Xcel Unveils Plan to Serve 1.5 Million EVs by 2030
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Xcel Energy on Wednesday unveiled a strategy to serve 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2030, which the utility said amounts to an anticipated 30-fold increase in plug-in vehicles across its eight-state service territory. Xcel has proposed $300 million of investments in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico and Wisconsin, that include a smart charging pilot, fleet infrastructure programs, initiatives to boost public charging and residential subscription plans.
SMUD has agreed to an exclusive five-year contract with Landis+Gyr as the utility’s exclusive smart meter provider. The agreement, which includes both residential and commercial electric advanced meters, supports SMUD’s focus on customer engagement and distributed energy resource integration by measuring and monitoring necessary data for resource integration and efficiency programs.
Tanuj Deora, VP of Market Innovation at Uplight, talks with Patty Durand of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative about Uplight’s work around COVID-19, social justice and equity, and the state of the energy industry – kicking off their new video interview series. Uplight has been able to help utilities tailor their response to COVID-19 to best meet their customers’ needs.
People are struggling to pay their monthly bills, according to research from TransUnion. For the majority of households across the U.S., personal finances are being unexpectedly strained as a result of the coronavirus health crisis. From reductions in working hours and hourly wages to lost jobs and closed businesses, the impact on U.S. households’ income has been swift and severe.
A new report from the Energy Information Administration details a sharp increase in utility-scale battery storage systems. In 2010, there were seven operational battery storage systems in the country, which accounted for 59 MW of power capacity and 21 MWh of energy capacity, or the total amount of energy that can be stored or discharged by a battery. By the end of 2018, there were 125 operational battery storage systems.
Power companies are loaning out Teslas in Washington, electrifying bus fleets in Virginia and lobbying for electric vehicle tax credits on Capitol Hill. San Diego Gas & Electric even went so far as to help train salespeople on how to convince consumers to buy electric cars and then paid them as much as $500 per sale. It’s all part of a $1.5 billion effort by utilities such as Exelon and Dominion Energy to promote vehicles that run on electricity.
A proposal before state regulators would create a Pay As You Save program to help more homeowners afford efficiency upgrades. The city of Minneapolis is seeking permission to launch what would be one of the nation’s largest on-bill financing programs for energy efficiency. City officials are pressing state regulators to approve the $50 million pilot program as part of a natural gas rate case by CenterPoint Energy.
U.S. coal power generation plunged by 30 percent in the first half of 2020 off an already-depressed base, shoved out by natural gas and renewables amid low energy prices linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new figures from the EIA. Since its peak in 2007, U.S. coal consumption has been on the decline. But the trajectory of its fall has been getting steeper, and 2020 looks set to be an unprecedentedly terrible year for the sector.