Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 2000
Some thoughts on the battle to measure electricity consumption in real time.
How can something so simple as an electric meter bring governments, editors, and the utility industry to their knees?
According to the solar industry, a U.S. appeals court decisionand a Southern California Edison petition pending at the FERCmight put them out of business.
"If Edison were to prevail in this, it would have hugely negative implications for the solar operators."
October 1, 2000
Why do U.S. electric bills continue to climb, when other liberalized Western countries are seeing reductions?
Electric deregulation in the United States isn't slashing consumer bills the way it has in other countries. Despite continuing restructuring, the price of U.S. electricity ranked second-highest in an April survey of 14 major Western economies.
San Diego Gas & Electric turns vendor heads with its plan to install real-time meters, but the company could face heat from regulators.
This is a landmark event," says Bill Rush, a physicist at the Gas Technology Institute, and a gas industry expert on electric utility metering systems.
1 Worse, new institutions such as the California ISO seem to believe falsely that their actions will not have serious spillover effects outside their immediate jurisdictional concerns. Electric utilities in neighboring states know that they indeed are affected by Cal-ISO pricing policy and terms of service.