Posts by Barry Fischer

Our Thinking

Oil prices are plunging. 3 charts explain why it won’t impact power companies or the value of energy efficiency.

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The price of crude oil has plummeted in recent weeks, hitting its lowest point since 2009. Driven by a perfect storm of increased oil supply and weakened oil demand, the price drop has rattled financial markets and provoked uncertainty about where oil prices are headed in 2015.

When oil prices tumble, there are winners and losers. Among the winners are car drivers and airlines, who find it cheaper to fill their fuel tanks. Among the losers are oil-producing companies, who get fewer dollars for every barrel of crude they sell.

What about power companies? It’s tempting to think that utilities, insofar as they are key players in the energy world, might also be adversely affected by convulsions in the oil market. But that would be incorrect.

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Outlier

How much does it cost to charge an iPhone 6? A remarkably slender $0.47 per year

Many aspects of Apple’s newly released iPhone 6 line are indeed, as the company has stated, “bigger than bigger.” From screen size to sales numbers, the new devices pack a hefty punch.

But at least one thing about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is spectacularly small: their energy consumption.

Following up on our iPhone 5 analysis a couple years ago, we returned to the Opower lab to measure how much electricity it takes to charge the latest Apple devices from 0% to 100% full. Then we modeled those results across a year (see Methodology) to determine their annual energy impact and cost.

Charging the iPhone 6 costs $0.47 per year

We found that, like their predecessor, the iPhone 6 as well as the iPhone 6 Plus require a trivial amount of electricity:

Charging Costs

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Our Thinking

STAT OF THE WEEK: Los Angeles shatters its record for peak electric demand, twice

Stat of the Week

In the face of sizzling temperatures this week, the City of Angels saw its demand for electricity shoot up toward the heavens.

First, on Tuesday, near-100 degree temperatures meant a big spike in air-conditioning that catapulted LA’s total power draw to 6,196 megawatts – surpassing a previous all-time record of 6,177 megawatts set in September 2010. This level is around double the amount of electric demand experienced during a typical day in LA.

Wednesday took things a step further: in the midst of triple digit temperatures in downtown LA (high of 104°F), the LA Department of Water and Power reported peak power levels of 6,396 megawatts.

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