Load Aggregation: The Wolf at the Door?

Load Aggregation:

The Wolf at the Door?

Of course, there's nothing to stop a utility from aggregating its own customers.

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS LOAD "AGGREGATION?" Is it a threat, an opportunity, or merely a sales tactic?

Actions taken in California, as well as in pilot programs across the country, place customer aggregation on the leading edge of efforts to pull native load from electric utilities.

Ironically, present-day utilities already "aggregate" their customers (em albeit into a single group.

Deregulating Retail Energy Services: First and Subsequent Steps

One popular model in electric utility restructuring assumes a fully competitive merchant segment providing retail energy services. These "retail energy service companies," or RESCOs, would offer services described as heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, drive power, information, and communications.

Energy Service Companies: No More Mr. Niche Guy

The larger companies are winning more business. But how will

they fit into a restructured industry?

Put 45 energy service companies (ESCos) into a $1-billion market, and they easily average over $20 million each. That's almost four dozen companies exploiting a niche an eighth the size of the microprocessor industry.

So it's easy to understand why new ESCos, half with utility roots, enter the fray weekly.

Recovering Local Distribution Costs

In electric power, telecommunications, water, and natural gas, the costs of local distribution make up a significant share of the cost of providing services. For any network or system, the cost of distribution facilities is largely or entirely independent on usage; i.e., such costs are largely invariant to the number of phone calls, kilowatts, British thermal units (BTUs), or gallons that customers use.