Archive for November, 2011

Renewable Energy Integration in Texas Electric Grid Modernization Projects

Recently, the announcement of federal projects involving the creation of new electric transmission lines brought new hope for residents of affected states, all eagerly anticipating the creation of new jobs plus an increase in their electrical grid capacity. Not only that, the project also involves the modernization of the electricity grid which will facilitate better integration and growth of renewable energy sources.

 

Texas electricity stands among the leaders of electrical grid modernization with the roll out of smart meters in various cities and localities. Not only will this give full monitoring control for consumers, but it will also enable the grid operator to predict or determine when electricity produced from the renewable energy source is available for integration into the grid. Not only will this further enhance consumers’ power to choose energy choices, but they will also benefit significantly from higher energy efficiency and electricity savings. 

 

Integration of Renewable Energy Sources

One of the most important elements for the production of Texas electricity through renewable energy means is predictability particularly with regards to integration during peak hours. Knowing how much Texas electricity capacity is available from renewable energy will rely heavily on how smart the electrical grid will be. With the use of new technologies for wind and solar energy forecasting and then integrating smart grid technologies such as smart meters and other systems.

 

Funding has already been released by the US Department of Energy to develop advanced forecasting methods for solar and wind energy generation. Through these methods, accurate forecasts on when and where Texas electricity is generated from alternative or renewable energy means. Once this integration is completed and the smart grid fully established, consumers will eventually enjoy a fully interactive, intelligent and digitized electric grid.

 

Smart Meter Deployment 

Smart meter deployment had its share of issues and concerns raised by consumer groups, particularly with the increased Texas electricity bills that surprised many. Although there were other factors such as the weather condition, lack of education and awareness about what the smart grid and smart meters can do proved to be a more important factor.

 

There are now more than 1.3 million smart meters deployed across Texas and this fully integrated advanced metering system can help reduce peak loads as well as provide better reliability. On the part of the utility company, they will have greater visibility of the operations and will most likely reduce maintenance and operational costs. A great example is the deployment and integration of the smart meter system to the Houston electricity grid.

 

As part of the modernization of the country’s electricity grid, more than five million smart meters have already been issued and installed. Smart meters provide real-time feedback that would give both consumers and utility companies a better insight about their electricity usage. This will allow utility companies to react in real time to electrical emergencies as well as monitor peak usages, allowing them to tap renewable energy resources when the demand calls for additional capacity – hereby securing a good future for the Texas electricity grid.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity– Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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Energy Deregulation: Completely Transforming the Energy Market

As the concept of energy deregulation continues to be implemented in various countries around the world and even in the United States where several states have already established implementation, the impact is set to completely transform the Energy Market today and eventually in the near future. However, many continue to oppose this system, fearing that deregulation would result in instability and unreliable services from the electric companies.

 

These entities should understand that the energy provided by the deregulated Texas electric companies and other states is the same safe and reliable electricity that has powered their homes for several years that is continued to be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. What has changed is that the electrical services they received will be brought to them by local electric companies instead of far-off power plants that have controlled the distribution of electricity for as long as people can remember.

 

The following describes the three biggest impacts that energy deregulation has brought upon to completely transform the energy market.

 

Energy Deregulation and the Liberalization of the Energy Markets

For almost a century, governments and even the people have always been led to believe that electricity is a natural monopoly, particularly by the big power plants that generate electricity, and would never be distributed by local suppliers. According to the book “Power to the People” by Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, the governments of the world have controlled and monopolized the energy industry akin to the line of what the old Soviet Union – which was led to believed by Lenin that Communism is basically a combination of Soviet power and providing electricity to the whole nation.

 

With energy deregulation, local electric companies called Retail Electric Providers (for Texas electricity) or Energy Service Companies (as they call them in New York) can now compete with large electric monopolies in providing electrical services to residents. Energy deregulation has completely liberalized the energy markets, setting consumers free from the mercy of energy monopolies.

 

Energy Deregulation and Consumer Decisions

The liberalization of the energy market and the proliferation of Retail Electric Providers have given the consumers the power to select the best electric companies that would supply their needs according to the price range and payment schemes that is suitable for them as well as the quality of service they receive from these companies. No longer will be decisions be based or dictated by the whims of energy monopolies, but by the supply and demand trends dictated by the needs and wants of the consumers.

 

Aside from that, the new liberalized market has given rise to additional earning opportunities for the masses, as Texas electric companies as well as other companies from various states offer affiliate or consultancy programs for residents wanting to earn money among the various ways presented in these programs.

 

Energy Deregulation and Saving the Planet

The previous energy market has been plagued with several issues and problem such as over-reliance on oil, environment issues from fossil-fuel pollutants, and global warming. With energy deregulation, electric companies can shift to alternative energy forms which can harness renewable and environmentally friendly resources such the sun, wind and water. Technologies are being developed that could produce smaller and cleaner power plants using hydrogen fuel cells which can be established near communities and the consumers – potential sources of cheap electricity that will complete revolutionize the energy market once more.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity– Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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Create People-Driven Energy Conservation Programs in Your Company

The recent Global Financial Crisis created a wave of change in the way people, organizations and corporations in the way they operate their businesses or companies particularly in the area of utilization and management of energy. Several policies and changes in this area have been put forward, including the implementation of energy deregulation in several states like Texas and New York, giving constituents the power to select their energy provider or electric companies.

 

However, despite all these changes and policies, cheap electricity for all is not yet a reality prompting communities and companies to continue implementing programs to save electricity. These actions include energy savings through equipment and facility re-design to more energy-efficient standards as well as reduction in consumption through people-driven energy conservation programs.

 

Many Texas electric companies as well as similar corporations from other states offer the public several suggestions on how to conserve energy and how they can implement electric savings programs in their own facilities. The following is a brief overview of such program implementations with the goal of enticing businesses and organizations, whether they are small enterprises to large conglomerates, to start their own energy conservation program drive.

 

The Merits of Energy Conservation in Your Company

The economic crisis has left a damaging hole in the finances of governments and corporations worldwide making recovery difficult or achievable only after a long time. Some of the negative impacts that this crisis had on the populace is the rash of layoffs and unemployment that gripped several parts of the country until now. These were brought about by companies shutting down or affected financially that they have no choice but to downsize.

 

However, many companies have the choice to recover some of the negative impact in their finances by gaining savings from the electricity usages. This is where people-driven energy conservation programs can come in. At do-it-yourself level, electric companies declared that practitioners can save as much as 7% from their electricity bills. On the other hand, a more concerted and well-planned energy savings program can give companies as much 20 to 30 percent savings from their utility expenses – a considerable amount that would impact their bottom line positively.

 

Considerations in Conducting Energy Conservation Programs

In Texas, Dallas or Houston electric companies are working with corporations regardless of size to establish an effective people-driven energy conservation program. There are certain considerations that these companies should take however, to gain the biggest returns from these programs. Some of these considerations include:

 

* Planning and Assessment

Each company or operation has their own unique processes that require a customized plan of action that would be critical in making their energy savings programs effective. Assessments should be done first, preferably conducted by experts in this field, to identify what areas in the company or organization could provide the highest results and biggest savings returns.

 

* Communicating with Employees

Since this would be a people-drive conservation program, it is critical that everyone in the organization is well educated with all the aspects of the program. Everyone, from management to staff and down to the ranks should know their roles in making the program a successful one. A single general meeting would not suffice to educate everyone in all aspects. Follow-up meetings and trainings would be required to properly disseminate all elements of the programs to the people who will implement these changes.

 

* Management Focus

Any program would not be effective without the support and focus of management. In a similar manner, every member of the management staff should they themselves be well educated in the program aspects and lead good examples for everyone to follow.

 

* Measure Results

Every project, including an electricity conservation program, should have results well-monitored to gauge the impact of their actions on the company’s electric bills. Monitoring results could be gauge for the company to follow, to determine if they are on the right path, or required changes should be made.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity– Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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