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Building Genome Project: Retroficiency Takes a City-Wide Approach to Efficiency

If more than 30,000 commercial buildings in New York City adjusted their thermostats just one degree upward in summer and one degree lower in winter, the savings would add up to $145 million dollars annually.That finding is just one of the insights...

Posted April 17, 2014    

German Demand Response: Almost Ready for Prime Time

When the wind blows and the sun shines in Germany, electricity prices in the country plummet. Natural gas peaker plants are not needed, as the peaks are erased and they cannot compete with renewables.But the grid still needs a whole lot of balancing...

Posted April 16, 2014    

FirstEnergy CEO: Renewables 'Sound Good' but Should Take Backseat to Coal

FirstEnergy CEO Anthony Alexander traveled to Washington, D.C. this week to speak in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the challenges his utility is facing.With electricity use flatlining and renewable energy eroding margins for...

Posted April 13, 2014    

Solar Energy Jumps to 22% of New US Generation Capacity in 2013

Natural gas was the clear winner in capacity additions for electric utilities in 2013, but grid-scale solar was the clear runner up, providing about 22 percent of new generating capacity.Solar's contribution is up significantly from 2012, when it...

Posted April 10, 2014    

Water Utility Turns to DR and Efficiency to Save $500M Annually

From high rises in Los Angeles to 7-Elevens in New York City, enterprises are looking for ways around high utility demand charges during peak times of electricity usage.  But for water utilities, especially in California, it’s difficult to...

Posted April 8, 2014    

Demand Response Value Isn't Just About Capacity, Study Finds

For years, demand response has been increasing its role on the grid, starting out as a method for emergency load relief and evolving into an always-available ancillary services resource.It's well known that the use of load shifting can often be more...

Posted April 6, 2014    

9 Ways to Get Stakeholders to Care About Energy Efficiency

In Houston, some firehouses have been known to leave a desk lamp shining on the thermostat to keep the air conditioning humming as the firefighters are out for hours responding to calls. When they return, they understandably want a semi-arctic...

Posted April 4, 2014    

Europe Mothballs 20GW of Gas Plants in 2013, With More to Come

Ten of Europe’s largest utilities planned to mothball or close more than 20 gigawatts of combined-cycle gas turbine power plants from 2012 to 2013.Nearly half of the capacity, 8.8 gigawatts, was built or acquired in the past decade, according to a...

Posted April 1, 2014    

New Orleans' Peak-Time Rebate a Strong Draw for Low-Income Customers

No matter how much customer engagement is talked about, many utilities seem to have trouble effectively interacting with their residential customers, and even more so with low-income customers.But the results from one pilot funded by the U.S....

Posted March 28, 2014    

Efficiency, Not Just the Recession, Drove US Energy Savings Since 2007

The growth of electricity use has been falling for decades, but it will likely flatten out in coming years to an annual growth rate of less than 2 percent.The decline is due to many factors, from changing weather and economic recessions to the wider...

Posted March 24, 2014    

Charts: The Evolution of US Microgrid Adoption

Microgrids are the topic du jour in grid modernization, but there is far more talk than action. Most of the activity today is happening at universities and military installations, but cities are poised to take a larger role in coming years,...

Posted March 19, 2014    

5 Issues That Keep Utility Execs Up at Night

Two recent surveys of power and utility executives reinforce previous research showing that the industry knows that a transformation is coming. But dig a little deeper into the findings, and there is a disparity of opinion in what that change looks...

Posted March 17, 2014