Con Edison Releases Report on Climate Change
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
In a new report released last week, Con Edison outlined how it will incorporate climate change into its operations and emergency response. The report, Climate Change Resilience and Adoption, includes a summary of activities the company took in 2020 to advance energy resilience in the face of climate change. It also looks at areas that the company will focus on moving forward.
Xcel Energy estimates it has reduced carbon emissions 50 percent below 2005 levels in 2020 and is on track to meet its 2030 target of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent in the next decade, based on its upcoming integrated resource plans. Utility executives touted the company’s recent successful renewable energy investments in Minnesota, during its Q4 earnings call on Thursday.
In its new State Transportation Electrification Scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy analyzed states to identify how they have moved to allow for more electric vehicles – and found that many still host significant barriers. While several states are taking comprehensive steps, and the costs of EVs are falling, the higher initial purchase price and lack of access to vehicle charging remain major barriers.
Uplight’s quantitative customer survey, conducted last year, found that customers of all segments craved more personalization. And our follow-up focus groups reinforced this idea. Here are a few quotes from customer participants about their utility customer experience. “It’s been email overload about COVID-19. They’ve gone out of their way to let everyone know that they have programs available if you’ve been furloughed. In a way, they are overdoing it.”
Massachusetts is asking utilities to come up with new ways to tally the bill for customers with electric vehicle fast-charging stations that won’t punish them for drawing electricity in sporadic bursts. “I don’t think I can stress enough how much of a game-changer this legislation is for electric transportation,” said Kevin Miller, Director of Public Policy at charging station company ChargePoint.
U.S. electricity use, which took an unexpected dive in 2020 after COVID-19 began, may return to 2019 levels as early as 2022, according to the latest Annual Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. After the expected quick recovery from COVID-19, according to the EIA report, the U.S. stands to increase its electrical generating capacity by 52-84 percent by 2050.
The threat of power grid-sparked wildfires is forcing California utilities to invest billions of dollars in hardening and monitoring their grids, and to institute grid blackouts affecting tens to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of live wires sparking conflagrations. In some isolated cases, the cost of making remote powerlines safe from fires may not be worth it — if the customers served by them could make do with an on-site power option instead.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, also the newly appointed chair of Climate Mayors, announced Monday a partnership between BP, Uber and the City of Houston to explore the planning and deployment of BP’s rapid EV charging hubs to help the city’s Uber drivers make the transition to EVs. The groups will identify potential locations in Houston to support distribution of the charging hubs, with a focus on deploying a “convenient and equitable” network of charging stations available to the public.