Has Xcel Minnesota Designed the Ideal Residential TOU Rate?
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Some say pilot projects are a way to avoid the risk of real innovation, but a proposed Xcel Energy pilot to test TOU rates is charging at innovation and winning praise as it goes. Xcel’s objectives are to find out how to effectively engage customers and if price signals can get customers to shift energy usage away from the peak.
Among the many demographic shifts shaping the U.S. today, one that seems to have flown under the radar is the rise of renting and decline in homeownership. According to a 2016 report by the Pew Research Center, a greater percentage of Americans now rents than any time in the past 50 years. While there are many reasons why Americans today see such an appeal in renting, the Pew data shows that it isn’t a passing fad; renting has steadily trended upwards for the past 20 years now.
It’s been a big year for Xcel Energy’s community solar program in Minnesota, with approximately 200 megawatts of projects crossing the finish line. Launched as a result of policy shaped and driven by Fresh Energy and its partners in 2013, community solar allows utility customers to participate in a solar project and receive a monthly bill credit.
Austin Energy has started taking applications for a special program that will help low-income customers buy power from an Austin Energy community solar project at a discounted rate. The program will enable roughly 200 Customer Assistance Program participants to subscribe to 100 percent solar energy at a rate slightly below their current power supply rate.
Forward-thinking companies, like Amazon and Apple, are changing what customers expect from their service providers, including utilities. As a direct result, consumers are increasingly interested in alternative energy choices that give them greater control, comfort and convenience. Increasingly, consumers expect a full menu of options that they can customize to meet their energy preferences.
Step right up and get ready to be transformed. DistribuTECH – the nation’s biggest annual conference and exhibition for the transmission, distribution and smart grid industries – is barely a month away. It returns to San Antonio for the first time in four years offering a three-day deep tour of insightful sessions, networking and potential deal making opportunities. The event runs Jan. 23-25 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center near San Antonio’s River Walk area.
New York made waves yesterday when it unveiled a slate of clean energy proposals that sets the highest energy storage mandate in the country. Cuomo wants to commit at least $200 million from the NY Green Bank for storage investments that will help integrate renewable energy. The plan is to roll out 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025.
Electric utilities earned record high levels of satisfaction among business customers in 2017, J.D. Power recently reported in its 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study. Public power utilities in the Midwest, South, and West were among the leading utilities that notched high marks for business customer satisfaction.