Smart Grid versus a New Blue Mustang

When smart grid was in its infancy the toy of choice was a smart meter.  Like a stuffed animal in the crib every home had one.  Now smart grid is reaching adolescence and the toys cost more.  A lot more. The smart grid phenomenon is maturing and that is shifting the way the electric power Read more about Smart Grid versus a New Blue Mustang[…]

The Future of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response is Embedded Technology

This week Congress debated whether to overturn the rule banning the incandescent light bulb.  The bill did not get the 2/3 vote needed to advanced.  Environmental advocates cheered this ‘enlightened action’ but failed to mention that more than a majority of members voted for the bill. Does that mean the majority are rejecting energy efficiency? Read more about The Future of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response is Embedded Technology[…]

Is the Worst is Yet to Come for Smart Meters?

Smart Meters have failed to win over customers as they are rolled out by utilities, but the worst is yet to come when customers realize the real purpose of the smart meter is to substitute average cost pricing that has kept rates stable for 100 years with dynamic pricing that raises the unit price of Read more about Is the Worst is Yet to Come for Smart Meters?[…]

Is Cleantech Ignoring Energy Fundamentals?

The energy and utility landscape is changing rapidly and radically as a consequence of the recession, state mandates for renewable energy, demand response and energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.  As regulators try to implement the climate change and clean energy aspirations of politicians the opportunities presented are attracting new players bringing new technology. Read more about Is Cleantech Ignoring Energy Fundamentals?[…]

Strangling Smart Grid or Greasing the Skids: Federal Uniformity-vs-State Rights

Ever since the beginning of public utility regulation there has been tension between the role of the Federal Government and the States.  So far States have fared well in this checks and balances contest of wills.  The Federal government’s focus on interstate commerce and the wholesale market rules, regulations and safety requirements to enforce a Read more about Strangling Smart Grid or Greasing the Skids: Federal Uniformity-vs-State Rights[…]

Will Smart Grid Peak Too Soon?

Jesse Berst had an interesting post on his SmartGrid News blog saying that smart grid progress was going better than expected but was about to get worse.  It describes his recent conversation with eMeter’s Chris King about the pace of meter installations.  Jesse compares the answer from Chris with the conventional wisdom in the industry Read more about Will Smart Grid Peak Too Soon?[…]

Snap!# Crackle#*! Pop!#* Interference: Another Smart Meter Problem Hits the Fan

In a San Jose Mercury News story running on page one above the fold with large graphic to capture more attention, the San Jose mercury News reports that “common household electronics operating on the same frequency (900-928 megahertz) as PG&E’s smart meters might experience interference.” While this has not happened in my household where we Read more about Snap!# Crackle#*! Pop!#* Interference: Another Smart Meter Problem Hits the Fan[…]

What Should Pete Darbee Do to Get PG&E's Customer Service Groove Back?

I get asked why I spend so much time writing about PG&E.  The answer is my home town utility is one of the best at what it does—but being the best utility may not be enough to save the traditional investor owned utility business model as the waves of disruptive technology and the changes they Read more about What Should Pete Darbee Do to Get PG&E's Customer Service Groove Back?[…]

The Bakersfield Effect Hits Santa Cruz

The Bakersfield Effect is Spreading as Santa Cruz Opposes PG&E Smart Meters. The City of Watsonville, California banned smart meter installation last week.  It was the second community to try to stop PG&E from moving forward with the installation of this new technology following the lead of Marin County.  Now Santa Cruz County is making Read more about The Bakersfield Effect Hits Santa Cruz[…]