massachusetts already has a reputation for its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Now the state is taking it one or two steps further. Regulators have issued orders requiring the state’s electric distribution companies to modernize the electric grid.

How to forecast Ontario's power future (and what it means to the rest of us)

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 17:08
Last week, Canadian voters in the province of Ontario surprised the pollsters by electing a majority Liberal government. Guest author Ian H. Rowlands explains why that election should be taken as good news for smart grid proponents as well as for a variety of grid modernization initiatives and programs.

Proof that Google intends to take over the power grid

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 16:54
Google has made very clear its intent to carve out a major space for itself in the home energy management market. And while there has been no public announcement yet, it looks like the search giant also plans to disrupt the utility space. Click to read why we think so.

Low Income Consumer Decision Making

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 16:54
This research project report was commissioned by DEFG’s Low Income Energy Issues Forum, a large and diverse group, comprised of consumer advocates, program administrators, regulatory commissioners and representatives from energy utilities, retail energy providers, non-profit agencies, and vendors. The goal of the LIEIF is to propose innovative and integrated policies and approaches that help close the widening gap between what vulnerable energy consumers can pay and their current utility bills.

Distributed Marginal Prices

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 16:13
This whitepaper from Integral Analytics addresses Distributed Marginal Prices, the cost savings accruing across all of the avoided cost categories that exist in the varied and diverse silos of utility value (e.g., supply, ancillary services, bank deferral, line loss mitigation, KVAR support, voltage impacts, customer-specific avoided costs).

How to mature your grid operations (from an industry insider)

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:08
In the first two parts of his series on the operations maturity model, guest author Kai Hui explained how utilities can measure their progress and move up the maturity scale more quickly. His final installment covers integrated software and its critical importance in the operations maturity process.

ComEd gets green light to speed up smart meter deployment

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:04
For a long time, ComEd’s efforts to roll out smart meters looked like a confusing game of ping pong. There were politics; there were delays. But Illinois regulators this week approved the utility’s filing to speed up its smart meter deployment program… and wrap it up three years ahead of schedule.