Duke Energy leads the Southeast on energy efficiency

Duke Energy Carolinas has reached the 1% energy savings benchmark in 2016, a nationally recognized indicator of success in providing customers with energy efficiency programs. Congratulations to all the staff at Duke Energy for that achievement! Since we last reported utility energy efficiency savings in 2014, we have seen some remarkably good as well as [...]

Will energy efficiency be bigger than rooftop solar in the Southeast?

It’s easy to spot a solar home, but efficient homes are well camouflaged. So its no surprise that media and public opinion are focused on solar, particularly rooftop solar. But for our electric companies – and the many people who pay attention to them – a good question to ask is what will be the [...]

Glasgow EPB’s “mystery hour” rate gets a reboot

Glasgow Electric Power Board (EPB), one of the Tennessee Valley Authority‘s member utilities, has established a reputation of being a thoughtful and forward-looking company. For nearly two decades, Glasgow EPB has been a leader in the deployment of smart grid technologies and practices. For example, in 2007, Glasgow EPB began installing fiber-based broadband to all [...]

Scapegoating Rooftop Solar

With the defeat of the utility-sponsored anti-solar Amendment 1 in Florida, we are wondering what the utilities’ next step will be. Will they engage with stakeholders to put more sun into the Sunshine State? If they don’t – we can expect more scapegoating of rooftop solar. The technical foundation was recently laid out in a [...]

Delivering low-cost renewable energy to the Southeast

Wind resources from western Oklahoma and Texas – where the Clean Line and Pattern Energy transmission line projects will source wind – are being marketed at prices around $20-30 per MWh. That’s comparable to the price of operating a modern natural gas power plant, making wind not only cost-effective but a guaranteed low-cost electricity source for decades in the future.

Would you put your hand in a pot of boiling water?

What happens when temperature doesn’t change very rapidly? People can be unaware of a 8 ºF change in temperature as long as it occurs over at least 8-10 minutes.

Is PURPA really driving solar in North Carolina?

So under NC-REPS, avoided costs are recovered in one tariff (a legal document that connects cost recovery to customer bills) and the remaining revenues needed for renewable energy are recovered in another tariff. So regardless of whether the project is contracted under PURPA or not, the costs have to be split up into two buckets, PURPA and “all the rest.” It is literally extra work for everyone involved to NOT use the PURPA rate in North Carolina.

Colorado shows path forward on renewable energy

From Colorado to the Southeast? A major settlement on vexing renewable energy issues has just been announced in Colorado that has important implications for the Southeast. On August 15, a major settlement was announced between Xcel Energy, the staff of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, and numerous businesses and associations in Xcel Energy’s rate case. [...]

Seriously, utilities, buy wind NOW (yes, this year)

Really, it is time to buy wind energy. This is very simple. Wind costs less than running natural gas power plants. Keep the power plants. Use them, we’re not saying they aren’t needed. But it is cheaper to buy power from wind projects than to run your power plant full-out. Look at this amazing forecast [...]

How much solar and wind will Georgia utility regulators allow?

Our followers on social media think the answer should be “as much as possible,” but in our brief SACE argues in favor of a cap of 2,500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, likely to be mainly solar and wind. Georgia Power has proposed only 525 MW, and other parties have signaled interest in 1,200 MW or 2,000 MW. What’s remarkable about this “debate” is that everyone involved agrees that whatever the number, Georgia Power customers will end up saving money as these projects will cost less than the projected cost of generating power. This approach to developing renewable energy has been led by Commissioner Bubba McDonald.