Con Edison Ups Investments in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Con Edison will invest more than $1.5 billion in energy efficiency programs by 2025, tripling its funding for these programs, Con Edison Chairman and CEO John McAvoy said at the company’s recent virtual shareholders meeting. McAvoy said the company, which serves customers in New York City and parts of New York State, is committed to clean energy alternatives, helping customers reduce their reliance on natural gas with incentives for ground and air-source heat pumps and supporting electric vehicle adoption. McAvoy also said Con Edison is the second-largest solar producer in North America and seventh largest in the world.
Your house has an older natural gas hot water heater which develops a small leak, so you naturally decide that it is time to replace it. Because the leak is small, you have time to research the most efficient replacement for your home. You discover that you have two choices. Choice 1: Your electric utility is offering a rebate to switch to a more efficient electric heat pump water heater. It could save you money by heating water at off-peak times when electricity is less expensive.
CLEAResult is taking energy assessments to the next level with remote Virtual Assessments, utilizing the latest augmented reality technology to provide home and business owners a personal connection with an energy advisor at a safe distance. Partnering with Streem to develop this groundbreaking offering, CLEAResult is rising to the challenge posed by COVID-19, delivering innovative solutions without sacrificing the crucial benefits of energy assessments. The Virtual Assessments grant home and business owners complete control over the experience from start to finish with built-in privacy controls, along with the convenience of flexible scheduling.
Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) filed a multi-year customer relief investment plan with the Maryland Public Service Commission to make improvements to the electric and natural gas systems and aid in the region’s recovery from the pandemic. The three-year plan, which covers 2021 through 2023, calls for a $5 billion investment in the electric grid and natural gas system. These investments will have an economic impact of $15 billion and support more than 26,000 jobs, according to the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. BGE’s energy infrastructure investment plan includes more than 300 projects and maintenance programs for the period 2021-2023.
The impacts of COVID-19 likely mean flat EV sales this year, but a trio of new reports say the long-term outlook is for strong growth — which means the electric grid will need to respond. As EV adoption grows, newer vehicles will put greater stress on the electric grid due to their larger batteries and capacity for faster charging, according to Rhombus Energy Solutions. A new white paper from the company predicts the cost of lithium-ion batteries will drop by 60 percent over the next decade, helping enable a new set of charging solutions.
Current conversations around the energy transition often focus on the power and transportation sectors. But decarbonization of other sectors, such as heat, is also critical to meeting national and regional climate targets. Heat makes up 35 percent of global energy consumption, and when it comes to space heating, direct combustion of fossil fuels in buildings plays a dominant role across the globe and is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved a proposal from Solar Partners XI, LLC, to build a 690 MW photovoltaic solar electric generating facility and ancillary facilities northeast of Las Vegas, setting the state for the eighth-largest solar project in the world. Known as the Gemini Solar Project, when finished, it will also be the largest solar project in the United States. It will cost around $1 billion to create, but after that, should provide enough power to support 260,000 homes across the Las Vegas and Southern California areas. Between its renewable and storage capacity, though, the Energy Information Administration anticipates it could provide more than one gigawatt of total capacity.
The New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission recently approved one solar and one solar-plus-storage project to serve El Paso Electric's customers. The projects were proposed to serve southern New Mexico and west Texas customers, and start service in the summer of 2022. One project will add 100 MW of solar for $0.015 per kWh while the second will add 100 MW of solar and 50 MW of storage for $0.021 per kWh, record-low prices for solar and storage in New Mexico.