Post tagged with "summer"

Our Thinking

The electricity grid has enough capacity today — but don’t stop thinking about tomorrow

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • July 7, 2014

Summer peak demand can put tremendous strain on the electricity grid. But, according to a recent report, the U.S. and Canada are prepared to meet this summer’s demand.

In June, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) found that both the U.S. and Canada have sufficient reserve margins — a measure of available generating capacity over and above the capacity needed to meet normal peak demand — to reliably serve the country’s electric demand this summer.

In aggregate, U.S. electric demand is expected to peak at about 853,000 MW, which is about the same as last summer. In total, about one million megawatts of capacity exists to meet the expected demand. Below is a map (courtesy of the Energy Information Administration) with reserve margin estimates and targets for summer 2014; in all regions, the estimated reserve margins for summer 2014 are equal to or greater than the target levels.

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America’s most unpopular way of saving energy…is one of Europe’s favorites

  • By Barry Fischer and Nate Kaufman
  • July 31, 2013

Last week, we drew upon 2.7 million survey responses in Opower’s energy data storehouse to reveal America’s most popular ways to lower household utility bills in summer.

Popularity is, of course, a contest. And while every contest has its winners, it also has its losers. In our analysis, one summertime energy saving practice in particular emerged as catastrophically unpopular: hang drying laundry.

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The people have spoken: America’s favorite way to save energy during summer is…

  • By Barry Fischer and Nate Kaufman
  • July 25, 2013

Summer is legendary for high energy usage. June, July, and August unleash by far America’s most prodigious electricity consumption of any consecutive 3-month period.

Likewise, Opower’s own energy data storehouse – the world’s largest, spanning more than 50 million households – suggests that this year’s summer energy consumption is off to a predictably running start. Not to mention that just last Friday, New York City set an all-time record for its electricity demand. Such is life in a country where nearly 90% of homes have air conditioners, up from 63% just 20 years ago.

But the hottest part of the year needn’t be an electron-gulping free-for-all. There are plenty of things you can do to stay cool while ensuring that your electric bill doesn’t spiral out of control. Querying Google for the phrase “summer energy saving tips” serves up no less than 142,000 search results. Our mission today is to add our own list of summer tips to the mix. Well, to be fair, it’s not our list of tips. It’s yours…

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