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Fortnightly Magazine - April 2009

Paying for the Green Grid

Subsidies might not be the best solution for interconnecting renewables.

Jonathan Schneider

Supporters of renewable energy are seeking to socialize the cost of a new interstate highway system for transporting green power. But utilities and transmission owners will build or finance new transmission systems to serve economic demands. Policy makers shouldn’t pre-ordain the direction of industry progress.

Real-Time Control

Engaging customers will require more than TOU pricing.

Lester B. Lave

Imagine a setback thermostat programmed at the factory that the consumer couldn’t modify. Who would want this device? You could give the customer a big enough discount to get her to accept the device, but she would be happier and you could save about as much energy if the customer could decide on the temperature and time settings.

People (April 2009)

DPL Inc. promoted Daniel McCabe to chief administrative officer and senior v.p., from senior v.p. Ameren Corp. announced that Thomas R. Voss will succeed Gary L. Rainwater as president and CEO effective May 1, with Rainwater remaining in the role of executive chairman. Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) announced that Joseph M. Rigby is president and CEO. And others...

Letters to the Editor

Commissioner Rick Morgan of the Public Service Commission for the District of Columbia based his article, “Rethinking ‘Dumb’ Rates”, on the faulty premise that there is a consensus, either in the regulatory community or electric industry, or both, trending toward the immediate adoption of smart meters and dynamic rates and, worse yet, that such change should be embraced now just ‘cause it is today’s pretty amazing new stuff.

The Efficiency Mandate: Stimulating Energy Efficiency

NARUC decries conditions on states for federal grants.

Lori A. Burkhart

Utilities are leaving no stone unturned in their search for ways to save electricity. Federal incentives will support new technologies and projects, but can those incentives overcome structural barriers that stand in the way of major efficiency improvements? Fortnightly's editors explore challenges and opportunities arising from the new efficiency mandate.

The Efficiency Mandate: Storage Goes Mainstream

New business models make energy storage attractive.

Michael T. Burr

Utilities are leaving no stone unturned in their search for ways to save electricity. Federal incentives will support new technologies and projects, but can those incentives overcome structural barriers that stand in the way of major efficiency improvements? editors explore challenges and opportunities arising from the new efficiency mandate.

The Efficiency Mandate: Net-Zero Neighborhoods

Utilities explore the potential of zero-energy homes.

Steven Andersen

Utilities are leaving no stone unturned in their search for ways to save electricity. Federal incentives will support new technologies and projects, but can those incentives overcome structural barriers that stand in the way of major efficiency improvements? editors explore challenges and opportunities arising from the new efficiency mandate.

Green with Envy

Efficiency products will proliferate, for better or worse.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Recently an acquaintance of mine, who shall remain nameless, gave a diamond engagement ring to his girlfriend. She joyfully accepted the ring. But soon her joy turned to disgust when she learned that her lovely “diamond” actually was a cubic zirconium. Last I heard, she’d broken off the engagement and was dating her ex-fiancé’s former boss.

Saving Depreciation Accounting

Avoiding ‘earnings management’ requires transparency in reporting standards.

John S. Ferguson

The SEC is taking steps toward substituting International Financial Reporting Standards for U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Having certainty surrounding existing utility asset and depreciation accounting practices enhances the ability to use financial statements to accurately depict the results of operations and financial status of reporting entities.

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