Uplight Connect Platform Helps AES Upgrade Service
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Uplight and AES Corporation announced this week a new partnership to let AES and the communities it serves accelerate a cleaner energy future via Uplight’s full suite of products and services. The effort will include the latest release of the Uplight Connect Platform that will let AES and Uplight take critical steps forward in delivering a more seamless, connected experience for customers.
Dominion Energy Virginia is looking to begin the second phase of its Grid Transformation Plan, part of a 10-year effort to make the grid “smarter, stronger and greener.” The company filed a proposal with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) that outlines its phase II plans, which call for a $669 million capital investment for 2022-2023.
This week, Itron announced that it helped deploy a grid-interactive water heater program for Fort Collins Utilities. The program, which is managed by Itron, enables new DER technologies to connect electric resistive and heat-pump water heaters to operate during periods when excess renewable energy is available or to pre-heat water tanks, supporting Utilities’ energy savings goals.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with the Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) to install electric vehicle charging units on existing streetlights in Kansas City, Missouri. The streetlight charging stations will be open to the public and be available for anyone to use. They will be located in residential areas to support overnight charging.
Consumers Energy announced this week that it intends to entirely end coal usage as a fuel source 15 years ahead of schedule in 2025, setting the company up to be one of the first in the country to go coal-free. While still pending regulatory approval, the plan would also bring the company to several major milestones by 2040: 90 percent clean energy resources and the production of nearly 8,000 MW of solar energy in Michigan.
OhmConnect has pledged to give away up to one million smart thermostats over the next few months to combat the risk of summer grid emergencies in California. The move could be seen as a massive public relations gambit, complete with a celebrity endorsement from Kristen Bell and contests between cities to enroll the most customers.
Concern among consumers and the industry about climate implications is prompting companies, advocacy organizations and governments to meet carbon-free or net-zero emissions targets by 2050. In fact, in the past few months alone, the Biden administration committed to moving its entire fleet to electric, PG&E announced a move toward large-scale conversion to EVs, and GM announced that, by 2035, it will only manufacture EVs.
Residential energy efficiency is one of the most effective – and cheapest – tools available to combat climate change. It could also be a great investment. By financing the up-front costs of weatherization and appliance upgrades, investors could earn steady rates of return based on the energy saved.