Electric ticker to help companies with real-time pricing for power generation

May 2, 2012

A new service helps companies and individual consumers track wholesale electricity prices, helping both parties learn how power is generated and how it ends up providing their homes and offices with energy.

According to AOL Energy, the Electricity Price Ticker was launched on April 17, as the grid operator PJM Interconnection and the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Institute for Urban Research released the technology.

This technology will help to provide pricing updates every five minutes for wholesale electricity in the southeastern Pennsylvania territory that is covered by PECO. This represents the latest move for an Electricity Price Awareness campaign that is trying to inform the public of the connection between their electricity bills and how they consume energy.

"We need to educate people about the changes that are happening in the world of electricity," Eugenie Birch, co-director of the Institute, told AOL Energy. "Our objective is to create more knowledge of demand response."

This type of research and effort to educate the American consumer is what many public and private industry experts see as the best way to limit energy use. The U.S. Department of Energy designated an innovation HUB to try and highlight how using more energy efficient buildings and technology can cut costs and consumption levels.

The University of Pennsylvania is one member of the HUB, dubbed the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC). This effort is comprised of schools such as Penn, energy development companies, government and the private sector.

The GPIC is looking to transform the building stock of the Greater Philadelphia region, through demonstrating the effectiveness of retrofit projects and adopting energy efficient technologies to lower operating costs and consumption levels for commercial buildings.

Philadelphia is not the only area that is looking to cut its consumption levels, as New York City has looked to green its zoning rules to lower energy use in the metropolis.

According to The New York Times, buildings account for at least three-fourths of the greenhouse gas emissions in the city, leading government officials to seek a change. A change in the construction regulations has allowed several companies to add energy-producing devices like solar panels, when they could previously not do so due to zoning laws.

The adoption of incentives for "greening" buildings and limiting restrictions on new projects could help to transform the city into a more sustainable place.