National Grid Unveils Home Energy Savings Pilot
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
National Grid has partnered with NYSERDA to implement an energy savings pilot project for residential customers in Central New York. The pay-for-performance residential energy savings pilot program will offer innovative energy solutions to customers in one- to four-family homes in Central New York. NYSERDA will award up to $6 million in funding that energy efficiency service providers will leverage to deliver energy savings to approximately 1,500 National Grid customers.
During the first three months of 2020, public electric vehicle supply equipment, an industry term for individual outlets at a charging station, grew 7.6 percent, according to a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Of that, direct-current fast chargers made up the largest piece of the pie, expanding by 10.6 percent, NREL said in the report. The metrics build on a consistent upward trend across the country for charging stations.
Energy efficiency has delivered huge benefits over the last 40 years. However, the imperative to achieve deep carbon reductions, combined with a more distributed and dynamic energy grid, creates a need for even greater levels of efficiency targeted to where and when it is most required. Meeting the challenges associated with delivering more energy efficiency as a low-cost and flexible resource will require both policy and program design, delivery and evaluation changes.
The Tennessee Valley Authority announced this week that its new 100-megawatt solar facility in Obion County, Tennessee, will supply energy to Google’s data centers in Clarksville, Tennessee and Hollywood, Alabama. The initiative was made possible through the TVA’s Green Invest program, which helps customers like Google obtain new renewable energy projects. Green Invest has generated $1.4 billion in economic activity in TVA’s service area in the past two years.
The shutdowns and restrictions that governments have imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19 have made it hard for many households to afford basic needs. Thousands of Americans are struggling to pay monthly utility bills. Utilities and policymakers recognized that services such as water and electricity are essential to people’s health, safety and comfort. Since mid-March they have taken steps to keep those services coming.
The last two years have brought a surge of plans for zero-carbon energy from some of the biggest power providers in the world. Dozens of U.S. utilities have committed to decarbonizing by 80 percent or more by 2050. “Two-thirds of U.S. consumers are now served by utilities with carbon or emissions reduction goals,” says Scott Neuman, Group Vice President of Opower, at Oracle Utilities. National Grid is the latest utility to up the ante. The electricity and gas supplier now wants to hit net-zero emissions by 2050.
Compared to the same period in 2019, the United States electric power sector consumed 184.8 million short tons (MMst) of coal – 30 percent less – in the first half of 2020, showcasing the declines in usage brought about by a changing environment, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. Coal saw an annual record of 1,045 MMst in 2007 but has been declining since, according to EIA reports. This has been brought about by coal plant retirements, air standards, price drops and natural gas conversions.
In a significant turnaround from a spring forecast clouded by COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the International Energy Agency has revised its expectations for 2020 global renewables additions. The agency's latest report, released Tuesday, now expects capacity additions to grow 4 percent from 2019, hitting a record of nearly 200 GW this year and bumping up forecasts by 18 percent from the crunch the agency projected in May.