Comments by Veronique Bugnion Subscribe

On Paying Too Much for Demand Response? DC Circuit Court Throws Out FERC Rule

I was looking for a detailed explanation of the case and decision ... and now found it, thanks!

May 28, 2014    View Comment    

On Smart Meters, but Dumb Pricing? Not in Sacramento

Great post! I've been barking up this exact tree with other PUC/PSC's but the "foolishness masquerading as consumer protection" seems to prevail!

November 21, 2013    View Comment    

On Why UN Climate Talks Are Still Relevant: Report from COP 19 in Warsaw

Nice post! Glad you're still optimistic. Having been at and followed these COP's for many years, I just see lower and lower expectations ... but maybe if expectations are lowered enough, the World will actually meet them? ... only the climate will suffer

November 19, 2013    View Comment    

On My Summer Adventures in Demand Response

Hi John! Thanks for your comment, these are all good points.

The program is actually managed by OPower, and my main question after this summer is indeed how they calculate the "benchmark" the program is based off of, but your point that if it indeed is recalculted periodically, it penalizes good behavior is a very good one.

September 17, 2013    View Comment    

On My Summer Adventures in Demand Response

yes, it seems like they put their maintenance calendar a bit too close to summertime!

September 17, 2013    View Comment    

On Are Solar Panels Worth the Cost?

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for your thoughtful comment. My post wasn't meant to be "anti-solar" by any means, I'm actually a big fan, it's intent was much more to push people who have shaded lots or live in areas where trees are abundant, grow fast and water is plentiful (clearly not Phoenix!) to look at community projects rather than chop down trees.

The backstory on the image which prompted the post was that squirrels built a nest under one of the solar panels, which led to a fire. It didn't destroy the person's roof, his array or his house but prompted him to cut down the trees to avoid a recurrence ... but given what he had to chopn down, I'm not convinced he was a good candidate for solar from the beginning!

June 15, 2013    View Comment    

On Wind Energy and the Myth of Widespread Negative Pricing

I agree that negative pricing is a bit of a red herring, but I think the impact of wind in displacing other generation and hence lowering the marginal cost of power which is mentionned in the beginning of the piece is worth a follow-up. Lower marginal costs (as great as that is for consumers, don't get me wrong about that) mean that the economics of putting new renewable ressources in the ground don't look as good, especially without PTC type programs. Other types of generation might be compensated by capacity or other ancillary type payments, but wind and solar doesn't typically do very well with those. How can policy deal with that, or does that mean with we are stuck with every increasing PTC type payments or feed-in tariffs to compensate?

May 21, 2013    View Comment    

On Energy Price Volatility and the Energy Security Trust

Thanks for the post! I'd love to see a companion post on the role of correlation between markets and energy security. One benefit of the US' shale gas boom is that it has decoupled the gas market from oil, making it (and the electricity markets it drives) less sensitive to global oil market vagaries, so at least transport fuels, natural gas and electricity now don't necessarily move in the same direction at the same time.

March 29, 2013    View Comment    

On Secretary Kerry: Secure Global Agreement to Reduce Aviation Pollution

If the US believes in Boeing and the Dreamliner (which is of course grounded but remains nonetheless by far the most fuel efficient long-haul aircraft around), it should support a scheme that coves all flights, including trans-Alantic and trans-Pacific. It feels like pragmatic business interests are missing from this whole discussion?

March 22, 2013    View Comment    

On Which Costs More: A Load of Laundry or a Cup of Coffee?

Hi Adam,

The table formatting isn't the clearest, I've tried to pasted just NY below. Non-Energy Star is $1.13/load, Energy Star is $0.71 and Energy Star Most Efficient is $0.41. Or you can check out the original post at: The formatting is a little easier.

New YorkNon-EnergyStar$0.69$0.43$1.13$0.7264%Energy Star$0.44$0.27$0.71Most Efficient$0.27$0.14$0.41
March 21, 2013    View Comment    

On Which Costs More: A Load of Laundry or a Cup of Coffee?

Hi Thomas and thanks for your comment!

Some of the fine print of the post got buried in the table description, but the energy cost calculations are based on the Dept. of Energy's "Modified Energy Factor" which has three components: energy to heat the water, energy to operate the washer & energy to dry the clothes, so the drying energy is included (that is also how many front loaders get batter MEF ratings than top loaders, they spin faster, leave less water in the clothes and reduce drying energy), so drying costs are in fact included in the calculation. I probably should have added that most of the energy cost component can be eliminated by air drying clothes and washing cold ... it's much harder to reduce the water costs.

That doesn't take anyting away from your argument about the source of air for drying the clothes!

March 21, 2013    View Comment