May 2nd, 2013
Utilities looking for timely, interesting and relevant analysis about solar integration have a new resource: Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has launched its new Utility Solar Blog .
To kick things off, SEPA’s Research Director Mike Taylor discusses an interesting trend behind the 2012 Utility Solar Rankings awards that were announced on April 16th at SEPA’s Utility Solar Conference. The story compares megawatts to other metrics to get a more a accurate picture of growth in the solar market.
SEPA will be updating posts monthly, so bookmark it and check back at the end of May for more.
May 2nd, 2013
The Loup River Public Power District, a wholesale customer of Nebraska Public Power District , built its 35-mile long Loup Canal, two powerhouses, a diversion dam and other facilities in 1933, bringing jobs and electricity to rural Nebraska.
The utility is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013 as the first public power district in the nation’s only all-public power state. The National Register of Historic Places lists the Loup hydroelectric system, which is being relicensed this year. Loup is also a founding member of the American Public Power Association.
Loup River Power District’s story is related in a new Public Power magazine article, “An Economic Engine.” The article will be published in June in the magazine’s print edition. Source: Public Power Daily, 4/26/13
April 19th, 2013
May 21, noon CDT
Go beyond weatherization kits and compact fluorescent light bulbs!
Too often, utility programs to help low-income customers begin and end with the tried-and-true measures. The Clean Energy Ambassadors free Lunchtime webinar for May highlights innovative energy-efficiency programs that can really make a difference on your low-income customers’ utility bills.
Join your utility colleagues online the third Tuesday of each month from 12-1 p.m. Central time. The Lunchtime Webinar Series offers candid, informal discussions that address the needs of consumer-owned power providers and their rate payers. Visit Clean Energy Ambassadors to register for this free event and to see the full line-up of CEA services and events. If you have any questions please contact Anthony Cutler at 406-969-1040.
April 1st, 2013
Cybersecurity is an issue that is on everyone’s mind today, so utilities and grid operators may be interested in a new software program that enables them to assess their cybersecurity capabilities. The Electricity Subsector Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (ES-C2M2) includes a cybersecurity self-evaluation survey tool, which looks at situational awareness, along with threat and vulnerability management, to allow a utility an internal option for the cybersecurity discussion. Utilities can also use ES-C2M2′s series of gradual assessments in platform areas to build a complete picture for prioritizing future cybersecurity actions and investments.
The Energy Department (DOE) developed the model in a public/private partnership formed in 2011, and launched the first version in May 2012. The White House approached DOE with a challenge to develop capabilities to manage dynamic threats and understand grid cybersecurity. The objectives for the model development included the desire to strengthen cybersecurity capabilities, along with the need to enable consistent evaluation and benchmarking, share knowledge and benefits and help prioritize actions and investments.
More than 77 utilities—cooperatives, international, investor-owned utilities, public power and regional transmission organizations—have downloaded ES-C2M2′s assessment tool. The DOE went on-site with 17 industry volunteers to walk through the model, using feedback from them to make changes in the next version. Comments have led to additional maturity indicator levels, performance metrics and measurement and informative materials.
DOE developed the model specifically for the electricity industry with Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Carnegie Mellon University and industry stakeholders. Utilities can download ES-C2M2 or contact DOE for more information. If you decide to explore this tool to improve your cybersecurity, don’t forget to share what you learn with Energy Services. Source: energybiz, 3/20/13
March 28th, 2013
The Emerging Technologies Showcase series continues with the free webinar, Advanced Lighting Control Systems.
With scheduling, dimming, occupancy sensing, demand response capabilities and more, these systems can capture big energy savings for commercial customers, especially large key accounts. This webinar explores a few of these systems – how they work, their benefits and drawbacks and recent case studies.
Register today to reserve your place.
The next Showcase, on Tuesday, April 30, will cover the National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio. This collaborative tool identifies new energy-efficient products and services still in the research phase that need to be tested and verified before they can be introduced into the marketplace.
Sponsored by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) with support from Western, the Emerging Technologies Showcase webinars present the latest information about some promising energy-efficiency technologies and practices that BPA is considering for future research opportunities or focus areas.
All webinars are recorded, and available online .
March 28th, 2013
Clean Energy Ambassadors (CEA) Lunchtime Webinar Series continues with a free webinar on designing demand-side management (DSM) programs that succeed.
Figuring out what makes a DSM program work can be tricky, to say the least. Different, and sometimes competing interests must be balanced: What goals does the utility have for the program? What do your customers want? What do they need? Learn secrets from utilities that have cracked the code to create innovative and award-winning programs.
Clean Energy Ambassadors presents the webinar series noon to 1 p.m. Central time (11 a.m. to noon Mountain) on the third Tuesday of the month. The webinars are designed to help utilities save money and better serve their customers. Presentations focus on the needs of consumer-owned utilities; and feature specific, candid and informal discussion. Register for this free webinar and check out the full line-up of CEA services and events. If you have any questions, please contact Anthony Cutler at 406-969-1040.
March 22nd, 2013
The difficult task of explaining load management to someone outside the utility industry is one you have to tackle if your utility plans to market a peak-shaving, demand response program to customers. A recent article in Energy Pulse , by Energy Consultant Sarah Battaglia of Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc. , makes it a little easier. Battaglia’s list of Top 10 questions about demand response programs speaks to the customer’s concerns, but utilities should pay attention to her answers.
Demand response is a tried-and-true measure to most utility professionals but your customers may not be familiar with it. Before large key accounts enroll in a program, they need to understand how the strategy helps the utility—and helps them—including how their businesses might be affected by brownouts or blackouts. They will want to know when and how often events occur, who will notify the company and how, what kind of hardware they need and who pays for it and installs it. Member services representatives should be prepared to offer customers different ways to curtail their energy use based on the type of business.
Utility programs are more likely to succeed when you look at your services through the customers’ eyes and treat them like partners, rather than passive receivers. This article provides insight into the business owners’ point of view and can help program managers be ready with straightforward explanations that will earn the customer’s participation and trust.
March 13th, 2013
The American Public Power Association (APPA) is asking utility professionals to help them design the program for the 2013 Customer Connections Conference . The annual event is coming up November 3 to 6, at the Hilton Hotel and Executive Tower in downtown Portland, Ore.
Share your ideas for what you’d like to see on the program by filling out a survey by Wednesday, March 20.
The Customer Connections Conference offers informational sessions and roundtable discussions for public power utility professionals in the areas of:
- Customer services
- Economic development
- Energy services
- Key accounts
- Public communications
Your suggestions for session topics and speakers will help the planning committee create a program that is relevant and valuable for APPA member utilities. If you have thoughts or suggestions not covered in the official survey, or would rather provide your input directly, please email APPA.
March 6th, 2013
Western congratulates Southeast Electric Cooperative for earning the Community Service Award-Youth Division from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Earlier this year, the Montana cooperative helped to coach a team of students from Carter County, Mont., to victory in America’s Home Energy Education Challenge .
Karen Kreitel and Marlene Waterland of Southeast Electric Cooperative with NRECA CEO Glenn English and NRECA President Mike Guidry. (Photo by Southeast Electric Cooperative)
The national student competition encourages students and their families to start saving money by saving energy. The judges, who are science teachers, evaluated entries based on the inclusion of multiple schools, student participation, energy savings and a final report. At least 94 schools and 120,000 students participated nationwide.
In June, Energy Services Bulletin reported on the Carter County School District’s triumph in the competition. Southeast Member Services Representative Marlene Waterland worked with five schools in the co-op’s territory to help them with their energy saving plans. Educational displays she borrowed from Western’s Equipment Loan Program helped to demonstrate concepts about energy use to third- through eighth-graders.
The Carter County team – Alzada Elementary School, Carter County High School, Ekalaka Elementary School (K-8th grade), Hammond School (K-8th grade) and Hawks Home School – won the national competition by successfully reducing their home energy use by 3.4 percent. Montana Electric Cooperatives Inc. submitted that program to NRECA for national consideration.
Waterland accepted the award at the 12th annual TechAdvantage Expo Feb. 20. NRECA CEO Glenn English praised the small rural utility, noting, ”Southeast Electric Cooperative has shown what it means to be a cooperative by engaging with the community – from age 5 on up – and finding new ways to improve the quality of life for their consumer members.”