April 15, 2012 |
Last month Peco Energy Co. began installing the first of 1.6 million new-generation electric meters, part of a transformation that it hopes will revolutionize the way that customers communicate with the utility. The new meters, which Pennsylvania is requiring for all large electric utilities, allow for two-way wireless communication with customers, setting the stage for time-of-use pricing next year. They also will improve utilities' ability to detect and manage outages, as well as to turn on or shut off customers remotely.
October 10, 2011 |
We may not have a national energy strategy, but it's great to see small businesses trying to make a buck helping big energy users get smarter about their consumption. It's even better when one of those companies decides to move from the suburbs into the city - without a government grant or loan to induce it to do so. That's what Viridity Energy Inc. did over the summer when it left cramped offices at 100 W. Elm St., Conshohocken, for 15,000 square feet on the 27th floor of 1801 Market St., where network operations are now based.
October 28, 2009 |
Peco Energy Co. was awarded a $200 million federal stimulus grant yesterday that will allow it to speed up deployment of "smart-grid" technology, including 600,000 advanced electric meters in the next three years. The grant will allow the Philadelphia electric utility to rapidly roll out a plan to install "smart meters" that will allow customers to monitor electric prices in real time. The utility plans to convert all 1.6 million of its customers to the devices in a decade. The Peco grant was among 100 U.S. Department of Energy grants totaling $3.4 billion.
September 6, 2009 |
Those new smart meters Peco Energy Co. and other utilities will install soon are being touted as money-savers that will give customers more control over their electric bills. But for the utilities, the meters' real worth lies in the information generated, including details that some customers might prefer remained secret. Already, Peco is analyzing daily readings to spot thieves who intermittently bypass the meters and steal power. And experts looking at meter data can discern the telltale signs of illicit activity, such as a marijuana "grow house.
August 7, 2009 |
Peco Energy Co. yesterday offered its vision of the electrical grid of the future: In a few years, "smart" electric meters will be able to do much more than measure the power consumed in customers' homes. They will tell customers how much money they are spending on electricity in real time, and offer options for cutting costs. "Your air conditioner will be able to talk to your dishwasher and sequence their usage to save money," Glenn Pritchard, a Peco engineer, said as he surveyed a table of meters and thermostats at the utility's Center City headquarters.
September 29, 2008
With Pennsylvania electricity consumers facing record rate increases in the next few years, what's the state Senate doing guarding the bottom line of Peco Energy Co. and other utilities? Having delayed action for months on a House-approved energy-savings measure, the Senate last week suddenly gutted key consumer protections in the bill. Utilities will be the winners; consumers and the state's business climate the losers. The Senate approach would leave consumers even more vulnerable to looming double-digit rate increases.
September 18, 2007 |
Seeking to counter Gov. Rendell's $850 million energy plan with a less-costly version of their own, House Republicans unveiled a proposal yesterday heavy on conservation tax incentives and grants. Members of the House Republican Energy Task Force touted their "no-tax, no-borrow" plan as a way to give consumers more choice in how they conserve energy while not penalizing homeowners with additional electricity fees. They unveiled the plan on the first day of a special legislative session on energy.
September 16, 2007 |
Solar energy. Ethanol plants. Biodiesel fuel. Smart meters. For Gov. Rendell, these things have become a passion, if not a part of his potential legacy. But as the legislature prepares to convene a special fall session tomorrow on Rendell's sweeping plan for alternative-energy projects across Pennsylvania, serious questions remain about how much the governor can get past lawmakers who already have fought him on it once - to the brink of a government shutdown. Many issues still divide the two sides, with the central disagreement remaining: how much to spend and where to get the money.
July 11, 2007 |
A ray of sunlight for solar energy in Pennsylvania, a hopeful forecast for investment in other alternative sources of power, and continuing clouds over conservation. That, in a nutshell, was the outcome of last-minute negotiations between Gov. Rendell and Republican leaders over a package of proposals Rendell had touted as his "Energy Independence Strategy. " Rendell had pushed past the traditional budget deadline and helped force a daylong furlough of state workers, partly on behalf of the energy package.
November 18, 2002 |
Melanie Sellers fed quarters - one after another after another - into the new "smart" parking meter on Chestnut Street overlooking the Schuylkill. After the 11th quarter, the digital display read "3:23" for three hours and 23 minutes, which included a bit of time left from an earlier feeding. After the 12th quarter, "3:38. " After the 13th quarter, "3:38. " Sellers gave the rock-solid meter a few swift smacks of her palm. Nothing. Less than an hour later, the time was erased and the meter was flashing "Out of Order.