In partnership with PLMA, this group is for practitioners from energy utilities, solution providers, and trade allies to share load management expertise and explore innovative approaches to program delivery, pricing constructs, and technology adoption.

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Load Management in Summer 2020

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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Jun 18, 2020
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For as long as utilities have been around, summer has been the bane of their existence. The problems summer poses to power companies are pretty intuitive: high temperatures drive people to consume more electricity, taxing the grid. Those responsible for managing the loads have to be on their A game, but even then sometimes there simply just isn’t enough generation to go around. Texas, for example, came awfully close last summer to having to implement rolling blackouts. 

Even without historic heatwaves this year, summer 2020 presents utilities with a unique set of challenges. Challenges so unique (I know I’m misusing the word unique) that nobody can honestly claim to know exactly what they are. Coinciding with rising temperatures are the easing of COVID-19 mitigating restrictions. The country is opening up, and overall electricity demand can be expected to rise. But just how much? 

The consensus among economists regarding May’s economic numbers turned out to be dead wrong. Unemployment shrunk much more than expected and retail came roaring back. I really fear utility experts will also swing and miss, which could have disastrous consequences for power consumers (i.e. everybody). 

Things could be trickiest in heatwave stricken regions. That’s why I’ll be keeping a close eye on New England and South Eastern Canada. That part of the world has already recorded various 90 degree days and it looks like things will be heating up even more this week. 

Other parts of North America have been blessed with cooler than usual weather. That’s a really good thing for places like Atlanta whose inhabitants are already dealing with so many other kinds of uncertainty.


 

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