Energy Exchange

With dynamic electricity pricing, more data can lead to more savings

By Kim Sha and Ben Liu, clean energy interns

Illinois’ largest utility, ComEd, is almost finished deploying advanced metering infrastructure to its customers. In fact, there are now more than 3.8 million installed smart meters in Illinois, feeding anonymized energy-use data – recorded in half-hourly kilowatt-hours – back from the grid.

How to make use of this unwieldy flood of data and enhance the efficiency of the grid? Our new paper, Modelling Marginal System Costs for the Commonwealth Edison Distribution Network, provides a framework for regulators, utilities and other researchers to begin to examine the insights provided by smart meter data, highlighting opportunities to save money for customers and utilities alike. Specifically, our study shows that under real-time electricity pricing, ComEd customers can save money not only by changing how much electricity they use, but by adjusting when they use it.

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Posted in Ohio, Time of Use / Comments are closed

In memory of Henry Henderson

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Henry Henderson, who spent years advocating for the environment as the head of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Midwest team.

Victor Rojas, Senior Manager for Financial Policy at EDF, had the good fortune to work at the Chicago Department of Environment (DOE) some years ago. Although Henry Henderson had long since moved on to the NRDC, his imprint was felt throughout the entire portfolio of environmental initiatives and projects pursued by DOE. From the groundbreaking Chicago Climate Action Plan to sustainable business and infrastructure; from energy efficiency to brownfields; from habitat preservation to environmental justice – all of them had their genesis in Henry’s tenure as the city’s first DOE Commissioner. As such, his legacy as an innovator and environmental champion remains embedded in City of Chicago environmental efforts to this day.

When EDF started working in Chicago in 2013, Henry was not only extremely welcoming, but also helpful in integrating EDF into the Midwest advocacy scene.

He will be sorely missed.

Posted in General / Comments are closed

These red and blue states are tackling climate change since Trump won't

By Keith Zukowski, Communications Project Manager

If you’ve been focused on recent reports of climate disaster, or on the Trump administration’s relentless attacks against environmental safeguards and climate science, you’re probably worrying we’re not making progress – at all.

But look a little closer, right here in the United States, and you’ll see that people aren’t waiting around. Instead of giving in to a warmer, more chaotic world, states across the country have stepped up, and into, the vacuum left by the federal government.

They’re implementing creative, innovative solutions that tackle climate change while prioritizing people, our economy and the environment. While federal policies will ultimately be necessary to fully take on climate change, these states are proving that action is both doable and good for the economy.

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Posted in California, Clean Energy, Climate, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Renewable Energy, Wyoming / Comments are closed

Comprehensive climate reporting must include methane: New report shows you how

By Kate Gaumond and Sean Wright

Just last month 13 of the world’s largest oil and gas majors—including ExxonMobil, BP and Shell —came together for a new commitment to reducing a key super pollutant. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is the second leading contributor to climate change and over 80 times more potent than carbon when leaked into the atmosphere in the short-term. What’s more surprising? The coalition’s new methane target proceeded despite an uncertain regulatory landscape in the U.S.

One of 76 recent environmental rollbacks, the Trump administration’s latest move toward undoing common-sense methane regulations is expected by the EPA’s own estimates to allow an additional 480,000 tons of methane emissions. Yet behind the scenes, pressure on industry to transparently reduce emissions is coming from an unexpected source: investors. Investors understand the material risk methane poses their portfolios and have been urging companies to act. Given the lack of current national policy leadership in the U.S., investor pressure on industry to manage climate risks like methane will likely only increase.

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Posted in Climate, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Hurricane Michael highlights urgent need for more solar opportunities in Florida

By: Jake Hiller, Sustainable Finance Manager, EDF+Biz 

Hurricane Michael, the most powerful storm to hit the Florida panhandle on record, caused loss of life and rampant destruction, flattening entire towns and leaving more than 1.3 million people without power across five southeastern states.

Rising temperatures and warmer waters are making this and other recent mega hurricanes like Florence stronger and more devastating for coastal states like Florida and the Carolinas. Unfortunately, the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report provides little encouragement and instead conveys dire warnings that unless measures such as massive new investment in clean and renewable energy occurs over the coming decade, we will have little chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, including continuously worsening hurricanes.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Florida, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

This Energy Efficiency Day, manufacturing has its moment

By: Caroline Heilbrun, EDF+Biz intern

Have you ever thought about how much energy it takes to manufacture the products you use every day?

While our nation’s refineries, factories, and plants produce some of the world’s highest quality products, the energy at work in our industrial manufacturing facilities is extremely intensive. This is due, in large part, to the inefficiencies inherent in the manufacturing process. The sparks flying from giant robotic arms along the assembly line? That is heat lost to friction. Those harmful chemicals spewing from smokestacks? They represent unused inputs. At every step of the supply chain, there is opportunity to cut waste.

On Energy Efficiency Day, October 5, we should consider the myriad benefits of acting upon those opportunities. Efficiency cost savings for the manufacturer can translate into cost savings for the consumer, higher quality products, and healthier air for people who live and work nearby. Plus, less electricity consumption means less stress on the electric grid.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Jobs, Ohio / Comments are closed