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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Future of Utilities Industry in the U.S.

Why the Hodgepodge U.S. Utility Industry Needs a Ma Bell

Troubled power companies are adapting, slowly, to the transformations roiling their businesses.

Richard Martin | November 2, 2015

Last week, San Diego Gas & Electric agreed to meet with solar industry representatives and environmental groups to discuss a new system for compensating customers who have solar panels installed on their homes for the excess energy they generate and send back to the grid. In place for more than 20 years, California’s solar program provides incentives for customers who install clean energy systems, including retail rates for electricity they sell to the grid under the state’s net metering regulations. That program, however, has a built-in self-destruct mechanism: it will end in a utility’s service territory once solar power reaches 5 percent of local peak energy demand in the area.

Electric consumption has been declining steadily. (Shown in percent growth.) Source:

<more at; related links: (Electric utilities face a cloudy future as revenues fall and alternatives multiply. November 5, 2013) and (EEI 2015: Why Elon Musk thinks the future is bright for utilities. Tesla CEO courted the industry at the Edison Electric Institute's annual convention, while Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke about the need for a modern grid. June 9, 2015)>

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