Electric

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Even as some foretell a coming future of smart parking—part of a broader ongoing evolution toward intelligent transportation systems (ITS)—a third-party-driven revolution in parking (and its pricing) is already here.

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Imagine if, instead of just my home shifting its AC, my entire community shifted its AC demand to off-peak hours, and what that could mean for the carbon intensity and electricity generation costs of my local grid.

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Most of us in America would argue that affordable and reliable energy access is a basic life necessity, possibly even a basic human right. However, JD Power & Associates recently reported that only 3% of consumers are actually reviewing their energy usage ...

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Wired magazine calls America’s power grid the largest machine ever built. Over the past few decades, this grid has been expanded throughout the country to ensure that even remote areas have electricity. Although this is an incredible accomplishment, the grid should also strive to keep pace with the latest technological advances, becoming not just the largest machine ever built, but also a more efficient and resilient one.

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Do your friends and neighbors tell you that they get “green” power for their home, leaving you wondering: “How can the juice coming from their outlets really be different from my electricity?” Read on to find whether that’s the case and how green power really works!

Utility Breakup

Like many relationships, the one between utilities and their customers can be complicated. Sure, they’ve been together for decades, but no longer are customers satisfied with a distant, disengaged power company selling them more and more megawatts.
As the utility business model evolves into one based on diverse energy services, utilities must find ways to prioritize and improve their customer relationships if they hope to thrive in the new energy economy.

Honeywell Smart Thermostat

Summer is around the corner, and heat waves are known to stretch the power grid to its limits. To avoid the risk of blackouts, grid operators like to have a contingent of electricity consumers that are willing to curtail their usage at the right time … for the right price. This is the motivation behind utility demand response programs. Last year, ClearlyEnergy began tracking these programs to see how much you could earn by making your air conditioner available to the utility on hot summer days.

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Competition from new players will drive innovation in the changing electric utility market.
The blogosphere is abuzz with plans to create a new electric utility business model, one that reduces energy costs and pollution. The power company of the future, many experts say, will feature new electricity rate structures that reward efficiency, finance and integrate local, on-site power generation (like rooftop solar), and put more smart meters in the system to help us better understand and control our energy use.

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Back in January when Google announced it would spend $3.2 billion to purchase Nest, EDF knew this was a company to watch. The results of three new reports, released today, confirm that controllable thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat are both customer-friendly and useful for energy system planners. Moreover, the reports signal that smart devices, such as those Nest manufactures, have potential for generating marked savings for utility customers.

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For several years now, the media story has been that fracking’s success increased the supply of natural gas dramatically, bringing down prices. Which in turn begs the question: why is my gas and electric bill skyrocketing and will it go down with the Spring thaw?

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