September 11: NB Power to Roll Out 360,000 Smart Meters

September 11

NB Power to Roll Out 360,000 Smart Meters

Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.

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The New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board in Canada has approved NB Power’s smart meter project. The state regulator found in its 38-page decision that the application presented a positive business case and “is satisfied that the project is prudent and that it is in the public interest”. An earlier application submitted in 2017 was denied on the basis of the business case presented. NB Power proposes in the project to replace approximately 360,000 residential and commercial meters with smart meters.

The electrification of space and water heating is a key component of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector in Illinois. A new analysis from Elevate Energy and Rocky Mountain Institute shows that improvements in electric heat pump technology and progress in decarbonizing the electricity grid provide an effective pathway to meeting Illinois climate goals. Last summer, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed an executive order committing to cut carbon emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Duke Energy’s options for reaching net-zero carbon by midcentury will look a lot different than those being pursued by utilities in the sun-soaked Western U.S., or the wind-rich Great Plains, or even those sharing the same Atlantic coastline. That’s a key point that Glen Snider, Director of Integrated Resource Planning and Analytics, wants to make about Duke’s 2020 integrated resource plan for its Carolinas utilities. Duke’s new IRP presents six very different pathways toward greening its energy mix over the next 15 years.

A new report from Berkeley Lab provides a step-by-step process that regulators, policymakers and utilities can follow to help ensure a pilot is successful, even if whatever is being tested fails to produce the intended or expected results. The process highlighted in the report is based on the experience of the authors who have worked with regulators and utilities over the past 10 years designing, implementing and evaluating pilots.

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Industry News

Consumers rely on labels and scores to understand the attributes and performance of the products they buy. There are miles-per-gallon ratings for cars, nutrition labels for food and Energy Star ratings for appliances. But when it comes to the energy efficiency of their biggest investment — buying or renting a home — Americans are largely on their own. Many U.S. consumers take on mortgages without knowing how much energy a home uses, consigning themselves to needlessly high future utility bills.

The U.S. saw 168 MW of energy storage deployed in Q2 2020, the industry's second-largest deployment behind Q4 2019, according to a new report. COVID-19 triggered a slowdown in commercial and industrial installations, but residential growth remains strong in California and Hawaii as a result of incentives and resiliency programs. Utility-scale installations are expected to drive continued growth through the next several years as falling prices make renewables-plus-storage increasingly cost competitive.

Thanks to a smart grid automated power restoration network put in place in 2015, PPL Electric Utilities of Pennsylvania reports that it has helped avoid more than one million customer outages. “This is a milestone born of innovation and imagination, one we believe has no equal in the U.S. utility industry,” Greg Dudkin, PPL Electric Utilities President, said. “It represents our commitment to using technology to benefit our customers and to providing superior reliability.”

The U.S. solar market registered pandemic-related pain in the second quarter of 2020, as expected, after logging its highest first quarter of growth ever at the outset of the year. Residential solar installations dropped by nearly 25 percent from Q1 to Q2 2020, according to the most recent data from Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The April to June period was the first quarter that overlapped entirely with the coronavirus pandemic.


September 11: NB Power to Roll Out 360,000 Smart Meters