Smart Grid Projects Expected to Save Consumers $20 Billion!
Five Texas projects will receive $258 million in federal stimulus funds for “smart grid” electric projects, including smart meters, advanced transformers, load management devices and advanced thermostats. Nationally, these technologies are expected to save consumers more than $20 billion over the next decade on their utility bills.
Technology plays a critical role in the ability of consumers to take control over their electricity usage and costs, and to spur development of renewable energy sources. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded 100 grants, totaling $3.4 billion, for electric grid upgrade projects, including several in Texas:
- CenterPoint (Houston), $200 million: Finish installation of 2.2 million smart meters, install 550 sensors and automated switches to distribution system.
- Reliant Energy (Houston), $19.9 million: Install smart meter-related products to help customers track and manage power usage.
- Golden Spread Electric Co-op (Amarillo), $19.9 million: Install 70,000 smart meters, grid equipment and enhanced cyber security system.
- Denton County Electric Co-op, $17.2 million: Install 140,000 smart meters.
- El Paso Electric, $1 million: Install electric distribution automation equipment and control system.
New Report: Texas Ranks 23rd in Energy Efficiency
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) report finds that in the race for clean energy resources, states are increasing investments in efficiency programs and improving efficiency in their own facilities and fleets.
While this middle of the pack ranking seems unimpressive, Texas is certainly moving in the right direction in terms of energy efficiency, clean energy and renewable resources. In fact, a recent New York Times article profiled Texas along with #1 ranked California as clean energy leaders. Highlights from the article:
- Texas has thrown itself into solar power and now leads the nation by a huge margin; it has also aggressively pursued energy efficiency.
- Texas has merged as the nation’s top producer of a commodity prized by environmentalists: wind power.
- The world’s largest wind farm began operations in Texas this month, and the state now has close to three times as much wind capacity as Iowa, the second-ranked state.
- Texas set a strong renewable energy requirement back in 1999 — and quickly exceeded it.
- Article conclusion: As the U.S. considers the best ways to accelerate the use of renewable technologies – lawmakers might do well to look at these states.
Halloween Season: Identify the electricity goblins in your home –> Learn more.
Newsweek 2009 – “Green Rankings”
Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Intel, and IBM top the list. — > Learn more.