The traffic in Washington DC is reflective of the pace of legislative action on Capitol Hill—slow moving with little result. Yet, on March 5th, the House of Representatives passed the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014 (HR 2126) on a bipartisan vote of 375-36. Energy efficiency appears to be one topic on which Republicans and Democrats agree.
Supported by various groups including the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the US Green Buildings Council, this bill addresses the barrier to achieving increased efficiency in leased commercial, industrial, and government spaces and will encourage the use of benchmarking tools and greater transparency regarding energy use in commercial buildings. More specifically, it includes: …READ MORE
Over the last few years we have seen more and more interest in high power underground cable connections. The obvious question to ask is: will this be a trend? And if so, what are the consequences for the transmission and distribution grid? There are several reasons why underground cables are preferred to overhead lines, although in general cable connections are (much) more expensive.
The first reason is the limited space availability for new and existing substations with no possibility to expand and the necessary right of way for the transmission corridor. A second reason is the increased customer awareness of CAVE-thinking (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) opposing for various reasons, such as visual impact of transmission lines, nature preservation, and decrease of real estate property in the neighborhood of substations and transmission lines. A third reason is the increased reliability for the transmission grid. …READ MORE
Increasing energy efficiency savings goals associated with utility sponsored energy efficiency programs create an incentive for investor owned utilities to turn to customer analytics to better understand customer needs in an effort to find opportunities for deeper savings.
Stores, offices, banks, hotels, and hospitals will always need the lights and heat to come on. This causes what economists call “perfectly in-elastic demand.” In layman’s terms that means, no matter how much it costs, I still need it. Consequently, the price of power transportation services is highly regulated. As regulated monopolies, investor owned utilities (IOUs) historically faced minimal competitive pressures and had little justification for incurring costs associated with developing the well-defined customer analytical, segmentation, and marketing capabilities of retail marketing, financial services, and manufacturing firms. …READ MORE