Mandolin and I have spent a couple beautiful days this week upgrading an underground service from 100A to 200A, and re-configuring the metering to support the net output of an upcoming solar PV installation by frequent partner and friends, Sumintra, LLC.
Since I could not make the underground service RMC raceway (‘conduit’) and service entrance raceway connect directly to any arrangement of right- or left-hand meter enclosures, I had to install a wiring trough between the existing pipe work and the new meter configuration. As it turned out, the short conductors of the original installation required a splice box in any case, since they would never have stretched across the generous wiring space of a 200A underground meter enclosure.
Using the trough also allowed me to shift the new meter setup to the right of its previous location, providing proper safe working clearance for this equipment.
Pennsylvania Electric Company (PECO) has finally begun its full scale roll-out of smarter meters. Its slowness to implement the recently-mandated 15-minute increment bi-directional reporting meters may have to do with the fact it invested millions of dollars of rate-payer funds in now-outmoded ‘smart’ remote-readable meters only a few years ago, in what was probably just a matter of unfortunate timing for the ratepayers.
The new meters will help PECO and its customers better understand their electrical use, and adapt behavior to the actual cost of generating electricity, as alternative generation providers offer time-of-use tariffs with different prices different times of day, or even spot-market tariffs that could change price every 15 minutes.
PECO’s new smart meters fail to achieve compliance with PA’s Act 129 for grid-tied solar PV
Energy Co-op & West Philly Tool Library join forces for community betterment! West Philly Tool Library offers a more neighborly and civic alternative to tool rental. For everything from a handheld screwdriver to professional contractor tools like extension ladders, powered drain augers and cement mixers, and rotary hammer drills.
Why rent for $50/day when you can become a West Philly Tool Library member for $20 -$50 per year (depending on your income and conscience) and borrow as many tools as you want for a week at a time, with late fees of only $1 / day / tool! It’s a great way save money and support your community.
And now you can support this awesome community resource by Join the Energy Co-op from the mostly-coal mix used by PECO for its default service, to 50% or 100% clean wind/renewable energy from Energy Co-op.
PECO Green? We think not. PECO talks a big game when it comes to being green. But this is only the PR side of its response to Commonwealth of PA’s Act 129 requirements that it take measures to move green — or face stiff fines. Behind the PR mask, PECO has joined other utilities (save for PPL, which has stepped up in support of green legislation in PA) in meetings with a committee of state house Republicans aimed at rolling back green initiatives across the energy sector.
One more reason to power switch and send your money to a different company.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Republican Policy Committee invited four electric utility companies and a utility trade association to testify on the “Impact of State-Mandated Energy Programs.” PECO, FirstEnergy, Duquesne, and the Energy Association of Pennsylvania (EAP) all urged lawmakers to take steps to weaken long-standing clean energy laws.
PECO will phase out its discounted PECO RH rate (heating) and PECO OP rate (water-heating) rates beginning in 2012, replacing these options shortly after with a new time-of-use tariff that would encourage consumers to shift consumption into cheaper, off-peak periods (between 8pm and 8am). Several months after PECO’s announcement, competitive supplier Energetix offers a ‘replacement rate’ for customers willing to switch and sign a 12-month, fixed-rate contract.
PECO’s RH rate has offered a discounted rate for electric heating — effectively subsidized by general rate-payers — for decades. The OP rate is an early and crude version of a time-of-use rate, providing a discount for a range of dedicated appliance circuits (electric water heaters, in practice) automatically shut down during peak hours (10am – 4pm). More on PECO RH and OP rate phase-out and smart grid alternatives on the horizon >>
Customer Resource Blog Categories
Off-site Links ->
- Annapolis Home Inspection, LLC Aluminum branch circuits, homes 1965-1972
- ComplianceAndSafety.com OSHA Electrical Safety Training
- Electric Monk TV (YouTube) Video channel for PhillyLicensedElectrician.com Robert Monk
- EnergyConservation HowTo A tinkerer genius discusses energy conservation and his ladder system for accessing the attic (where a lot of energy-saving work happens).
- PennFuture Energy Center Energy and energy efficiency news for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Phila area rife with building efficiency upgrade opportunities Philadelphia Inquirer article discusses recent study showing Philadelphia’s inner-ring suburbs stand to save from energy conservation retrofits.
- Philadelphia Row-house Manual A design, maintenance, and modifications manual for our most widely-used form of housing.
- Robert Monk Robert Monk’s personal blog
- SolarCities (DOE) Solar PV Levelized Cost Interactive Comparator Simple graph compares ‘levelized cost’ of energy from solar PV to conventional grid rates, with a time-slider interactive feature.
- The Circuit Detective – Solve Home Electrical Problems Yourself! Electrical troubleshooting procedures pitched to homeowners.
- The Energy Co-op Blog from a leading alternative energy provider in PECO territory, includes fun conservation tips.
- Weatherization: the anti-Solyndra Salon.com article praising the continued success of the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), low-income energy-savings and job-creation.
- West Philly Tool Library Official site of WPTL, Philly’s own community tool lending library: like a book library, but tools!
- WestPhillyLocal .com Site name say sit all.
- Bartram's Gardens Founded in Philadelphia’s colonial era, today the gardens continue pioneering in horticulture and agriculture with a variety of herbs, trees and other vegetation in an arboretum/gardens on the Schulkill River banks, and a new farm abutting sadly neglected
- HiddenCity Philadelphia Surprising places it takes an adventurer to discover; events, too.
- Philly Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Schedule City of Philadelphia dates and places for disposing of spent batteries, CFL lamps, unused paint and cleaning products, etc. LovePhilly: don’t pour these in the drain or send them out with the trash.
- Reading Terminal Market Purveyors of fine foods and foodie stuff, all under one roof downtown under the PA Convention Center
- Secret Garden on the Rails Jacques-Jean Tiziou shows some dramatic natural and urban and naturalized-urban scenes along abandoned rails of Philadelphia
- Sketch Burger, Fishtown A vegan-friendly burger joint with a #1 in Philly contender beef burger, best fries that somehow stay fresh for 1/2 hour while you tackle burger, and a vegan cafe vibe of friendly folks.
- WXPN: Philly sings in key of love Love songs by Philly artists