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consumer choices

The Age of the Prosumer

February 25, 2015 by Christine Hertzog

Electricity consumers are transforming into prosumers capable of production as well as consumption. A prosumer can generate kilowatts in the form of rooftop solar or create negawatts in the form of participation in a demand response or EV smart charging program. That’s why for utilities, this is the Age of the Prosumer.[read more]


U.S. Consumers are Purchasing Increased Numbers of SUVs and Trucks. Why Do Consumers 'Poll Green,' but Apparently Don't Buy Green?

February 20, 2015 by John Miller

Buying Green and Consumer Behavior

Polls indicate most people support reducing U.S. carbon emissions. But consumers recently began purchasing much greater numbers of SUVs and trucks than more efficient, lower carbon cars. Have purchasing behaviors changed or have government green policies failed?[read more]

Oil Price Crash Shows the Challenge of Breaking Addiction

January 21, 2015 by Severin Borenstein

Oil Addiction and Price Collapse

The price of crude oil has fallen more than 50% since summer and drivers are responding exactly as economists would predict. Americans are driving more, the market for SUVs is roaring again and the average fuel economy of new cars sold is declining after years of increases.[read more]

Worries About Consumers Cutting Utility Ties Are Overblown, Say Analysts

January 18, 2015 by Stephen Lacey

Consumer Energy Choices

Many years ago, utilities awoke to a threat that an industry trade group warned might cause "major disruptions" to electricity supplies. Worries about the threat ran all the way up to the White House and Congress, where politicians predicted an unraveling of the electric system.[read more]

What Is a Smart Home? Most People Don't Know

November 12, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

The Smart Home


Two-thirds of U.S. consumers with broadband are not very familiar with smart home services or products or where to buy them, according to a new survey. That will likely change quickly in coming years, but for now, it’s not just an open market, but also a nebulous one.[read more]

How a Top Liberal State Is Creating an Electricity Market That Conservatives Should Love

September 29, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Imagine an electricity market that gives small businesses and consumers the same ability to compete and make money that utilities have always had. The market has no explicit technology mandates that require utilities or individuals to "pick winners and losers." It simply sets some basic rules.[read more]

How to Choose a Great Solar Supplier

August 18, 2014 by Nigel Morris

We very recently did some work helping to update and further educate consumers with Solar Citizens, speaking with hundreds of engaged solar owners around the country. And we are currently working with Greenpeace on a similar exercise.[read more]

High-Efficiency Planet

Dramatic increases in energy efficiency historically have allowed for cheaper energy services, and rather than reducing the amount of energy people used, these improvements increased energy consumption. As such, consumers play an important role in energy transitions.[read more]

Consumers Really Want Options in Utility Rate Plans

May 27, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Utility Rate Options Demanded

In most utility territories, the very mention of default time-of-use pricing would have consumer advocates up in arms. Even though demand pricing is increasingly common in every other facet of our lives, utilities provide an essential service and pushback is intense.[read more]

How Do You Justify Consuming ExxonMobil's Oil?

April 17, 2014 by Robert Rapier

There is a risk of misinterpretation with this article, so I want to spell out my intent up front. This should not be read as a defense of ExxonMobil or their business practices, because that’s not what it is. It’s an attempt to get the reader to understand how they think, and why they do the things they do.[read more]