Archive for the ‘GE’ Category

Public Service Announcement: Google, GE, NRDC and The Climate Group call for real-time information technologies to cut emissions

December 19th, 2009 No comments

I copy below an interesting press release with the title noted above, regarding the “smart metering” of power consumption.

I have blogged previously on Google`s efforts to speed the introduction of Smart Meters.

Perhaps we will also see a little more focus on the negative role that our widespread public utility monopolies have played in inflating energy costs and dampening conservation, competitive pricing and green options, and greater interest in market freedom in the power sector?

Not simply greater information, but freer markets is what we need. This would accomplish more than more “green” mandates. Other libertarian ideas are here. As my favorite free-market blogger, Rob Bradley, once said so well: “a
free-market approach is not about “do nothing” but implementing a whole
new energy approach to remove myriad regulation and subsidies that have
built up over a century or more.”

December 15, 2009

“Citizens need better access to information about how they use energy –
and they need the tools to use less.” 

Google, GE, The Climate Group, and NRDC, supported by a broad group of
companies and organizations, called on governments across the world to
support citizens’ access to real-time information on home energy consumption. (Read the statement)

In homes, technology that makes energy consumption visible in the home
can help people save not only carbon but electricity costs.   Our recent case studies at
show that some homeowners were able to save 40 per cent on their
electricity bills from better understanding their patterns of energy

The statement says “The bottom line is: We can’t solve climate change
if people are in the dark about how they use energy in their own homes.
Citizens need better access to information about how they use energy –
and they need the tools to use less.” 

By empowering citizens with information and tools for
managing energy, national and sub-national governments, businesses and
organizations around the world can harness the power of hundreds of
millions to fight climate change and save consumers millions of dollars
in the process.

Specifically, all countries should ensure that their citizens have access to basic information including:

  • Near real-time or real-time home energy consumption
  • Pricing and pricing plans
  • Carbon intensity, including source and carbon content of electricity

call for supporting citizens’ access to information can be achieved
with technologies that exist today which can be rapidly deployed. To
get there, countries can provide incentives for energy monitoring
equipment and set rules for consumer access to information. They can
also enact stronger energy efficiency standards, as well as provide
financial incentives and variable energy pricing plans.

Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Google, said:  “By providing people with real-time home energy information we can make
a major down payment on tackling climate change while saving money and
creating exciting new industries and jobs.”

Steve Fludder, VP of GE’s ecomagination, said: “This is not future technology that were talking about. We can do this now.”

Molly Webb, Director of Strategic Engagement, The Climate Group
said: “Just as user-generated content drove Web 2.0, then
user-generated energy information and ‘the internet of things is our
future. With a strong global agreement to tackle climate change, ICT
infrastructure will be a key enabler in the short term of carbon
efficiency on a global scale.”

The statement comes after yesterday’s launch of SMART 2020: Pathways to Scale
which called for energy information for all. This information can be
used across the wider economy by citizens and businesses to enable a
range of innovations in services around energy and fuel efficiency. The
Climate Group is tracking these initiatives with measurable results on

Read the statement here.

Categories: climate change, GE, Google, monopoly, power Tags:

Steve Milloy criticizes GE’s "smart-meter profiteering" via green mandates, but ignores state grants of "public utility" monopolies

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

Anti-enviro gadfly Steven Milloy has a new blog post up that rightly skewers the green mandates that are providing a taxpayer-funded stream of business and profits to GE.  Notes Milloy:

GE announced today that utility giant American Electric Power (AEP)
will purchase 110,000 smart meters from GE. And just how is AEP
managing to buy all these smart meters? President Obama and Congress
are making us pay for them.

On Sep. 1, AEP applied to the Department of Energy for $75 million in federal stimulus money for the smart meter purchase.

It’s a good thing that GE’s Immelt sits on Barack Obama’s Economic
Recovery Advisory Board — how else would the Department of Energy know
to direct smart meter purchases to GE?

Of course, AEP isn’t the only conduit for sending federal stimulus
money to GE. So far about 50 utilities have applied to DOE for a piece
of the almost $4 billion in stimulus money earmarked for smart meter

From an Austrian perspective, what`s wrong with this post? The simple fact that Milloy isn`t interested in problem-solving, but in bashing greens, Dems and GE. If he were a problem-solver, he would be a little less partisan and would devote a little more effort to throw light on some of the underlying factors that fuel green concerns and utility mandates, such a the little problem that states have prevented the development of free power markets by granting “public utility” monopoly status to local power providers, as I have noted in a number of posts.

A problem-solver might also devote some time to examining the entanglement of the state with other rent-seeking corporations, such as the coal producers; but those trapped in partisan, rent-seeking games are often good only at seeing the flaws of those whom they criticize, while ignoring the way that they themselves are co-opted by other rent-seekers.

I left Steven the following comment:

Steven I think your criticism of GE is fair, but it`s clearly lacking in context.

Where`s your post criticizing the states for their continuing grant
of monopoly status to “public utilities”, which is the chief reason why
there is no free market in providing power to consumers? With a free
markets, we`d have seen smart meters like GE`s years ago, and there
would be no basis for all of these “green power” mandates.

Leadership on climate change and clean energy from ….. Google?

November 18th, 2008 No comments

I just lost my prior attempt at this post so forgive the brevity and lack of analysis in this one.

Google is stepping up its activities and announcements (by CEO Eric Schmidt) in the climate change / clean energy / “smart grid” interface, including announcing collaboration with GE (by CEO Jeffrey Immelt) on public policy issues and on the introduction of new technologies and software.

More at the following links: (September 9) (September 17) (September 17) (September 18) (September 18)

Google information: (October 1) (October 1) (October 1)  (October 1) (October 7) (October 28) (October 28)

BTW, I note that Lynne Kiesling’s “Knowledge Problem” blog is a good source of information and analysis on “smart” grid issues.

Categories: climate change, GE, Google, Kiesling, smart grid Tags: