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Risks Faced by Power Utility Companies

By Grid Capacity No Comments
Original Source: Risks Faced by Power Utility Companies | Energy Central Unprecedented transformation and rising threats are a top focus for power and utilities. Meanwhile, the cleaner energy transition poses unique opportunities to move the industry forward. Leaders know that taking a panoramic view of risk is no longer nice to have. It’s a must. Power utility companies are facing significant risks due to the latest technologies available. The advancements in technologies have led to a change in the power generation and distribution system, and thus, power utility companies must adapt to these changes to stay relevant in the industry.…
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Record High Electricity Prices Not Enough to Increase Consumer Awareness of Sustainability Initiatives

By Cost No Comments
Original Source: Record-high electricity prices fail to boost residential energy management programs: JD Power | Utility Dive Utilities Intelligence Report March 2023 Electricity bills in the United States rose 13.1% on average in 2022, higher than the overall rate of inflation. Concurrent with this trend, utilities have introduced aggressive carbon reduction goals and sustainability initiatives that rely on customers reducing their energy consumption through a combination of time-of-use rates, energy-saving appliance rebate programs and more. In fact, 81% of electric utility customers are now served by a utility with a stated carbon reduction target. Despite this decade-long push to change…
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Managing Utility Bills with Automation and Information

By Energy Rant No Comments
Another week and we have two more dire warning shots of forecast blackouts this summer. These come from The Wall Street Journal and describe challenges from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region to California. Michigan’s Palisades Nuclear Generating Station shut down permanently on May 20th taking out 6.5% (800 MW) of the state’s electricity supply (gulp). The Journal notes it is part of Michigan’s transition to all renewable energy. They also write that it was slated for closure for five years, but Governor Whitmer waited to throw a last-minute Hail Mary just one month before closure to the federal…
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Performance Programs, Ouija Boards, and Mark Twain

By Energy Rant No Comments
I could not compete with my former self and Gene Simons from last week, but I went back to the Gallup psychoanalysis barrel for more inspiration. I don’t want to write about myself unless it helps you understand why I’m so, uh, peculiar. Like Mr. Simons, I’m an insatiable consumer of information, maybe not books so much – although I’m sure I broke personal records since the Covid – but digital publications, interviews, conference papers, and journals. The psychoanalysis says, “It’s very likely that you rely, to some extent, on your passion for reading to help you launch conversations. Engaging…
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Gene Simmons

Performance-Based Programs; Do You Have the Delusion?

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Employees at Michaels get a free psych-x profile (it’s not my area of expertise) to determine personal strengths through Gallup. My top strength is “context,” which means I’m a historian. What does this mean? I observe history, including my mistakes, others’ mistakes, and continuously analyze human nature. For example, I watched a webinar last week on how to be a “rock star” of success. You’ve heard of others called a “rock star,” right? “Rock star” made lists of overused terms years ago. The presenter said, (paraphrasing) “it doesn’t matter whether the person is a customer, supervisor, owner, or employee; all…
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Cah Tawk

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Sustainability 2 Comments
This week’s feature presentation is one of my favorites for saving energy: automobiles.  Let’s take this recent post from Fuel Fix and dive right in. The first one I read is “make sure your gas cap is broken or missing.”  That’s right.  You can save 3 cents per gallon if it is broken or missing.  I think they need some proofreading.  I suggest using a well-oiled and fully functional gas cap.  Where they get the 3 cents per gallon savings, I have no idea.  That’s like saying a 20 minute power walk will reduce the energy content of a milkshake…
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Facility Management, Taliban Style

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Investments 2 Comments
Possibly the greatest thing about energy efficiency is there is no limit to learning. In what other occupation can engineers work with social scientists, urban planners, economists and 16th century Mongolian art majors?  Last week I attended a presentation by Christopher Russell, energy efficiency and finance swami, or is it guru?  The higher ranking one.  Or maybe I should just call him Colonel Russell. His presentation started with the tale of two college campus facility managers, Doug and Dave as I recall, with names changed to protect the guilty.  I’ll call them Dick and Harry for double protection. It doesn’t…
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Monty and Me

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Sustainability One Comment
Back in August I wrote about our “non-energy policy” and that our federal administrations since Nixon have vowed to reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, especially from hostile regions - and exactly the opposite has occurred.  We are better positioned to control our energy destiny right now, for decades, more so than any time in my life. Technology for tapping conventional fossil fuels has vastly outstripped and expanded the gap between inexpensive fossil fuel supply and alternative energy sources.  Unfortunately or fortunately, this is reality.  Two major energy sources being tapped of course include natural gas from shale…
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No Policy?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Utility Stuff No Comments
As administrations and congresses come and go, one thing remains the same: “there is no clear energy policy”, and “we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil”.  Neither one is ever addressed. First, what the heck is a clear energy policy anyway and are we sure we want one?  When the government messes with any market, the result is always negative for consumers and in some cases bordering on catastrophe.  The only exception I see is utilities, which lend themselves to monopolistic efficiency.  You may need to lie down after that head-spinning oxymoron.  But seriously, in order to have…
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Machete to Sustainability

By Sustainability No Comments
This Geography guy really needs to get out of the classroom and the city for that matter once in a while.  Modern agriculture is probably demagogued and more poorly understood than energy efficiency, and since this opinion piece addresses both I will dispense with its shredding. I grew up on the farm 30 years ago in southern MN and northern IA, and I stay in touch spending a week each year reliving my childhood farming days.  My elder brothers still run the place.  They grow maybe 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans and raise and market maybe 25,000 hogs per…
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