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. Now, a new trend toward a more sophisticated rate design has emerged: demand charges, intended to better align revenue collection with cost and encourage 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
New smart-grid technologies all have one important thing in common: They provide enormous quantities of data. How we use that data will have a major impact on – and could greatly benefit – customers, the environment and the future electricity system
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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Energy efficiency programs from electric utilities in the Southwest U.S. will save customers $5.5 billion net according to the utilities' own data.
Amid the proposed $12.2 billion merger of Great Plains Energy with Kansas electric utility Westar Energy, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) is investigating the rate design for distributed power generation customers.
A smart inverter technology able to meet real-time grid demand complies with an industry standard that will become mandatory for some in the near future.
An 832kW "flex Power System" microgrid created by energy and control technology company CleanSpark has been completed in Borrego Springs, California.
The U.S. Department of Energy will fund 12 cybersecurity projects with up to $34 million to the reliability and resilience of the nation's energy infrastructure.
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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.