One of the promises of electric deregulation is supposed to be product innovation, much like breaking up telecom monopolies led to better phone service. That hasn’t panned out quite yet.
Yes, we’ve got a choice of rate plans, “green power” and plans that track natural gas prices . There are even some nifty devices out there , but they’re a far cry from the iPhone.
The energy efficiency logo for the South Somerset District Council in the U.K. Maybe Harris County needs a cool patch to convince more of us to turn off the lights?
Many are pointing to the new technologies that will follow the deployment of so-called “smart meters” (we wrote about it here, as have others).
Kentucky seemed to be going down that road earlier than some in testing it out, but there may be a problem, reports Platts:
“E.On US subsidiaries Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities on Monday asked the Kentucky Public Service Commission for permission to end a three-year time-of-day usage pilot for small commercial customers, saying the program produced “no appreciable reduction or shift in load” by participants.
“The utilities also told regulators that the program, which was open to customers with monthly demand above 250 kW, but less than 2,000 kW, has been subsidized by other customers.”
Yikes. Time-of-use billing has been touted as a key tool to giving consumers more power over their usage and, in turn, helping to manage the growth of power demand. But what’s it going to take for people to really change their habits? Is power still relatively cheap enough in the U.S. (as mentioned in this piece on NPR today) that we aren’t motivated enough to conserve?
Are those high bills really motivating you to change your habits? Have you made any investments to cut your home or small business power consumption? Tell us about it.