Skip to main content
Tag

utilities

The Power Grid’s Glide Path to Reckoning

By Energy Rant No Comments
“The U.S. electrical system is becoming less dependable. The problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.” – The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2022. I can take down another one of my seven predictions for 2022. Some numbers from the WSJ: in 2000, there were fewer than two dozen major disruptions. In 2020 there were more than 180. Customers experienced over eight hours of disruption (on average) in 2020, more than double the number in 2013 when the government began tracking this metric. The Journal reports several reasons for the rickety grid. The Markets’ Disincentives for Reliability...
Read More
Climate Resistance Blog Post Image

Climate Resilience – Flood, Fire, Ice

By Energy Rant No Comments
A reader last week asked, “What kind of home can withstand fire, hurricanes, floods, heat domes, and polar vortex?” This is a great question. I love the challenge, so here we go[1]. Flooding and Landslides Think ahead and ask yourself, “what if” before or even after buying a property. For example, my first home was built to suit my engineering brain. It is wonderful for heating with a wood stove and is very practical; it is not huge and can be expanded with nice amenities for a family. It is built on the side of a bluff in the great...
Read More
Wild Energy Ride

Next Up: A Wild Energy Ride

By Energy Rant One Comment
It has been a frothy year for the energy industry, and it will continue well into next year and beyond. How far? Heh heh. Let’s start with coal. After plummeting 30% in 2020, consumption bounced back, gaining 35% in 2021. Doing the math, that doesn’t quite get coal back to 2019 consumption. Coal plants are still closing at a breakneck pace, so consumption in the United States is bound to decline in the long haul, but will load balancers and utilities be able to keep the lights on in 2030? This is a concern to me because no source of...
Read More
ham

PBR Me, and Spare the Ham

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week we explored the mélange of combinations of energy efficiency portfolio administration, delivery, and evaluation among stakeholders, including public utilities’ commissions, utilities, for-profit and non-profit administrators, and program implementers. No two states are alike. This week we will discuss a few more things from the article in Public Utilities Fortnightly, Top Performing States in Energy Efficiency. Impact of Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) States have everything from carrots, sticks, both, or neither for meeting efficiency goals. Some states have energy efficiency resource standards. The map below, courtesy of ACEEE, shows recent EERS across the fruited plain. An EERS “is...
Read More
pay for performance

THE Successful Model for Pay for Performance

By Energy Rant No Comments
Livin' it Up in Hotel California I’ve written about pay for performance (P4P) programs no less than six times in this blog. I’ll start with a recap of those posts and move the ball forward once again. We’re well within field goal range! In Tooling Pay for Performance, I wrote that energy models and dashboards with regression models showing savings performance or lack thereof provide the following Leatherman-like benefits. It provides leverage with visual evidence, so customer stakeholders do more and climb higher. It’s a vise-grip to maintain what was accomplished. It’s a hammer to “persuade” folks. It’s a screwdriver...
Read More
energy industry predictions

Soothsayer Says: Eight Predictions for the Energy Industry

By Energy Rant No Comments
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing now. That quasi-cliché is why I have never had a New Year’s resolution, and I’m not going to start in 2021, but I can review the past and forecast (guess) the future. Soothsaying is part of my job, and I’m at least as accurate as next week’s weather forecast. At the start of 2020, we had just reorganized, defined who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Sounds simple, right? What is your personal purpose? What do you value? What makes you tick? Keeping it concise is very hard. Our...
Read More
ouiji board

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...
Read More
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[1] 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...
Read More
electric

Electricity – Breakpoints, Tipping Points and Imagination

By Energy Rant One Comment
The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article last week – it would be fascinating if it weren’t sadly true. The title: Everyone Hates Customer Service. It is a perfect addition to my continuation of last week’s post regarding innovation with electric utilities. Are Electric Utilities in for a Taxi Ride? Tales of Customer Service Last week during a raging thunderstorm, I was in the pickup-window line at Walgreens. It’s a pickup window, not a chat room. Every time, the cars ahead of me take at least five minutes each. What are they talking about up there? The baseball trade...
Read More
utilities

Are Electric Utilities in for a Taxi Ride?

By Energy Rant No Comments
I spent part of last week at the Smart Electric Power Alliance’s Grid Evolution Summit. In my notes I wrote, SEPA is out of the closet. They are full-throated in support of decarbonization of the grid. A carbon-free grid brings a limitless stream of what-ifs. This post features a few of those. Regulated Vertical Markets In regulated, vertically-integrated electricity markets, utilities drive decarbonization in collaboration with stakeholders across the board – cities, communities, industry, landowners, consumer advocates, regulators, legislators, and economic development authorities. I realized from Summit presentations that some utilities do better than others managing and lining up all...
Read More