Dropping Utility Costs without Interrupting Service
Electricity prices have been rising over the past few years and they are expected to continue to increase by about 1 percent this year and another 2 percent in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
As a result of rising energy costs, many households are trying to find ways to reduce their utility bills.
Other than using energy-efficient products and adopting energy-saving habits, consumers can also take advantage of the money-saving programs that are offered by a number of utility companies.
Here’s a look at a few of these programs.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company helps their customers save money by offering rebates and incentives.
Customers will be eligible for rebates when they upgrade their household products to new energy-efficient products. Incentives are given to customers who undertake certain energy-saving projects, such as retrofitting and installation of energy-efficient equipment.
They have to pre-qualify with the company before they begin their projects and their incentive amounts will be based on the amounts of energy that will be saved following the completion of their projects.
Other money-saving programs that are available to customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company include Savings By Design and HVAC Quality Maintenance.
Piedmont Electric Membership Cooperation
Piedmont Electric Membership Cooperation has several programs that provide opportunities for its customers to lower their utility bills. It offers special rates to customers who make an extra effort to reduce their electrical consumption.
According to an article entitled "Planning for Utility Costs in Your Monthly Budget,” some of the measures that people can take to cut their energy use include undergoing an energy audit, using LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs, turning off unused appliances and lights and reducing the temperature setting on water heaters.
Additionally, Piedmont Electric also offers credits to customers who conserve energy during peak times and install switches for turning off air conditioners and water heaters, as well as rebates for purchasing energy-efficient products.
Baltimore Gas and Electric
Baltimore Gas and Electric created the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program to offer homeowners and business owners an array of options to save energy and money.
This program supports the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act. Homeowners can lower their utility bills by participating in the company's residential programs, such as the Smart Energy Rewards, Peak Rewards, ENERGY STAR for New Homes, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, Quick Home Energy Check-Up and Natural Gas Connection programs.
They can also get rewards by purchasing energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, lighting and appliances and recycling their refrigerators and freezers.
For business owners, Baltimore Gas and Electric offers four money saving programs; namely, the Small Business Energy Solutions, Energy Solutions for Business, Retrocommissioning and Combined Heat and Power programs.
Almost every utility company in the United States has energy-efficiency programs to help households, businesses and organizations lower their utility bills. Those who take part in these programs can save a substantial amount of money in the long run, as well as contribute to the betterment of the environment.
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.