Tips for utilities companies to manage costs
By Adam Groff
If you think your monthly utility bill costs a fortune, just imagine how much it costs for utilities companies to produce electricity. As all-things energy related rise in price, utilities companies across the country and world are feeling the same sting consumers are experiencing.
So, with affordable electricity in mind, here are a handful of ways utilities companies can better manage costs:
With everything oil-related skyrocketing in price, the best move utilities companies can make is looking into alternative forms of energy. Simply put, fossil fuels are in short supply and when utilities companies base their energy production on a quickly depleting source, prices have nowhere to go but up.
Although wind and solar energy are great alternative energy sources, they’re generally too costly for something as large scale as a utility plant. But, a popular alternative for utilities companies is liquid petroleum (LP). By converting to LP, utilities companies save on energy production without much upfront costs.
Analog electricity meters that seem to endlessly turn day and night are actually costing utilities companies and consumers more to run due to inefficiency. But, digital smart meters allow for more accurate energy readings, which results in lower operating costs on both ends of the energy spectrum.
Aside from the efficiency factor, smart meters are also monitored remotely. What this means for utilities companies is cost reductions in the staffing department. Because smart meters don’t require on-location readouts, man-hours are drastically minimized, which results in savings for utilities companies.
Consumer Power Production
As energy technologies advance, so do the ways in which that energy is delivered. And, with the prevalence of household solar power, more and more utilities companies are encouraging their own customers to give back to the grid.
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Households that produce more solar power than they consume can revert that power back to the local grid, which results in huge savings for both the homeowner and the utilities company. So, utilities companies should seek out neighborhood power-producers and encourage them to become part of the grid.
Energy Conservation Best Practices
By informing the public on how they can do their part to conserve energy, both consumers and utilities companies win. There are a number of ways to get consumers to reduce their energy usage:
Start a Neighborhood Program – Utilities companies can campaign for energy cost reductions by starting a neighborhood energy-saving program. Energy-saving programs are a great way to inform the general public on energy costs and encourage them to cut down on their usage.
Home Tips – Advertising seasonal energy saving tips is another great way utilities companies can encourage at-home energy conservation. And, when consumers are in-the-know about how much energy is wasted with every light that’s left on and every temperature increase or decrease on the a/c thermostat, it results in savings for the homeowner and the utilities company.
Free Energy Audits – By performing free energy audits, utilities companies can give homeowners a detailed report on exactly how much energy their home is wasting as well as ways to improve their home’s energy efficiency.
By keeping in mind the information above, utilities companies can find new ways to keep costs down.
About the author: Adam Groff writes on a variety of topics including personal health, free financial software, and the environment.
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.