Are Utilities Prepared for EV Demand?
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
It's always dangerous to make technology predictions, but right now this feels like a sure thing: EVs are going to become popular, mainstream, common. One day, even, the standard. How and when these zero-emission vehicles are charged will be critical. With the rise in EVs, your local electric utility could replace your local gas station. And some companies, like PG&E, are pursuing initial efforts to encourage charging when renewable energy generation is highest.
Itron signed a five-year contract with the city of Roseville, California, to modernize its electricity and water systems with Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT solution. The project includes more than 100,000 electricity and water meters equipped with OpenWay Riva’s distributed intelligence and advanced communication capabilities.
Utilities are among the lowest-performing industry groups when it comes to delivering distinct digital customer experiences, but some pioneers have found the secret to digital success, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Utility Digital Experience Study. The inaugural study evaluates customer perceptions of the websites, mobile apps, social, chat, email and text functions of the 67 largest electric, natural gas and water utilities in the U.S.
Questline, Inc. has published the latest edition of its Annual Benchmarks Report, analyzing 2017 engagement on over 244 million emails across 480+ energy utility companies. Results are showing an all-time high in Open Rate and CTR engagement. Details by utility type, customer audience and email topics are available for download using access code SPARK2018.
The remarkable transition that utilities in the Southeast are undergoing is a powerful indicator of the profound changes happening in the nation’s power sector. The Southeast had 200 MW of solar capacity in 2012, but led by North Carolina’s Duke Energy utilities and Georgia Power, it had 6 GW at the end of 2017, according to Solar in the Southeast from SACE.
Last year, the U.S. solar market continued a two-year trend by expanding solar photovoltaic additions by double digits. A report from GTM Research and SEIA found that 10.6 GW of new PV capacity was installed in 2017–a figure down from the previous year, but still representing sizeable market growth. The non-residential market had an especially good year, boasting a 28 percent growth that made 2017 the fourth straight year of such positive figures.
The energy consumer ain’t what he used to be. But, then again, neither is the energy industry. What used to be static is now constant flux. What used to be about infrastructure and hardware is now about customers and software. The future isn’t now in our industry. The future was yesterday, and tomorrow is a whole other eon with a brand new energy consumer: one who is tech-savvy and questioning.
The average EV is now as clean as a conventional car that gets 80 miles per gallon, and produces far less emissions than any gasoline-only car available, according to a recent Union of Concerned Scientists analysis of EPA data. For comparison, many hybrids get around 40 miles per gallon.