Postings tagged with: california

Chris King| Aug 11, 2015

California Utilities Propose Next Generation Net Energy Metering Rates

Last week, utilities and interested parties filed rate proposals in the proceeding to determine the next generation of tariffs for customers with on-site generation, such as rooftop solar. Such customers in the U.S. have typically used a Net Energy Metering tariff (NEM), first adopted in 1980 in Idaho. Under NEM, customers’ meters keep track of only the net energy consumed in a month; i.e., the total consumed minus the total produced by the customer’s rooftop solar system. So a customer’s bill c ...

Smart Grid Watch Team| Feb 13, 2015


DistribuTECH 2015: Utility industry reflects on, reassesses technology, trends

Last week, at DistribuTECH 2015, utility industry professionals from North America and elsewhere took the opportunity to reflect on how they can enable "prosumers" while preparing their grids and businesses for more third-party players -- and for the unknown. Who are the prosumers? In his summary of DistribuTECH, Jeff St. John of Greentech Media described this emerging group of customers as, "the solar-equipped, battery-backed, EV-driving, Nest-thermostat-enabled customer who expe ...

Chris King| Jan 06, 2015

EV charging

Electric vehicle charging: California utilities can own infrastructure, says CPUC

The shift toward electric vehicles is rolling forward in California among consumers -- and regulators are weighing in. Just before Christmas, the California PUC overturned previous policy and issued a new decision allowing the state's utilities to participate in providing electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The CPUC envisions California utilities (including Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric) taking on a critical role in the transportation ...

Sheila Oliva| Dec 10, 2013


Nation’s First Flex Plant Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Last month, the Lodi Energy Center (LEC) celebrated its one year anniversary in commercial operation. The plant has an installed capacity of 300 megawatts (MW) and is located in Lodi, California. The LEC has demonstrated over 240 starts with 99.7% reliability averaging 20 fired hours per start. The Siemens Flex-Plant™ can reach an electrical capacity of approximately 200 MW within 30 minutes. With an efficiency of over 57 percent and low startup emissions, the LEC is one of the cleanest fossil p ...

Chris King| Jan 18, 2013

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Smart meter privacy: Minnesota, California regulators watching out for consumers

Protecting customer privacy is a top concern of policymakers as utilities roll out and utilize smart meters. This month Minnesota requested public input on smart meter privacy -- joining a growing list of states and nations considering this matter. Several months ago, the California PUC adopted the world's first comprehensive set of rules to ensure that consumers can access the detailed energy usage data gathered by their smart meter -- while also protecting the privacy and security ...

Chris King| Sep 13, 2012

Why few U.S. consumers use time-of-use energy prices, and how utilities can correct that

Time-of-use (TOU) prices have been around for decades, but so far U.S. customer adoption has been slow. However, U.S. policymakers are now eager to promote TOU pricing for electricity since this strategy has been proven to promote energy efficiency. Also, customers like TOU prices -- when they are voluntary. What's a regulator to do? Having worked on this issue for 30 years, I see four main barriers to implementing TOU prices that customers like. (Don't worry about the 30 years -- we're n ...

Chris King| Aug 31, 2012

How Carlsbad, California residents save money with smart meters, automatically

Earlier this summer Smart Grid Watch reported on San Diego Gas & Electric's groundbreaking ReduceYourUse Program. How well is it working? According to SDG&E, in August customers in one small city in its service territory (Carlsbad, Calif.) earned over $200,000 in rebates. The goal of ReduceYourUse is to curb energy demand on hot summer afternoons when usage surges and the power grid is pushed closer to its limits. This program provides rebates to customers who lower their consumpti ...

Alicia Carrasco| Aug 27, 2012


Northern Ireland's positive business case for smart meters

Originally posted on 8/13/12 on former eMeter blog By Alicia Carrasco | August 13 2012 Congratulations to Northern Ireland, which has joined the club of over 30 states and countries with positive business cases for smart meters. Recently the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment released the region’s smart meter cost-benefit analysis Implementing smart meters for the nearly 1 million electricity customers there is expected to yield net savings ...

Alicia Carrasco| Aug 27, 2012

U.K. moves to make energy markets smarter

Originally posted on 8/2/12 on former eMeter blog By Alicia Carrasco | August 2 2012 It’s not just meters and power grids that are getting smarter. U.K. energy regulator Ofgem is advancing plans to make energy markets in that nation “smarter” — that is: more efficient and yielding better consumer outcomes. Smarter energy markets also would provide consumers with ready access to an abundance of easily digestible information about their energy use, plus time-varying pri ...

Alicia Carrasco| Aug 27, 2012


Smart meters simplify the language of energy

Originally posted on 7/31/12 on former eMeter blog By Alicia Carrasco | July 31 2012 A British Gas website explains common energy terms and issues in plain language for business customers. British Gas has a “plain English” campaign to help business customers understand their energy contracts and bills. The website, Making Business Energy Simple, covers the basics of energy and energy costs as well as savings tips. Prior to launching this site, British Gas commissioned a researc ...