How does Southern Company sell more electricity?

This blog was written by John D. Wilson, former Deputy Director for Regulatory Policy at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Guest Blog | March 28, 2013 | Energy Efficiency, Utilities

With energy efficiency, of course!

A couple of weeks ago, we showed you how Southern Company “squirrels” the energy efficiency debate. One of our fantastic readers sent us an ad from the New Yorker, in which Southern Company tries to persuade its customers in New York City that it is promoting energy efficiency by selling more electricity.

Let’s be clear: There’s nothing wrong with this Georgia Ports Authority project. It is probably cleaner for Georgia’s environment to convert ship-loading cranes from diesel (reducing pollution near the port) to electricity (increasing pollution from coal-fired power plants).

However, a closer look at Georgia Power’s role in the project shows that the utility provided the “electrical infrastructure” portion of the project. One might say that the electric utility provided the socket for these new cranes to plug into.

By claiming that selling one of its major customers more electricity, we see that Georgia Power is once again “squirreling” the definition of energy efficiency.

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