Con Edison CEO Stresses Commitment to Clean Energy
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Con Edison CEO Timothy Cawley told shareholders in the firm’s latest annual meeting its Clean Energy Commitment is “our way forward” and “will help our planet, our company and our communities remain sustainable,” while also helping to spur the economy. The utility’s employees have continued to innovate and remain focused on the customer by creating industry-changing technologies like in-home natural gas detectors, and by implementing improvements that include systemwide smart meter installations, enhanced digital processes and easier rooftop solar hook-ups.
The world changed last March when the coronavirus outbreak was officially declared a pandemic and the first stay-at-home orders were issued across much of the country. It wasn’t hard to hypothesize that the shift to working and living mostly within our homes would have a corresponding shift in the demand for electricity. In our initial analysis in May 2020, we noted that not only did we see a shift from commercial to residential demand, but the scaling back or shutdown of some manufacturing operations resulted in a net decline in electric demand.
Corporate commitments to carbon reduction are a hot topic — and for good reason. The wave of carbon-reduction pledges, from organizations of all types, continues to build, due to pressure from customers, employees, boards, investors and other stakeholders. Some of these commitments are aggressive and are supported by interim targets, plans and investments to attain future goals. Some are not.
With approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission secured last week, Duke Energy is set to build a 5 MW solar project on a retired county landfill in Buncombe County. A first for the company, this project will operate as a public-private effort, jointly pursued by Duke and the county, with plans for it to enter operation by the end of the year. Once running, it should produce enough energy to power approximately 1,000 homes and businesses annually and help the county meet its 2030 renewable energy goals.
For decades, rural electric cooperatives clung to coal, reluctant to squeeze renewable energy into their tight relationship with fossil fuels. But that grip is loosening. Look no further than Old Dominion Electric Cooperative in central Virginia’s Glen Allen, 15 miles north of Richmond. The generation and transmission utility has 30 megawatts of operating solar, another 135 MW on the way soon, and a pending proposal to add up to another 400 MW in the next four years. That could add up to a tenfold leap, or beyond, by 2025.
Consumers Energy has launched a new standard summer peak rate that will allow its customers to conserve energy and save money by using more off-peak. The summer peak rate goes into effect June 1 and goes through September for the company’s 1.6 million residential electric customers in Michigan. The summer peak rate rewards customers for taking advantage of lower-cost electricity that’s available most of the day. The on-peak pricing will be in effect on weekdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Vermont-based utility company Green Mountain Power has announced that it is using consumer onsite batteries to ensure the reliability of the New England regional grid network. The regional grid is operated by ISO-New England and stretches across six U.S. states, including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
This week, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the first of five planned high-speed electric vehicle charging hubs at multiple Mirabito Convenience Store locations in Central New York. The fast-charging stations are made possible by an agreement between Mirabito and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The new EVolve NY charging hubs will offer a total of 19 chargers at the five Mirabito sites.