Pioneering a Performance-Based Future for Energy Efficiency, California Utilities are Creating an Opportunity for Innovation Not to be Missed

Posted by Matt Golden on Dec 18, 2018 5:30:32 PM

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This is a guest post by Matt Golden, CEO of AEE member company OpenEE.

Energy efficiency in California is rapidly evolving. Moving toward the state’s 50% renewable portfolio standard (RPS), SB350 goals to double energy efficiency and renewable energy, and perhaps most importantly, new SB100 requirements to achieve zero carbon on the grid by 2045, it has become necessary to rethink our demand-side strategy. Achieving these lofty targets while maintaining a balanced, stable, and affordable grid will take all the distributed energy resources we can get, including a massive increase in demand flexibility from energy efficiency, electrification, and controls. 

New solicitations for energy efficiency services from California’s investor-owned utilities point the way toward a future of performance-based capture of energy savings when and where they matter, driven by innovation in the marketplace. Energy efficiency providers should see this as an opportunity – and there’s no time to waste. 

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Topics: Guest Post, California Engagement, 21st Century Electricity System

Addendum to ‘EVs 101’: What Every Regulator Needs to Know About Car Buyers

Posted by Anne Arquit Niederberger on Sep 26, 2018 9:16:54 AM

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Screenshot of ConEd Cars, the New York utility's car-choice comparison tool. 

This is a guest post from AEE member company Enervee.

As noted by AEE in its new issue brief, EVs 101, the evolution of transportation will depend to a large extent on the choices of consumers. This may seem self-evident, but the consumer perspective can easily get lost in the high-stakes discussions surrounding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure – what’s needed where and when, who should provide it, and how to pay for it. But when it comes to cars, consumers are king – and the overwhelming majority believe that their energy provider should help them understand the benefits of EVs over conventional vehicles. That’s something regulators should capitalize on as they prepare to grow the market for EVs.

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Topics: Guest Post, Advanced Transportation

In Pennsylvania, Legislature and Public Utility Commission Pave the Way to Innovative Ratemaking

Posted by Eric Miller on Jul 11, 2018 12:41:31 PM

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Photo by njtrout_2000, used under a Creative Commons license

This is a guest post from Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, AEE’s state partner in Pennsylvania. For more information on AEE’s State Coalition, click here.

In recent years, many states have grappled with the challenge of balancing the interests of regulated energy utilities to earn revenue by selling power with the public policy goal of reducing energy consumption.  To meet this challenge, more than 30 states in the U.S. have successfully used innovative utility rates, termed “alternative ratemaking,” to better align utility financial incentives with the public policy goal of increasing energy efficiency and distributed energy resources. Research by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy shows that states with alternative ratemaking policies achieve 50% higher savings from their energy efficiency programs.  Following two recent actions, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now poised to take advantage of these tools as well.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Guest Post, 21st Century Electricity System, Highlights

Decision on Smart Meter Texas Will Help Customers and Advanced Energy Providers Put Data to Work

Posted by Suzanne Bertin on May 15, 2018 3:45:58 PM

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This is a guest post by Suzanne L. Bertin, Executive Director, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, an AEE state partner. To learn more about TAEBA, click here. To learn more about AEE’s nationwide coalition of state and regional partners, click here.

Last week, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) approved a settlement agreement regarding improvements to the Smart Meter Texas (SMT) portal, with a diverse group of stakeholders, including Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) signing on to the agreement. These changes will make it easier for customers in much of Texas to have advanced energy companies provide services such as energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation, and other energy-related software products and services – and fulfill the promise of smart meters, and the granular data they generate.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Guest Post, Regulatory, Highlights

What Can Utility Demand-Side Management Programs Do to Engage Today's Customers? Go Omni-Channel

Posted by Crawford Frazer on Mar 5, 2018 1:00:00 PM

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This is a guest post from AEE member company Simple Energy

The landscape of demand-side management programs is rapidly shifting because of unparalleled changes in the way products are used and sold. Customers demand convenience and the ability to purchase or enroll in a matter of seconds and in the channel they prefer. Utility legacy practices are often disconnected from these new consumer needs. Modern customers want instant gratification, not a mail-in rebate form and a weeks-long wait to receive a response. When online portals bounce them to third-party websites to complete a purchase, they often give up altogether. How can utilities give customers the money-saving offers they want, when they want them, and in the channel they prefer?

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Topics: Guest Post