Energy Efficiency Solutions
Natasha Vidangos is director of research at the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders with a mission to promote energy productivity worldwide, including through energy efficiency.
It's not news that power systems across the United States are experiencing an upheaval. With the greater deployment of energy efficiency, renewable energy and distributed resources, as well as different usage patterns and customer demands, today's grid is struggling to perform to our expectations.
Transitioning to a more modern electrical grid will require changes to the pricing structures used by electric utilities, moving beyond the traditional two-part rate with its roots in the nineteenth century.
However, adapting today's rates to tomorrow's needs is no simple matter. Every community will need to assess, customize and fine-tune specific rate elements to their needs, local policy priorities, and historical context. But as more communities across the United States are starting down this path, it is a powerful moment for an open and creative discussion about the options.
To seek insights from the broad community of stakeholders and search for areas of consensus, the Alliance to Save Energy convened the Rate Design Initiative (RDI). This included more than fifty participants across the spectrum of technology companies, industry associations, advocacy organizations, regional partnerships, think tanks, and utilities.