The Green Button project is a public and private partnership that may be the future of energy consumption data. Backed by the White House, the program features software that allows energy data to be collected to help document the way we use energy.
The Green Button data is collected from utilities that have agreed to participate in the program, which, to date, includes 35 utilities that cover 36 million meters.
The energy consumption data is made available in a standard format to its owners, which includes consumers and businesses. The great thing is that the information remains private, so users only see the information that is relevant to them.
“Inclusion of energy production data would be a natural evolution, particularly as we move to a more transitive energy market with the technologies to produce electricity as well as consume it. The initiative is off to a great start, a significant amount of future value is yet to be exploited.”
A recent report from the U.S. Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) highlights the new utility interest in solar power.
Every year, SEPA ranks utilities across the nation in terms of how much solar energy they have incorporated into their user base.
“Together, the top 10 account for 73 percent of all of the solar capacity that was installed in 2012.” New utilities on the list are from states such as North Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio.
Rounding out the top utilities list includes the Arizona Public Service (123), NV Energy (102 MW), Jersey Central Power & Light (98 MW), and Tucson Electric Power Co (73 MW).
The full report will be released next month.
Source: Renewable Energy World
By Gaylen Davenport
The Laclede Group has reached an agreement to purchase Missouri Gas Energy for just over $1 billion.
The Laclede Group, which owns the natural gas utility, reached an agreement with Southern Union, the parent company of Missouri Gas, and also includes the sale of Southern’s New England Gas Co.
The natural gas utility serves nearly 600,000 customers in Kansas City and western Missouri.
Source: Kansas City Star
America is in the middle of a natural gas boom. Prices for shale gas have lowered, and the nation has so much natural gas that electric utilities have curbed rate increases and switched more capacity to gas from coal.
“Companies and municipalities are deploying thousands of new gas-powered trucks and buses, curbing noxious diesel fumes and reducing the nation’s reliance on imported oil.”
Commercial and residential consumers alike are switching to natural gas as a less expensive means of heating.
The entire article is worth a read, and helps explain how natural gas comes from the depths of the earth, and into buildings and cars.
Source: New York Times
Rebates and tax incentives helped this Kansas City warehouse update their lighting to save on costs and monthly utilities.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are more prevalent in lighting retrofits, especially as many companies are looking to their utilities to provide rebates. The rebates offer a large energy savings that takes reduces upfront costs.
“Utilities across the country show limited prescriptive rebate support for LED lighting,” found a report by Groom Energy and GTM research. And the number keeps growing.
In fact, four years ago, there was about $3.1 billion in total U.S. rebate dollars. And the numbers are expected to more than double in coming years, from $7.4 billion to $12.4 billion available in 2020.
There’s no coincidence that the LED market is growing as well. LEDs are one of the fastest growing light replacements to traditional fluorescent lights and offer a higher energy efficiency. It’s no wonder that the increased utility funds will help push LEDs into the commercial and industrial mainstream.
Source: Green Tech Media
While a plunge in the price of natural gas makes it cheaper for utilities to produce electricity, the electricity rates aren’t lowering for customers. Instead, U.S. electricity prices are going up, and expected to rise during this summer.
Analysts at the Department of Energy attribute the rising electricity prices to several factors:
“In many states, retail electricity rates are set by regulators every few years. As a result, lower power costs haven’t yet made their way to customers.
Utilities often lock in their costs for natural gas and other fuels years in advance. That helps protect customers when fuel prices spike, but it prevents customers from reaping the benefits of a price drop.
The cost of actually delivering electricity (40% of a customer’s bill, on average) has been rising fast.”
The average electricity price is expected to rise up 2.4 percent from the same time last year. For the full year, electricity prices are expected to rise 2 percent.
For businesses in commercial buildings, the costs are sure to increase. Retrofitting your lighting system today is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce electric bills, and many businesses are getting with the program.
If it’s time for your company to start saving money, schedule a facility review with us today.
Source: Associated Press