Tag Archives: electric utilities

time of use rates

Understanding time-of-use (TOU) rates

Across the country, utilities are beginning to introduce innovative rate structures for residential energy consumers. These rate structures–from time-of-use rates to demand charges to real-time-pricing–all have a common goal: to incentivize customers to consume energy during times when the cost of generating electricity is cheap, and to disincentive energy consumption when the cost of generating electricity is high. As a result, understanding the ins and outs of a time-of-use rate can help you reduce your monthly cost of energy.

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utility energy storage demand response program

Utility energy storage pilot programs: what you need to know

As the costs of solar batteries continue to decline, more and more homeowners are adding energy storage to their solar installations: in California, for instance, one in every twenty solar installations now also includes a solar battery. As utilities become more familiar with the benefits of distributed solar + storage on the grid, from added operational flexibility to decreased electricity demand, several utilities in the Northeast are now offering large incentives for home energy storage pilot programs. 

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Schneider Energy Center

Schneider Energy Center review

The modern home is a smart home, with everything from voice activated speakers to thermostats you can control from your home. But to truly be “smart” about your own home, you need to have insight into–and control over–more than just the color of your desk lamp. Enter smart panels: the new technology that’s taking home energy insights and the solar-plus industry to the next level. One such smart panel is Schneider Electric’s Square D Energy Center. We sat down with the team at Schneider to learn more about their brand new product.

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span smart panel

The Span Smart Panel complete review

Just about every home has an electrical panel–it’s the metal box in your basement that you have to fiddle with every time you overload a surge protector or your lights aren’t working for some weird reason. Span is a company looking to modernize this ancient but essential technology with their Smart Panel: an industry-changing energy management product. 

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utility energy storage

Why utilities want you to have a battery

Although utilities and the solar industry haven’t always had the most positive relationship across the country, there’s one distributed technology that utilities have been very quick to embrace: energy storage. When installed at a home or business, energy storage systems provide myriad benefits to both the owner of the system, as well as to the electricity grid as a whole. As a result, many utilities throughout the country are now actively encouraging the adoption of energy storage systems. Here are just a few of the reasons that utilities want you to have a battery. 

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how electric meters work

How do electric meters work?

Unless you live in an off-grid home, you have an electric meter. Your electric meter tells your utility how much electricity you’ve used over a given time period so that they know how much to charge you on your monthly bill. There are a few different types of electric meters, all of which function in slightly different ways, including net meters that work for solar homes. In this article, we’ll break down the different types of meters, how they work, and why you should care what kind of electric meter you have. 

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