PSE&G Long Island Plans AMI Expansion
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his policymakers have received a great deal of credit for the state’s efforts at comprehensive energy policy improvements under the REV initiative. So it may come as a surprise that some large utilities in New York have been behind the curve when it comes to the portion of their distribution system enjoying the benefits of AMI.
Duke Energy recently announced plans to distribute $62 million in solar rebates to its customers in North Carolina over the next five years. The utility is also looking to add 680 MW of new renewable capacity in the Carolinas. The rebate program is “expected to more than double the number of private solar energy customers in North Carolina over the next five years.”
CPUC last week unanimously authorized SCE to move ahead with the results of its second Preferred Resources Pilot request for offers, which resulted in 19 contracts totaling 125 MW of preferred resources. A February proposed decision from the commission would have rejected the 19 contracts for not being cost-effective. CPUC said its July 12 decision "reaffirmed its commitment" to innovation and clean energy.
CSU has signed agreements with developers for two utility-scale solar projects that will total 95 megawatts. The two projects will boost the utility’s solar energy offering to 130 megawatts. Combined with hydro power, the utility’s renewable energy portfolio will total about 15 percent of its summer generating capacity when the projects come online.
While some in the utility sector assume that prepay energy is meant for low-income Americans, the management consulting firm DEFG recently released a report showing that millennials are more likely to choose the option as well. In fact, millennials appear to be two times more likely to engage in prepay energy than the rest of the population.
J.D. Power recently released the results of its “2018 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study”, which measures customer satisfaction among electric utilities across six measures: price, reliability, billing and payment, corporate citizenship, communications and customer service. Twenty-two public power utilities were represented in the survey, and three achieved the highest rank within its region and size, including Tennessee’s EPB and Washington’s Clark Public Utilities.
The electric utility has been evolving in recent years to be more customer focused. Smart meters, mobile apps, DERs and smart home technology – to name just a few – are giving consumers unprecedented control of their home energy usage. However, these programs and services of the “utility of the future” may not be reaching all customers.
Utilities are increasingly offering new customer-facing technologies, either directly or through third parties. These technologies are useless, however, if utilities can’t get customers to engage with them. A panel this week at the NARUC Summer Policy Summit explored this issue. Personalization through the use of data, the panel agreed, is crucial to increasing engagement in a way that provides benefits to both utilities and their customers.