Surviving higher highs - and preventing lower lows

As we all are experiencing this summer, the daily high temperatures seem to creep higher and higher. In the northeast, that often includes oppressive humidity. We spoke last month of the efforts our utilities are taking, working in concert with the keepers of the power grid, to institute “Peak Day Capacity”. We have heard the requests: set your air conditioning to higher temperatures. Run your appliances overnight. What about other efforts to keep us well-lit and cool rather than in a brown-out - or, even worse - a black-out?

Let’s look at Vermont and Texas. Maple syrup vs. beef cattle. Skiing vs. rodeos. Green Mountains vs. wide-open spaces. Two states which, at first glance, appear to have little to nothing in common, are at the forefront of these efforts.

In July, Texas passed its all-time peak hourly load. Two days in a row. Even with this demand, the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reported that the grid met this record demand with no widespread loss to the system. Texas managed to meet the demand through the use of consumer conservation and demand response efforts, activating a mothballed power plant, and compensating customers for cutting energy use.

Vermont, on our side of the Mississippi, has hit 90° over nine days this summer. Green Mountain Power used a network of Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in customer’s homes to manage the surge in demand. GMP also uses stored solar from facilities in Rutland. 

Just like you listen to your financial advisor about diversifying your portfolio, you want your supplier to use multiple sources for energy supply. Natural gas, while the primary energy source for us in the northeast, cannot and should not be the sole source. Hydro, Solar, wind, nuclear, and yes, even coal and oil are all part of the portfolio which serves to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Neighborhood Energy can help you be a part of the solution, as well. You can take advantage of “Demand Response” programs which allow you to reduce consumption during periods of peak demand so that it provides relief to the system to ensure there is adequate supply to meet demand and get paid for it! Let us help you continue to lower your energy costs without spending any capital!

Stay cool!

Your friendly Neighborhood Energy