Nearly Half of Electricity Customers Have Smart Meters
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
In the U.S., homeownership has been exhibiting a decline over the past decade and stood at less than 64 percent at the end of 2016. Unlike homeowners, renters often lack the authority or control to make energy efficiency related upgrades or for example, to install generation or storage resources. As a result, they also may be less inclined to engage with their energy providers. So what are the opportunities for utilities to engage with them?
PG&E invested more in energy storage with six contracts totaling 165 MW to CPUC for review and approval on December 1. California’s Energy Storage Decision requires investor-owned utilities to procure 1,325 MW of storage by 2020. PG&E’s share is 580 MW. Since 2015, PG&E has signed contracts for 79 MW of new energy storage capability.
Everyone has a role to play in fighting climate change. Farmers can use new methods to rotate their crops that keep more carbon safely in the ground. Consumers can act with their wallets – buying goods and services that produce less carbon than competitors. Our elected officials, of course, have a lot of influence in setting the narrative and enabling support for climate progress.
California is the golden child of the renewable energy and climate change revolution. The state carved out ambitious renewables and climate goals in the past decade, and set in motion proceedings aimed at accommodating the growing intermittent resources like wind and solar. California utilities face strengthening customer desire for clean energy resources and mandates such as Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to put more than 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road.
Smart metering in the U.S. may be pinging near the point of no return, according to new federal statistics. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that installations of smart meters nationwide have doubled since 2010. By the end of 2016, the EIA reported, electric utilities had installed about 71 million advanced metering infrastructure meters, covering about 47 percent of the nation’s 150 million electricity customers.
Energy storage proved itself in 2017. The industry stepped up with two major high-speed deployments to resolve grid emergencies. Utility-scale projects got bigger and longer-lasting. Major international conglomerates bought up storage startups. And all the major solar developers started getting into the game.
A new survey conducted by AESP and Essense Partners finds connected smart home devices save energy, but customer adoption rates remain relatively low. Only 25 percent of consumers surveyed had at least one IoT device. And the trend is being led not by younger, more technologically-savvy consumers, but by middle-aged brackets.
Energy officials, advocates and other stakeholders are a couple of months into an ambitious year-and-a-half-long project to examine the future energy landscape and economy of Illinois. The initiative known as NextGrid is billed as a consumer-focused study of the utility of the future. Illinois has been reimagining its transmission system from one that relies on a one-way delivery of power to a grid system that functions as a “platform”.