In 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred 43 miles east of Japan – the world’s fifth most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Along with actually shifting the Earth on its axis by an estimated 4 to 10 inches, the earthquake triggered tsunami waves of up to 133 feet, traveling 6 miles inland and caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the largest nuclear incident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
As it turns out, this calamity also affected HEMS – Home Energy Management Systems.
Josh Craft, Manager of Public Policy Analysis
This summer, we’ve seen the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states continue tackle the major themes outlined at last month’s NEEP Summit in Newport: modernizing the electric grid, de-carbonizing the electric sector, and managing electric-gas infrastructure constraints in New England.
As you can see, policymakers did not shy away from strong action in June and July — whether it was the EPA releasing its Clean Power Plan, or states like New York and Massachusetts moving key proceeding on grid modernization forward. And the New England governors are still pressing for investment in new gas pipeline capacity, though plans are yet to be fully developed This in spite of the upcoming fall elections, where eight states and the District of Columbia will hold gubernatorial (or mayoral) contests in November.
Posted in Best Practices, NEEP Policy Highlights, Uncategorized
Tagged Clean Power Plan, Demand Response, Distributed Service Platform Providers, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Protection Agency, grid modernization, Incremental Gas for Electricity Reliability, natural gas, NESCOE, oil heat efficiency, Public Policy, Reforming Energy Vision
You can practically hear the hand-wringing. New England is increasingly dependent on natural gas for electricity generation, and in a long cold winter such as we’ve just experienced, heating need puts a squeeze on this energy feedstock, causing wholesale prices to skyrocket.
Figure 1: Electric Pricing Rising with Natural Gas Prices. Source: ISO-New England
Spring has brought forth a rush of activity on energy efficiency and energy policy in states in the NEEP region. Below is an overview of a major proceeding in New York, a roundup of state legislative and regulatory activity, and a new report on the cost of energy efficiency programs.
New York Energy the Future of Utilities, Distributed Resources
New York State has opened a major proceeding on the future of energy regulation and the electricity grid, entitled Reforming the Energy Vision, or “REV.” The sweeping April 2014 order and proposal issued by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) will have major implications for the future of energy efficiency, distributed generation, and electric ratemaking in the Empire State and perhaps beyond. PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman said in a statement that New York seeks to “maximize the utilization of resources, and reduce the need for new infrastructure through expanded demand management, energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed generation, and energy storage programs.” At its core is an attempt to promote more customer-sided resources, including energy efficiency and distributed generation in order to reduce the costs of meeting New York’s peak electricity demand and the state’s carbon emissions.
Birud Jhaveri, Deputy Commissioner of Energy Policy & Assurance, Mass. Department of Energy
This past winter, in my position at DOER, I watched wholesale gas and electricity prices spike to alarming levels. Demand was immense, and we at DOER worked closely with generators to ensure they had enough fuel to keep the lights on. New England faces a real challenge in meeting the continuing growth in peak electricity demand, reducing financial impacts, solving reliability problems and meeting environmental mandates. The situation is exacerbated as more and more of the Commonwealth’s electric generation comes from natural gas, even while we face increasingly constrained gas supplies in winter.
It happens to the best of us..
We’ve all attended events that brandish flashy titles and pithy tag-lines that turn out to be a few experts taking turns projecting their esoteric insights and aptitudes onto an audience that, in large part, are not in the right frame of mind to effectively accept and/or digest that information.
It’s not that what’s being said isn’t important or intelligent; it’s just that there seems to be an element missing from the delivery of the information which is absolutely crucial when connecting to the audience more often than every tenth word.
Certain amounts of novelty, variability, and excitement are necessary ingredients in order to translate inspired words into inspired listening.
Thanks to E Source for contributing some of their insights on commercial LED applications. Take it away Beth!
As LED lighting becomes more popular, a wide range of larger commercial industries can benefit from the significant energy savings potential from this promising technology. Energy research firm E Source works with utilities to help them evaluate a variety of programs including how best to serve these large commercial customers with LED lighting programs. Recently, we received this question from a member:
Q: Could you recommend types of pathway lights and ground lighting that would be best for a zoo in terms of energy efficiency and lighting?
“Do Not Disturb..”
In terms of energy efficiency and light quality for pathway lights and other ground lighting at a zoo, there are several important issues to consider like time-sensitive controls and color temperature related to animal sleep patterns. Overall, LEDs seem to be a popular option for energy-efficient lighting retrofits in zoos because of their long life, effectiveness in cutting costs over that life-time, and vastly improved quality of light for visitors and the animals.
Efficiency Vermont has added another piece to their ‘Energy Efficiency as an Investment’ repertoire. This infographic clarifies one of the most apparent benefits of energy efficiency, the ROI tends to be high!
As we’ve noted before, energy efficiency is a solid investment. New lighting, equipment, and processes all have upfront costs that are paid off over time through reduced energy bills. So, what kind of return do large businesses in Vermont see for their investment in energy efficiency? The graphic below shows a healthy return of 167% - even after taking their contributions to the energy efficiency charge into account.
It’s 4:15 A.M. It’s dark and well below freezing in Boston as I sleepily make my way to Logan for a 7am flight. I board the plane, lift-off, and in a few short hours I land in the overcast, gem of a city that is Austin, Texas. As I exit the terminal, a smile takes over my face as the warm Texas air is such a welcome relief from the bitter cold of the Northeast. I board the bus from the airport ($1.50 to drop me off 2 blocks from my hotel—what a steal!), and I can’t help but get excited about the days to come at the Smart Energy Summit.
Look at all those savings!
You know what we need? An app to help manage the weather! Does that exist? No? Well, even if I can’t dial up the heat-waves emitted from the sun, I can manage the temperature of my home, along with all other electricity-consuming devices, remotely. This burgeoning technology referred to as Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) has enormous savings potential that lays wait in a barnacle-covered, sunken chest, just waiting to be pulled to the surface!