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utility industry Archives - Michaels Energy

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Soaked to Crisp Threats and 100% Renewable Energy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I attended the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference, IEPEC, which I had affectionately dubbed the Energy Program Evaluation Asylum, EPEA, six years ago. Back then, I called it the Asylum because it included annual scrums over subjects such as net-to-gross (NTG) studies, free ridership, and so on. The Family Feud is Dead You’ll never believe this, but the industry seems to have moved on. The only time I heard “NTG” was during the opening-night entertainment exercise – a gameshow wannabee modeled after the Family Feud. “One hundred evaluators were surveyed. The top six answers are on the board....
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The Kilowatt-Hour is Dead, Eh?

By Energy Rant One Comment
The subject line is a response to a recent article in Public Utilities Fortnightly, written by Mark Gabriel, the Administrator and CEO of the Western Area Power Administration. Mr. Gabriel[1] discusses what he sees coming for the utility industry. I am sure he is far more qualified to predict the future than I am, but I can provide my Lilliputian commentary in response to his projections. I may be playing a little loose with Mark’s article, but he seems to indicate the utility industry is on the verge of upheaval. He states the stalwart concerns of utilities, including the strength...
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Powering Lives at Lowest, Convenient Cost

By Energy Rant No Comments
I spent last week at the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) National Conference in New Orleans. Our industry is in transition once again. Substantial changes are on the horizon. Let’s recap some highlights and lowlights in the utility and demand side management industries the past few decades. As nuclear power was going to be too cheap to meter in the 1970s, the oil embargo, Jimmy Carter sweater speech, and the Three Mile Island nuclear accident resulted in a radically different direction for our energy future. On the heels of the above, and the global cooling threat (check out the...
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Electric Utility Meet Amazon.com; Legislators Wake Up

By Energy Rant One Comment
This post, and the next couple, were spawned by an article written by John Hargrove in the latest edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly. The article’s title is, Utilities Can Do More to Partner with Customers. There may even be a follow-up to this article a few months from now. Wink. Wink. Anyone interested in this blog knows big changes are happening in the electric utility industry. For instance, I could write a series of posts on each of the following: State and federal subsidies are loading the grid with micro to utility-scale distributed energy resources, namely wind and solar photovoltaic...
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Grid Power Generation – Stories Untold

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Most of you reading this owe your lives to the phenomenon described in this post. Therefore, it is worth understanding precisely how grid power is generated, and what it looks like. And of course, you will not find this anywhere else. Rant topics are inspired by reader comments. At AESP National, a young gentleman approached me to say the Rant provides good information that is easy to understand and read. He referenced a Greentech Media Energy Gang podcast, which explained as much. At the ~50 minute mark of the podcast, they explain that learning how things work, and being able...
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Low Electricity Prices – Impacts and Longevity

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
As I’m sitting here reading about topics including electricity prices, electric cars, and utility innovation in Public Utilities Fortnightly, it occurs to me: why are so many organizations and companies in the utility industry named after Edison when the electric car company is named after Tesla? This makes no sense, whatsoever. Edison was the vehement direct current[1] advocate, and Tesla was the alternating current[2] advocate. They were fierce rivals. But the car uses Edison’s direct current, while the utilities, of course, produce and deliver Tesla’s alternating current. I can only conclude that Edison was a better marketer, but I’ll bet...
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And the 2017 Oscar Goes to… AESP!

By Energy Rant One Comment
Happy New Year! I am launching 2017 with this positive, upbeat Rant (my apologies to all my Oscar the Grouch fans). I have a go / no-go test for our company’s involvement with organizations: if we are going to be members of something, we are going to participate in, benefit from, and contribute more than money to the organization. Otherwise, it is indeed a waste of money. The Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) is an organization I’ve been involved with since 2010. That was the year I attended the big shindig, the National Conference, for the first time. Since...
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Guest Rant – Marketing Gone Wrong…and Right

By Energy Rant No Comments
Guest blog alert! Kristin Laursen and Teri Lutz here, filling in for Jeff while he relaxes somewhere in the middle of Iowa, sipping martinis and riding tractors (for real, we couldn’t make this up). So if you disagree with anything in this Rant, you’ll have to wait until Jeff returns and take it up with him. ;) A common frustration in the utility industry, or any industry for that matter, is “why aren’t we hitting our targets?” In our industry, those targets can include any number of things, from customer interactions, to program participation, to impacts, and many things in...
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Utility Industry Disruption? Electricity is not a Movie

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 3 Comments
[vc_single_image image="10046" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] Because everyone reading this blog is in some way reliant on money from electric and/or gas utilities, I pay a lot of attention to the utility business and things like technological disruption and the utility death spiral.  I wrote about the utility death spiral back in April.  As a result of this fine article in greentechgrid, I’d like to bloviate about ballyhooed disruption. Disruption is an updated buzzword for “game changer”.  Prime example: Netflix to Blockbuster Video, Au Revoir. Greentechgrid notes a bunch of examples, and I have taken liberty to enhance the list by tabulating...
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New Years Collage

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Sustainability, Utility Stuff No Comments
I’ve corralled a mishmash of rather preposterous short stories for the year end rant.  This will be historic so be sure to pass it on to your enemies. Case 1 comes from Engineered Systems Magazine or ES Magazine.  I was catching up on my stack of trade magazines over Christmas weekend (is this sick or what? – but it can be about as entertaining as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).  September’s “Case in Point”  features an energy-saving project for Bangor Maine’s Discovery Museum, delivered by Honeywell.  An audit was followed by implementation of cost-effective measures.  The audit was completed in 2008...
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