Meanings, Myths, Measures
Fortnightly Magazine - February 2024
I have been thinking about persistent myths of affordability. Such as that electric bills in isolation can be unaffordable. Another myth is that low-income households have high electric bills. Many households are unquestionably under great and growing stress. If we aspire to make a difference for them, we ought to better target who they are and reach for the tools in our collective toolboxes at utilities and in utility regulation that can really help.
Very fortunately, there are alternative tools available to electric utilities and utility regulation that are more focused on the economic plight of these households with greater potential to make a difference for them.
This article addresses tomorrow’s electric affordability. To evaluate the affordability of electric bills for residential customers, quantitatively, we must do a little math. The core idea here is to show the link between the investment necessary to advance the energy transformation and the effect on a household’s electric bills via the mechanisms of utility regulation.
“Undergrounding is one of our key mitigations to make a safe and reliable electrical system, and it’s a very important permanent risk reduction measure for us.”
“We already announced that we’re reducing our electricity rates in 2024. Residential customer rates were reduced 11% on the 1st of January, and our commercial and industrial rates are dropping up to 18%, so that’s helpful.”
“I don’t have an idea of exactly what the solution should be or what I think the outcome is going to be. But we’re going to have an outcome. We will. We’ll have something that will be a solution set, which is where this group of 14 people believe that this is going to solve these problems.”
Significance of Workforce Diversity
“The ability to communicate with diverse communities is critical for the success of programs aligned with state policy objectives, particularly those targeted at low-to-moderate-income customers.”
A Cost-Effective Solution for Utilities and Regulators
“Utilities and regulators should pay closer attention to the reliability tool with the lowest barrier to entry, and the speediest implementation today: demand response.”
Preparing for a Clean Energy Future
“EPRI, an independent, nonprofit energy research and development organization, owns and operates three world-class laboratories to evaluate new applications, technologies, and devices to conduct research across the energy spectrum, assisting stakeholders in addressing challenges and opportunities as part of the clean energy transition.”
Efficiency via Tech
“By optimizing power factor, reducing system losses, and lowering peak current, Powerhouse brings about a comprehensive improvement in the facility’s electrical system. This improvement is not just in terms of efficiency but also in safety and operational reliability.”