Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has published its long term vision for the Smart Grid, which will modernize its electric infrastructure to deliver energy and cost savings to PG&E customers across Northern and Central California.
When it comes to electricity, being off the grid is a good thing. Opower reports that its home energy management software platform will help United States consumers save one terawatt hour of energy by the end of 2012, which is equal to removing 100,000 average homes off the grid for a full year.
The Environmental Defense Fund has released a framework to evaluate the effectiveness California public utilities’ plans to upgrade the state’s electricity network into a digital smart grid. The approved a roadmap last June based on the provisions of state law SB 17. It requires that utility smart grid investments help California meet its climate change, demand-side management and renewable energy goals.
On May 31st Chris King of the eMeter Corporation reported that the World Health Organization announced that talking on cell phones might increase the risk of brain cancer for some cell phone users. This news got considerable attention in headlines around the world although it is not the first time we have heard this. But although the original furore has died down, what does this new re-emergence of health fears mean for smart meters that use radio frequency (RF) technology?
A study of 750,000 households of varied demographics in six states found that Americans who receive meter data on their home energy usage—whether via smart meters or traditional analog utility meters—reduced consumption by 1.8 percent after the first year. The research, which was conducted by energy-management software company Opower and sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), followed homes enrolled in various utility programs that provided home usage data via a Web portal, text, or paper reports mailed to consumers’ homes.
A regional program established in North Carolina in 2009 designed to help universities increase energy efficiency and save money is expanding into a national effort with a mandate to curb greenhouse gas pollution in four states—Texas, Georgia, New York, and New Jersey—as well as Washington D.C. Climate Corps Public Sector, the forward thinking summer fellowship program developed by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), specially trains graduate students to seek out energy efficiency savings in local governments, higher education and other organizations.