Everyone who works in the energy industry knows that once-in-a-century changes are coming in the way energy is generated, distributed and used by consumers in North America. What they dont know is exactly how the energy landscape will look when those changes have fully played out. From New York to California to Hawaii, U.S. states and Canada are mandating accelerated adoption of renewable energy; inviting new generation, distribution and energy management technologies into grid systems; and encouraging formerly monopolistic and slow-moving utilities to reinvent themselves as smart, nimble player-coaches in a newly dynamic and pluralistic energy marketplace.
NY REV, administered by the New York State Public Service Commission, is a closely-watched project designed to fundamentally re-architect the grid in light of opportunities presented by technology advancements and threats posed by aging infrastructure, more frequent extreme weather events, greenhouse-gas-driven climate change, economic inequality and security dangers.
We see NY REV --- and similar initiatives to come in other states --- as an opportunity not only to build a stronger, safer, more reliable and cleaner grid, but also as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the historically adversarial relationship between energy suppliers and consumers into a mutually rewarding partnership for a shared better future. NY REV has the potential to end the zero-sum game where one side of the equation must lose for the other side to win. NY REV promises to make energy a win-win for the first time in history. The day may not be far off when people actually love their local utility. (Dont laugh.)
Done right, redesigning the grid under NY REVs principles will bring benefits to utilities and consumers. Utilities will enjoy:
* Increased customer engagement and participation in their own energy consumption (and the increased revenue this engagement promises through value-added services)
* Greater grid resiliency through well-managed integration of distributed energy resources (solar and wind, etc.) into grid operations
* Broader opportunities to participate in the ISO market systems and monetize new value streams
Meanwhile, consumers will benefit through:
* Potential elimination of power outages due to stored onsite backup power
* Control of energy use through smart home systems, smart appliances, instant digital communication with utilities and service integration
* Better management of billing, including savings generated by using electricity when its most economical, and payments from utilities for power generated in homes and sold back to the grid
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