Can regulated rates be designed to mimic competition?

Rather than attempting to “mimic competition,” Giberson suggested simply “to allow competition.” Cost-of-service rate regulation cannot be designed to mimic competition. If you want competitive results, then allow competition. At least that was my claim reported in a Megawatt Daily story, “Texas wires rate study draws mixed reactions.” (From Monday, June 27, 2106; articles are not … More Can regulated rates be designed to mimic competition?

Dallas Morning News on competitive retail power market fees and rate designs in Texas

At the Dallas Morning News James Osborne reports on the controversy over minimum use fees in the competitive retail power market that includes most Texas households. As discussed here at Knowledge Problem last week, retail suppliers sometimes design contract offers to be especially cheap for consumers using 1000 kWh per month. The state’s powertochoose.org website … More Dallas Morning News on competitive retail power market fees and rate designs in Texas

Gaming the rankings on the Texas Power to Choose website

To help provide consumer information on competitive retail offers in the Texas electric power market, the Public Utility Commission of Texas maintains a website at http://www.powertochoose.org. Enter your zip code, click a button, and it will display the top ten (out of nearly 300) offers. Because the table shows the lowest priced offers first, with the average … More Gaming the rankings on the Texas Power to Choose website

Nest learning thermostat featured in Reliant’s Learn & Conserve Plan

Michael Giberson The Nest smart thermostat made a bit of a splash when it was released (and countersplash from other energy equipment makers who said they offered similar features, and counter-countersplash from folks who said “sure, but not that worked so well for consumers,” etc., etc. We talked about Nest here, here, here and here.). … More Nest learning thermostat featured in Reliant’s Learn & Conserve Plan

In dreams begin responsibilities: European electric grid expansion version

Michael Giberson Today ten companies announce “Friends of the Supergrid,” a group dedicated to promoting policy support for a massive power grid to link offshore wind resource areas to European power markets. The project would also enhance the ability to trade power between regions. The group complements the “North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative” announced … More In dreams begin responsibilities: European electric grid expansion version

Smart meter benefits for low-income consumers

Michael Giberson Much of the smart grid promise (and hype) implicitly suggests that the benefits will be scooped up by high-income consumers.  Who else is going to be buying “grid aware” washer-dryer sets with built in wi-fi connectivity integrated into internet-linked home energy managements system? Still, the benefits won’t be limited to big spenders hoping … More Smart meter benefits for low-income consumers