Category: Rate Analysis

June 7, 2011 • Current Events, Electricity

A change in the African landscape

by Hannah Miller

With election season nigh upon us, it’s pretty common to open up the news and see a handful of issues that only get pulled out a few times a year. Suddenly, they are dusted off and take center stage in the public debate. Financial concerns, moral and legal issues, and of course energy debates will be a part of this year’s election coverage – and it’s not hard to understand why. Small changes in any of these arenas can bring about big change in public life. continue

May 24, 2011 • Current Events, Electricity, Natural Gas, Perspectives

Cozying up to the fox?

by Brandon Dickerson

Eight months after the San Bruno, Calif., natural gas pipeline explosion killed eight people, injured dozens and left 55 homes uninhabitable, I still run across articles nearly every day regarding the ongoing investigation of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and what could have been done to avoid this tragedy. While most of these articles place an understandable and significant amount of blame on the utility, there have been a few that turn some of that blame to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). continue

May 19, 2011 • Electricity

Oh, the irreverent tanning salon…

by Ann Barczak

Tanorexia - silent killer.

I was making Easter dinner when I remembered that I forgot to buy butter.  Real butter.  Contrary to the belief of my sons, real butter is not the stuff that sits in a tub and never changes shape.  I have to have real butter on holidays.

The grocery store was closed, so I made my way to an open drugstore hoping they might have what I needed. I noticed the tanning salon was open next door.   Easter… Fourth of July… Festivus… nuclear holocaust… nothing could close the irreverent tanning salon.

Tanning salons are a lot like traffic court. You never know what you might run into. I think my favorite experience at the tanning salon would have to be the young mom who couldn’t understand why she couldn’t take her baby into the booth with her. I’ll save my traffic court stories for another post. continue

March 7, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Perspectives

What are Smart Meters?

by Brandon Dickerson

With the recent event on Jeopardy in which Watson the computer decimated its human competitors, I thought it would be fun to start today’s post with a Jeopardy question:

Answer: This rhyming term refers to a utility employee who looks at electric, gas, or water consumption and records the volume used. continue

January 7, 2011 • Electricity, Energy Efficiency

Demand Response…for my home!

by Brandon Dickerson

Over the course of my two years learning the regulated side of the energy industry, I have spent a great deal of time attempting to perfect the art of utilities management. Part of my job is to know a utility’s tariff inside out and have a detailed understanding of the various rates and programs offered to its customers. Through this endeavor, I have come across a multitude of demand response programs, each unique in how they benefit customers (or put customers at risk). As with most things, the programs that offer the most potential savings are also the ones that offer the most risk. continue

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