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Peas and Carrots – AMI and Electrification

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week we looked at the value of advanced metering infrastructure made possible by interval meter readings at least every hour. This opens the door to many forms of demand response, including time-of-use rates, demand rates, and interruptible rates. These three can be summarized using airlines as an example: Time-of-use rates: it is very costly to book the first flight Monday morning to Los Angeles, as I just learned. The reason – business people don’t want to leave Sunday night, and they can have some part of their work day remaining after spending three hours in the air and another...
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AMI – Good for Consumers; Good for Utilities

By Energy Rant No Comments
AMI, or advanced metering infrastructure, is rolling out across the land. This opens the door to a lot of cool things, including time of use rates, and it is a great enabler of electrification technologies. I’ve heard from utility executives or people involved with some portion of demand-side management departments within utilities that smart meters are a waste of money. Wow. They are going to be standing at the depot while the electrification train is barreling forward. I will save that topic for another day. Stay tuned. For background, here is a primer on AMI and here is a discussion...
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I’ll Take Smart Grid for $200, Alex – What is AMI?

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Last week, in a moment of weakness, I was on my Pinterest board (is that what it’s called?), when I came upon this excellent tip sheet from a marketing blog[1]. I noted that the “emotional” alternatives to the “intellectual,” bloated phrases were simpler with fewer syllables and easier to read. On the same day, I was studying the benefits and costs of “advanced metering infrastructure,” aka, “smart grid.” Do you see a problem with our industry here? Name something with grotesquely puffy language, and then tag it with an incomprehensible acronym, rather than using a simpler term like, oh, smart...
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Business Triangles

Investing in Utilities

By Energy Rant No Comments
Most readers have likely seen the business triangle: cheap, fast, good [or accurate]; pick two. My first emotional reaction to the triangle was that it was something a lazy bum[1] would say. However, as a geezer, I think the law is valid for consulting. I will explain this in a future post. For utilities, it would be something else; maybe cheap, constant, yes. Those are the price, time, and quality attributes of utility delivery. For utilities, the term “constant” represents reliability. The term “yes” represents quality or accuracy. In this case, 60 Hertz and the applicable constant voltage. I explained...
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