Energy Efficiency

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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.

Claire Dooley Blog 0

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 ...

Portland General Smart Grid Image

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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Homeowners in Australia and the United States take opposite approaches. Here are the pros and cons of each.

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.

256px Nest Diamond Thermostat

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.

Bad Bathroom Habits

It is the subject no one wants to bring up: bathroom habits. Not what you might think, we are talking about how you use energy and water in the bathroom! It turns out, what you do in the bathroom makes a huge difference not only on your water and energy consumption, but also on the size of your utility bills.

Elec Grid

For years, low-cost solar-plus-battery systems were seen as a distant possibility at best, a fringe technology not likely to be a threat to mainstream electricity delivery any time soon. By far, the limiting factor has been battery costs. But thanks to a confluence of factors playing out across the energy industry, the reality is that affordable battery storage is coming much sooner than most people realize. That approaching day of cheaper battery storage, when combined with solar PV, has the potential to fundamentally alter the electricity landscape.

Cabin

Ever thought of building your own energy efficient cabin ... for $11,000? Prior to moving to Colorado this past summer to work at RMI, one staffer did just that and shares his thoughts on passive solar design, thermally massive materials, solar panels and wood cook stoves.

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