1 min read

Factoid: The Powerful Force of Solar Energy

By Luthin Associates on January 4, 2019

Happening currently, in a galaxy not so far away, is solar energy innovation. While solar energy is an expanding filed, its usage is low compared to fossil fuels. Solar accounts for 2% and fossil 60% of US power, respectively. Limitations for solar power include storage costs and accessibility to sunlight. However, recent developments may further enhance solar power’s capacity.

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7 min read

October 2018 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on October 8, 2018

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the third quarter of 2018. In this letter we focus on two topics, (i) the increased interest of large corporate purchasers in virtual power purchase agreements with renewable generators, and (ii) the upcoming mid-term elections and the possible impacts such elections could have on state and federal energy policy. I have to start, though, by expressing all of our genuine sadness at the recent passing of Phil O’Connor. Phil was one of the true leaders in in the deregulated industry and was a driving force in the opening of competitive energy markets throughout the country. He also played a pivotal role in bringing retail choice to Illinois. More importantly, he was a fine person who truly cared for others - he will be sorely missed.

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Topics: Newsletters Resiliency
2 min read

Con ED Rolls Out Smart Meter Data to All Customers

By Luthin Associates on August 6, 2018

While monthly energy use data is essential for benchmarking, interval data (e.g., usage in 15-minute or hourly periods) provides a wealth of additional insights on how a facility uses energy. For many years, Con Ed’s largest customers have had access to such data via meters that send data to the utility via telephone landlines or more recently via cellular communications. Often sporadic due to metering and communication problems, that process will soon be consigned to the technology scrap heap by new smart meters under the utility’s Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program.

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2 min read

Will LEED's New Focus on Energy Help your Facility?

By Luthin Associates on August 6, 2018

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program was created and is maintained by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a private non-governmental organization. While a step toward improving general sustainability in buildings, the “energy” in the LEED name led many people to believe it would place energy efficiency high on its list of suggested activities. Fossil fuel consumption by buildings, either directly or via electricity use, is one of the largest contributors of the greenhouse gases that impact climate change, the foremost challenge to our future sustainability.

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3 min read

Benchmarking: A First Step to Finding Savings

By Luthin Associates on August 6, 2018

Benchmarking shows a building’s relative energy efficiency compared to its past usage, and to similar facilities in the same geographic area. Such comparisons may help a building manager grasp potential savings if energy system upgrades were applied. Thousands of buildings are now participating in voluntarily and mandatory benchmarking programs. Many have found the process useful, and some may find that it offers a few surprises.

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1 min read

Factoid: 'Nerds' Breakthrough Cloudy Skies with Bacteria-Powered Solar

By Luthin Associates on August 6, 2018

Solar power is a renewable choice that many of our clients have embraced as part of a slew of solutions to lower their carbon footprint.  However, what happens when it’s cloudy outside, and the sun does not shine?  Bacteria-powered solar cells may be the solution!

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Topics: Newsletters
6 min read

July 2018 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on July 9, 2018

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the second quarter of 2018. It was a record quarter for significant market and regulatory developments. To keep this letter a manageable length, we focus on three issues that are particularly important: (i) the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) carbon tax proposal, (ii) various Federal efforts to effectively re-regulate competitive energy markets, and (iii) the 2020/2021 PJM capacity auction and what results say about the current chaos in the deregulated energy markets.

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6 min read

April 2018 - Quarterly Market Letter

By Jon Moore on April 9, 2018

On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the first quarter of 2018. This letter focuses on a change taking place in the energy market and its impact on our clients. Historically, energy procurement was separated from facility operations. A procurement team and/or an advisor worked with competitive retail suppliers to manage commodity prices. In parallel, engineers worked with an operations team to reduce energy consumption. Today, large energy users can no longer approach energy procurement and facilities management as separate and distinct tasks – a cost effective energy management strategy must integrate facilities management and procurement. In this letter we discuss some of the factors that have driven this change and the importance of integrating procurement and energy management.

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Topics: Newsletters Resiliency
3 min read

Working Out The Tribbles of On-Site Power Storage

By Luthin Associates on January 10, 2018

On-site battery power storage is a hot new energy option, but it does not come trouble-free. As Captain Kirk learned in Star Trek’s “Troubles with Tribbles” episode, some problems are easier to solve than others.

At this time, most utility batteries are being installed to manage frequency regulation, provide synchronized reserves, and other ancillary services of interest solely to grid operators. How much a retail power customer may save by installing a battery system, however, depends on a customer’s utility tariff rate, and how the power storage system is operated.

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Topics: Newsletters Resiliency
2 min read

Beaming Up Best Paybacks at a 271-Year Old Institution

By Luthin Associates on January 10, 2018

Bill Broadhurst has been Princeton University’s energy manager since 2009. During those 8 years, he has handled challenges that range from raising efficiency in buildings built before the American Revolution, to designing state-of-the art systems for 21st century facilities.

Princeton’s 10 million square foot campus in New Jersey has an advanced central plant, equipped with dual-fueled boilers and cogeneration, variable-speed pumps and motors, thermal energy storage, and free cooling through its cooling towers. Cogeneration, Thermal Storage and Steam-driven turbine chillers minimize peak demand charges for cooling, and a centralized geothermal system is on the drawing boards. Power delivery to the campus from the local utility is on a high-tension real-time pricing tariff, with supply purchased from a competitive third-party supplier.

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