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Smart electricity meters come to Lawrence

This is an interesting development: Lawrence to become first city in Kansas to get smart electricity meters. Because federal law requires that local utilities provide "net metering" for citizens who ask for it, these meters will allow individuals who produce power at home (solar, wind, fuel cell, and so forth) to sell excess back to the utility. Considering that most wind and solar power is generated during the day when it gets hot in Kansas - and when electricity rates are at their highest - this looks like a good thing.

This bumps up my plan to re-roof the house using solar panels or solar shingles to next year. Join the home-power revolution!

Chris

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
ericreynolds
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
Cool! I've thought about doing the solar shingles when roof-replacement time comes. Last I checked there weren't any tax credits for doing that in Kansas. But maybe some federal ones in the works? I remember seeing a small one, but that might be expanded now.
mckitterick
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
I think renewable energy investment is deductible on federal taxes, and I seem to recall seeing that Kansas also has a deduction. When I was first considering this, I figured that it would refund a big portion of the investment at tax-time.
stonetable
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
Much appreciated, Chris! Ties right in to the rewrite of one my workshop stories I'm finally finishing up.

How is the wind power situation in Kansas? I know wind turbines have been spreading out across both in western Illinois and throughout southeast Ontario.
mckitterick
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
Happy to help!

Lots of wind (and wind-farms) in Western Kansas, but 'round these parts, you want to be at the top of a hill to get reliable wind. Otherwise I'd be so there.
(no title) - ericreynolds - Mar. 30th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Mar. 30th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - ericreynolds - Mar. 30th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - roseconnelly - Mar. 30th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Mar. 30th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - roseconnelly - Mar. 30th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - geekmom - Mar. 31st, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - roseconnelly - Mar. 31st, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - geekmom - Mar. 31st, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
clevermanka
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yay to getting off the grid! Kinda! Sorta!
mckitterick
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
In the end, this would turn out to be more along the lines of, "Yay for getting discounted power!"
roseconnelly
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
I got to play a bit with AMR/AMI meters before I left work. We were deploying them in Colorado. I was thrilled at all the programming possibilies just because I had a wealth of information about your meter and your usage. I could program to talk to your meter.


mckitterick
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
Cool... and a bit creepy.
(no title) - roseconnelly - Mar. 30th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Mar. 30th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - geekmom - Mar. 31st, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Mar. 31st, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - geekmom - Mar. 31st, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Mar. 31st, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
xjenavivex
Mar. 30th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
awesome
bellanorth
Mar. 30th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
I attended Alice Bean's DIY Science talk last week on this very subject, and it was interesting. Between solar panels and a few other changes to make her home more energy efficient, she should not only be discounting her energy bills every month but for a couple months of each year, actually making money from Westar if all the variables stay relatively the same. It is very appealing to get off the grid in this fashion.
mckitterick
Mar. 30th, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
That's a hopeful anecdote!
tully01
Mar. 30th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
I had a meeting with a Westar Veep about this very thing not long ago. They love the idea of smart meters as it would allow them to tweak your usage at peak load times to reduce the high cost of auxiliary generation. Their base load plants are nuke and coal but the aux plants use natural gas, which costs more. Being able to offset that aux gas generation at peak load times whether through tweaking or "selling back" to them is good for them either way, because they can buy back from you at less than spot generation or spot-market purchase prices.

They claim you'll never notice their tweaking. Dunno about that.
mckitterick
Mar. 30th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
Interesting point. I'd always wondered where the added cost came from - thought it had just been due to running the generators faster.
(no title) - tully01 - Mar. 30th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - silverfae - Mar. 31st, 2010 06:14 am (UTC) - Expand
justaqt
Mar. 30th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
What kind of shingles are you looking at?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P8fOQ9V9mg

mckitterick
Mar. 31st, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Ooh, that's exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of! Now if demand drops prices....
geekmom
Mar. 31st, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
I talked to a company at CES that said they were about five years away from getting affordable modular units that would let you do just that. I'd love my roof to collect energy. All it does right now is keep the rain out.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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