Energy Efficiency in the News: July 2019
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- Jul 29, 2019 6:46 pm GMT
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It seems like the fireworks of Independence Day are still just an echo away, but somehow the month of July is almost over. When the calendar turns, I’m always eager to look back at the energy news of the previous month to see what stories really stuck out in the industry. Using the vibrant Energy Efficiency Group on Energy Central as a proxy, I dug back over the past calendar month to see which stories garnered the most attention, what themes popped up throughout the month, and determined where the present priorities and state of the energy efficiency industry lays:
Smart Home for Energy Efficiency
Because it’s 2019 and such a large portion of homes have Alexa, Siri, or Google Home Assistant sitting on the desk somewhere, smart home products are always going to be a hot topic. In the utility industry, smart home products are in particular looking to be well-suited to enable the transformation of how customers interact with the energy systems and the utility itself. Opening up ease of energy adjustment, engaging in demand response and/or time of use rates, and more, smart home products are bridging the gap to create a new paradigm for consumers who want to embrace the gadgets.
As evidence of how much excitement there is in this regard, smart home products were among the most popular topics submitted to the Energy Efficiency Group:
- Integrating Smart Ceiling Fans and Smart Thermostats in a Demand Response Scenario
- Over 40% of Europeans Likely to Stay With Their Utility if Equipped with AI-Driven Personalization and Tailored Energy Services
- Alexa, What Do You Have to Say About Energy Efficiency?
- Familiar Names Emerge Top Smart Home Suppliers
- Alexa, Help Me Save Energy: Utilities Have Opportunity with Smart Gadgets
Distributed Energy Resources
Taking energy efficiency out of the home and individual consumer and onto how the grid itself can become more efficient, distributed energy resources are an increasingly common solution. Whether it’s through specific generation on site (rooftop solar), small-scale generation for a town or commercial entity (perhaps wind turbines), or even resources like battery storage, demand response, and pricing signals from utilities, DERs are becoming more pervasive and the grid becoming ever flexible and connected.
Some notable stories in this regard in the past month include the following:
- Distributed Energy Resources and their Value
- Will Power Storage Incentives Be the Key to Expanding Renewables?
Additionally, if DERs are a topic near and dear to you then do take note that in August Energy Central is producing a special issue on distributed energy. Take a look at this link and answer our call for papers.
City and State Policy
Last, but surely not least, energy efficiency public policy took a large spotlight in July. While many people lament the state of federal energy policy (or lack thereof) in recent years, governments of both cities and states in the United States have been aggressive in stepping up their targets, incentive programs, and overall initiatives towards becoming more energy efficient. Recognizing the value these programs can have to save the consumers money, to enhance reliability for utilities, and the climate benefits of keeping down peak demand, some of the most notable energy efficiency policy news includes the following:
- Going Clean: Howe Energy Efficiency is Helping States Zero Out Emissions
- North Carolina Senate tables bill to expand state energy savings program
- Will New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act Save the Big Apple?
- Massachusetts bills aim to promote efficient appliances, net-zero housing
- Charlottesville program pairs housing vouchers with energy efficiency funds
- Lost in the Nuclear/Coal/Renewable Debate of Ohio H.B. 6: Gutting of Energy Efficiency Requirements
- Report Urges Government to Improve Energy Efficiency of Buildings
Are there any topics that you think haven’t gotten as much spotlight in the first part of the year but really expect to ramp up as 2019 winds down? Are you surprised by the pervasiveness of any of the above topics, and will they remain the main attractions in the energy efficiency space? Let me know in the comments below