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Smart Grid History: The Bad, the Good, and the Revenge of the Customers

When the short history of smart grid is written someday, I predict it will include four chapters: Government industrial policy and political correctness Market rationalization of the policy mistakes Customer aggregation, choice and revenge The return to rational energy economic equilibrium In Chapter 1 we will hear all about the first phase of smart grid Read more about Smart Grid History: The Bad, the Good, and the Revenge of the Customers[…]

Can Technology Improve Natural Gas Pipeline Safety?

The natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno California is a tragic accident no one wants to see repeated.  Recently Pacific Gas & Electric reported to the California Public Utility Commission that it found a dangerous leak on a Contra Costa County gas distribution line that has never been surveyed even though such inspections are Read more about Can Technology Improve Natural Gas Pipeline Safety?[…]

How Much will Clean Energy REALLY Cost?

That is the question customers are asking as their utility rates go up to pay for the cumulative cost of the aspirations of politicians and regulators.  But until now the answer to that question was hard to get at least in California where under state law and utility regulations the costs of utility procurement of Read more about How Much will Clean Energy REALLY Cost?[…]

Smart Grid Tipping Point is Sooner than Jesse Berst Thinks

On June 1st I wrote about Android@Home in a post entitled “Who will control the Gateway to Utility Customers?”  In it I argued that the debate about smart grids, renewable energy, emissions reduction and the other issues driving the utility industry today is a distraction BECAUSE the real battle being fought is for control of Read more about Smart Grid Tipping Point is Sooner than Jesse Berst Thinks[…]

Survey Says Utilities are Losing Interest in Smart Grid

Are Utilities Getting Cold Feet over Smart Grid? Just as the torment of installation of smart meter is turning into the point of critical mass for smart meter deployment are utilities changing their minds about smart grid?  That is the question raised by the results from the Oracle Smart Grid Challenges and Choices: Part 2 Read more about Survey Says Utilities are Losing Interest in Smart Grid[…]

Smart Meter Customer Data Privacy: California Proposes New Rules

California Public Utility Commission President Michael Peevey issued a notice of proposed decision in Rulemaking 08-12-009 concerning the privacy protections expected of California’s jurisdictional investor owned utilities in the handling of customer meter and energy use data from the deployment of smart meters. The rules are needed to assure customer data privacy is protected while, Read more about Smart Meter Customer Data Privacy: California Proposes New Rules[…]

When Smart Meter Customers Eyes are Opened

Eve was walking in the Garden of Eden gathering food and came upon the serpent.  The serpent told Eve to taste the fruit from the large tree in the center of the garden, but she was afraid.  ‘God told us not to eat from that tree or we will die’ she replied.  ‘You will not Read more about When Smart Meter Customers Eyes are Opened[…]

Opt Out Cop Out

The opponents of wireless technology scored a victory of sorts in California with the action by the California Public Utilities Commission to order PG&E to serve up “options” for opting out of having a wireless smart meter.  The CPUC will consider whether the options are “reasonable” and whether customers or the Utility should pay for Read more about Opt Out Cop Out[…]

Utility Rate Hike Train Wreck Ahead?

Utility rates are going up! That was the assessment of someone who should know—North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Tom Clark and chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners speaking this week to an energy business conference in Washington DC. The reasons are not all that surprising.  They include the costs of: Replacing aging Read more about Utility Rate Hike Train Wreck Ahead?[…]

Smart Meter “Vapor Benefits”!

Anyone who has been associated with the software or technology business understands the concept of “vaporware” in which marketing geniuses promise customers a product that the engineers have yet to either build or perfect to GA “generally accepted” standards ready for release. Don’t get me wrong.  The smart meter works as designed collecting usage information Read more about Smart Meter “Vapor Benefits”![…]