Today's PUF

At NARUC, Tom Edison's Birthday!

Speaking of upcoming conferences, NARUC’s Winter Meeting is right around the corner. Where would you possibly want to be in mid-February instead of Washington, D.C.? Where the conversations about consumers, cost of service, climate change and decarbonization, coal retirements, commissions, interconnections, community solar, capital rates, court reviews, etc. will all be as cool as the D.C. air and the atmosphere at the U.S. Capitol.

Gratis, Gratuit, Free

If you can get there, to Charlotte, by plane, or by car, or by bus, or by boat (which could be a real challenge), then you can get by the gate for zip, zero, zilch. Because if you’re with a state utility commission, state consumer advocate office, state legislature, state governor’s office, state energy office, or a state whatever, the fee to attend Electrification 2020 giga-conference is gratis, gratuit, free.

Nominate Public Power's Leaders!

My absolute favorite part of each year’s National Conference of the American Public Power Association is the general session when they give out the individual and utility excellence awards. This year, the awards session will fall on June 9, during the 2020 National Conference in Long Beach, California.

June 9 is a great day for APPA to do this. It’s actually when solar power got its start. On June 9, 1905, Albert Einstein’s Nobel Prize-winning breakthrough on the photoelectric effect was published in Annalen der Physik.   

$3.04 Decrease

In the two years from November 2017 to November 2019, the Consumer Price Index for electricity rose 1.08 percent. While the overall CPI for all goods and services rose nearly four times as fast, 4.27 percent.

What this means, firstly, is that if the average consumer paid an electric bill of $100 in November 2017, and used the same amount of electricity in November 2019, the electric bill would have increased ever so slightly to $101.08. It would have increased by one dollar and eight cents.

Job Opportunity at Oregon PUC

The Oregon Public Utility Commission, the PUC, headquartered in Salem, Oregon and located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, is seeking an accomplished leader with excellent people management skills and solid utility policy and regulatory experience to lead the PUC’s Utility Program. Join the Oregon PUC in this exciting opportunity as the Utility Program Director, which supports the agency’s work addressing evolving regulatory and business issues affecting utility regulation and energy in the State of Oregon.

World’s Fair for Our Future

Remember going to the World’s Fair in Queens? Oh, ok, so you weren’t born yet, in 1964 and 1965.

Well, I certainly was born before then — so long ago, practically at the dawn of civilization — and went to the World’s Fair with my parents and then my friends. There were so many exhibits and activities there it was impossible to take it all in. You needed a pre-planned strategy in order to see the best stuff for you.

April 6, 7, 8, 9

EPRI coined this progression of numbers, 6 – 5 – 4 – 1, to capture in simple terms the country’s progress on cutting emissions and the path we’re on. You’ll hear a lot more about 6 – 5 – 4 – 1 on April 6, 7, 8, 9 (four more numbers to remember). That’s when you’ll be at EPRI’s ginormous Electrification 2020 mega-event in Charlotte.  

That is, if you register, which is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3. Drop in on the website and you can join three thousand or so of your closest friends in utility regulation and policy.

6 to 5 to 4 to 1

It was one of Chicago’s first great hits. Released in 1970, “25 or 6 to 4” climbed to fourth on the Billboard Hot 100. To this day this rousing brass composition remains the number one marching band song of all time.

The other day, I tinkered with the lyrics a bit. To put to music the country’s progress on cutting carbon dioxide emissions and the path we’re on, 6 gigatons in 2005 to 5 gigs now to 4 gigs in 2030 to 1 gig in 2050.

2019 Coal Under Million GWH?

EIA released data through the third quarter for grid non-renewable production of power. Notably, the power from the grid’s coal-fired plants was just about three-quarters of a million gigawatt-hours, on the nose nearly, in this year’s first three quarters.  

The grid’s coal plants produced ten percent more a quarter million gigs in last year’s fourth quarter. Assuming the fourth-quarter number will drop this year, by some amount, it shall be a close call as to whether 2019 coal output totals under or over a million gigs when all is said and done.

Wind Passes Hydro

The nation’s electric grid has always produced more of its power from hydroelectric facilities than from wind farms. In every year. Until now.

For the first time, wind is ahead of hydro, year-to-date, through the third quarter of the year.

That’s based on the latest data from the Energy Department’s Energy Info Admin. Affectionately known as EIA.