Demand is down, ja, we know that, you betcha… and it seems word is finally getting out!

And we know those utilities and how badly they want to “prove” need, but hey, bullshit by any other name smells as sweet!

Reserve margins are at an all time high and projected to get higher, from the 2010 NERC Long Term Reliability Assessment:

table-5e-estimated-2019-summerAnd then there’s the MISO State of the Market Report agreeing:

Including all demand response capability, we estimate a planning reserve margin in the range of 28 percent to 37 percent depending on the summer capability of the resources that are assumed.  These margins substantially exceed MISO’s planning reserve requirements that have recently increased from 15 percent to 17 percent.

p. iii, Ex. Summary, 2010 MISO State of the Market Report.    Increased required reserve margins?  Hmmmmm, part of their hype on transmission build-out was that it would DECREASE reserve margins… but hey, they said “competition would decrease prices” didn’t they… and they ARE, but not for US, cost of electricity is only lower for those elsewhere, and not for those of us in a “low cost” state.  Consider Xcel’s request to raise electric rates 37.5% over the next 5 years…

And here is Associated Press saying what we already know…

Shocker: Power demand from US homes is falling

By JONATHAN FAHEY, AP Energy Writer – 23 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — American homes are more cluttered than ever with devices, and they all need power: Cellphones and iPads that have to be charged, DVRs that run all hours, TVs that light up in high definition.

But something shocking is happening to demand for electricity in the Age of the Gadget: It’s leveling off.

Over the next decade, experts expect residential power use to fall, reversing an upward trend that has been almost uninterrupted since Thomas Edison invented the modern light bulb.

In part it’s because Edison’s light bulb is being replaced by more efficient types of lighting, and electric devices of all kinds are getting much more efficient. But there are other factors.

New homes are being built to use less juice, and government subsidies for home energy savings programs are helping older homes use less power. In the short term, the tough economy and a weak housing market are prompting people to cut their usage.

Read the rest of this entry »