The rise in customer-sited distributed generation (DG) and the success of energy efficiency (EE) programs in reducing load growth have brought rate design to the fore as utilities look for ways to ensure cost recovery and reduce risk. The large uptick in fixed charge proposals has continued as a result, but now a new trend toward a more sophisticated rate design has emerged - demand charges. Demand charges, the argument goes, are intended to better align revenue collection with cost and provide a strong incentive for customers to reduce their peak consumption. But do they really make sense for residential customers? Exclusive
Smart Grid News caught up with Erich Gunther recently to discuss changes in utility business models -- specifically, the distribution system operator. The positive news is that there are utilities from coast to coast that are making revolutionary (and successful) changes to their business models. Gunther is co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer at EnerNex, where he guides clients on their strategic direction in basic research and development, technology and product development. Feature
How do you anticipate demand and adoption in a market -- like the Internet of Things or smart home -- that is constantly disrupted by new technology and shifting protocols? Traditional market research in the form of surveys and focus groups fall short when attempting to identify "the next big thing." Surveys provide answers only to the questions we ask, and only from the small set of users who respond. What if you could delve into feedback from an exponentially larger set of current and potential consumers to discover what they like, what they hate, and most importantly, what they want? Exclusive
In 2016, as the utility business faces significant disruption, there are far more profound structural considerations that influence the health of the regulatory climate. We need to take our game up a notch from the usual blocking and tackling over rate case minutiae and haggling over allowed return to build a regulatory climate that is marked by how it affords flexibility, innovation, and new and better ways to meet customers' expectations. Intervention
IHS Technology is sharing insights it garnered at last week's DistribuTECH in a new Research Note, which contends that the focus of the conference illustrated "maturity of the utility technology market." I have a slightly different perspective. What I personally heard from several vendors was far from what I would call "mature." It was actually downright scary and more than a bit naïve.
Water is a limited resource, but recent advances in science and technology, and, in particular big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), provide opportunities to prevent its waste. By gathering detailed measurements and leveraging analytics, it is possible to develop an end-to-end picture of our water supply to safeguard its quality and security.
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Georgia must adopt strong energy efficiency measures in order to comply with the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan and still keep electricity costs low for consumers, according to a study of the plan from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Texas is on track to become the fastest-growing utility-scale solar market in the U.S. within the next five years, according to a report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce that the U.S., partnering with Canada and Mexico, will help North America achieve a goal of obtaining half its electricity from clean power sources by 2025.
A new battery storage project at California State University will reduce peak energy costs and help sustain reliable power distribution by the local electricity grid.
Small energy-buying groups are allowing consumers the option to detour around utilities and buy electricity via community choice aggregation (CCA).
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Despite declining production at a key gas field in the Netherlands, natural gas prices in Europe remain at lowest level in six years. The Netherlands, the largest natural gas producer in the European Union, supplied 14 percent of the European Union's natural gas in 2014.
Solar power's growth curve in Germany is falling so fast the German government said it would suspend further reductions in the solar feed-in tariff.