DLC Report Highlights Clean Energy Transition
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Duquesne Light Company (DLC) recently released its inaugural environmental, social and governance (ESG) report showing the company is positioning the Pittsburgh region for a transition to a clean energy future. The report – Advancing a Clean Energy Future for All – is DLC’s most comprehensive ESG report to date and builds on previous disclosures.
The role of electric utilities in the United States is evolving to a more customer-centric model for a variety of factors, including changes in technology, regulations, and consumer expectations. As a natural monopoly, electric utilities have remained most often focused on providing reliable and affordable electricity to their constituency, with little emphasis on customer experience or engagement.
According to Guidehouse, the global penetration of smart meters will climb from approximately 44 percent at the end of 2020 to 56 percent by the end of 2028, resulting in over 1.2 billion devices globally. However, utilities have struggled to make sense of and capitalize on the data these meters have provided. That is poised to change with next-generation meters now being deployed.
In the first quarter of 2023, ComEd connected more than 87,000 eligible customers with bill assistance, setting a new record with more than $26 million in bill help provided and reaching the second-largest number of people helped in a first quarter since at least 2019. The company took a proactive approach, urging customers to contact it directly about available programs to help pay bills and reduce energy use.
Leaders in the city of Philadelphia, like many across the country, are striving to lower energy bills and cut carbon pollution. Ejecting fossil fuels from homes and installing electrified systems, such as heat pumps, are key to achieving those goals. But the city has a problem. It doesn’t have enough contractors who can install them at the pace required to decarbonize Philly’s more than 700,000 homes.
Two-thirds of North America is at risk of energy shortfalls this summer during periods of extreme demand, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council’s (NERC’s) 2023 summer assessment. While NERC identified no high-risk areas in this year’s assessment, it said the number of areas identified as being at elevated risk has increased.
Providing programs and funding that ease the energy burden for low- and moderate-income, or LMI communities, requires data to help direct the funds, but that data can be difficult to collect, said panelists at a recent summit on clean energy. Neighborhoods in major cities fluctuate in median income too often to rely on census data, said Damali Harding at the Regulatory Assistance Project.
Aram Shumavon, CEO of Kevala, has some bad news and some good news for California utilities and regulators trying to prepare for the millions of EVs the state wants to have on the road by 2035. The bad news? According to a new study from his startup, commissioned by regulators, California’s big three IOUs will need to invest up to $50 billion by 2035 to beef up their distribution grids to handle the massive growth in electricity demand those EVs will create.