Smart Energy Above the Fold: 1/12/2018

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Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.

Metering & Smart Energy International | Nest Launches New Initiative to Help Tackle Energy Poverty
Nest Labs have announced a new initiative with the goal of helping to tackle the issue of energy poverty. The company aims to install one million Nest Thermostats through income-qualified programs in low- and moderate-income households in North America. ACEEE reports that low-income families living in major metropolitan areas experience a median energy burden of 7.2 percent, compared to 2.3 percent of higher-income households in those areas.

Utility Dive | EIA: 700 MW of Utility-Scale Battery Capacity Installed in US
The U.S. has more than 700 MW of installed utility-scale battery capacity, accounting for roughly 0.06% of U.S. utility-scale generating capacity, according to new estimates from the U.S. EIA. But the bulk of that capacity has been installed within the last three years; and as costs decline, more utilities are turning to storage as a viable option.

Engerati | Smart Consumer Trends that Utilities Should Know About
For a start, smart energy and smart cities are having a more significant profile than previously with presentations, discussions and demonstrations led by the likes of Deloitte and Itron. According to the CTA, which runs the CES events, smart cities are “one of the most important topics at the intersection of technology and society”. In a recent study, the CTA found that smart cities could be “safer and more accessible” and have “immense benefits on the city’s economy”.

Bloomberg | Tesla's New York Gigafactory Kicks Off Solar Roof Production
Tesla Inc. has kicked off production of its long-awaited electricity-producing shingles that Elon Musk says will transform the rooftop solar industry. Manufacturing of the photovoltaic glass tiles began last month at a factory in Buffalo built with backing from New York State. It comes more than a year after Tesla unveiled the shingles to a mix of fanfare and skepticism.

SECC Member News
Energy Central | Three Strategies for Educating and Engaging Energy Consumers
You hear it from nearly all utility executives today: The energy industry is pivoting away from the outdated transactional model toward a more customer-centric future. This transformational shift has manifested itself in many ways across the country. Utilities are restructuring their organizations, implementing new consumer-facing software and improving methods of engaging with their local communities – all with the end goal of better meeting consumers’ evolving needs and wants.

Utility Dive | Xcel Solicitation Returns “Incredible” Renewable Energy, Storage Bids
An Xcel Energy resource solicitation received more than 400 individual proposals, the utility reported last month, including what may be record-low prices for renewable energy paired with energy storage. The median price bid for wind-plus-storage projects in Xcel's all-source solicitation was $21/MWh, GTM Research's Shayle Kann noted on Twitter.

Electric Light & Power | Pacific Gas & Electric Introducing New Time-of-Use Rate in April
PG&E has unveiled a new electric TOU rate that it says will make energy use more efficient, minimize peak demand challenges and give customers more rate options. Starting in April, about 150,000 residential PG&E electric customers will move into the new rate, although they have the option to choose another plan. The peak pricing will be from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day with the off-peak or lowest price in place during the other 19 hours.

Daily Energy Insider | Austin Energy Focuses on Innovative Solutions to Help City Meet Clean Energy Goals
Austin Energy is working to further strengthen its partnership with the city of Austin to advance its clean energy vision and cement its status as one of the nation’s leading smart cities. The publicly owned electric utility was recognized in December when the publication SmartCities Dive named Austin Energy “Utility of the Year” and one of the industry’s top innovators and disruptors.

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