The robust growth projected for the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market will usher in lower electric bills for all Illinois consumers—including those who don’t own a car—if policy makers adopt key measures necessary to unleash the savings, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Citizens Utility Board (CUB).
The research is believed to be the nation’s first analysis conducted by a consumer watchdog group into how the surging popularity of EVs on American roadways will impact electric customers and the power grid. The study, Charging Ahead: Deriving Value from Electric Vehicles for All Electricity Customers, is posted on the Research page of CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
Based on data reflecting actual electricity-usage patterns in Illinois, the study found that consumers could reap more than $2.6 billion in cumulative benefits on their power bills by 2030, if state officials establish policies that encourage motorists to charge their cars during times of the day when there is less strain on the power grid and electricity prices are at their lowest.
But if legislators and regulators don’t implement smart charging policies—and EV owners charge their cars during periods of higher power demand—they risk increased stress on the grid and higher power bills. The study’s authors estimate that anticipated EV proliferation could increase Illinois power bills by up to $856 million if nothing is done to encourage smart charging.
The report emphasizes that policy makers—not only in Illinois, but also throughout the country—will determine whether utility consumers capitalize on the savings, as EVs multiply coast to coast.
“While the EV revolution is still in its infancy, we’re already approaching a crucial crossroads in how to manage the ripple effects on our electricity costs,” said CUB Executive Director David Kolata. “This research shows that escalating EV sales could lead to lower utility bills for everyone. To ensure that we seize this opportunity for savings, the public can’t afford for their policy makers to wait. Action is needed now to set policies that help EV owners charge their cars in a way that benefits everyone.”
The report’s recommendations constitute a policy blueprint that states should embrace in a quest to maximize the savings potential. Foremost among them is a call for states to automatically enroll EV owners in “dynamic” pricing programs, where rates vary depending on the time of day when power is consumed. These rates could apply only to the cost of powering the EV—other household usage would be billed separately according to whatever pricing plan the customer chooses—and car owners could opt-out of the program.
While electricity is most often billed under a fixed rate that rarely changes, dynamic prices fluctuate over the course of the day, as the total volume of demand on the system swells and dips. By funneling EV owners into dynamic plans on an opt-out basis—they could unsubscribe at any time—utilities can ensure the grid digests added demand from EVs without necessitating new expenditures on increased generation capacity or enhanced transmission and distribution infrastructure. EV owners, meanwhile, would benefit from electricity priced far lower than the regular fixed rate.
The report specifically advocates for automatically enrolling EV owners in a “Time of Use” (TOU) pricing program. A TOU plan would charge different rates for different blocs of time during the day, allowing EV owners to plan their charging when the price is lowest.
“We think TOU rate plans are one of the most practical forms of dynamic pricing, but there are many others,” Kolata said. “The key point for policy makers is that we can harness money-saving power from EVs if we provide car owners with pricing plans that encourage them to charge their cars overnight when the grid is brimming with unused and extremely cheap electricity.”
In a separate analysis of 2016 and 2017 data, CUB found that EV owners on one dynamic pricing plan could cut their electricity supply costs by more than 50 percent.
There are about 15,000 EVs in Illinois today, but the new study projects that number could surge to at least 690,000 by 2030—and it could catapult to as high as 2.2 million if the state embarks on an aggressive effort to reduce carbon emissions during the same time period. Such efforts have been discussed in the nation’s capital as well as the Illinois Legislature, which is now considering a measure, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, that would promote EV growth in Illinois.
Those sales estimates formed the basis for the utility bill savings that the report attributed to EVs. The estimated $2.6 billion in total benefits reflect three different factors:
- $2 billion in lower costs for energy consumption.
- $124 million in lower costs for investments in “capacity.” (Capacity refers to long-term purchase agreements a utility makes to ensure there is enough power available to meet future projected demand.)
- $536 million in additional utility revenue, allowing rate reductions of up to 12 percent.
“Electric vehicles produce many rewards for the public at large, including a reduction in pollution from autos and diminishing dependence on foreign oil,” Kolata said. “Our analysis shows that EVs not only allow drivers to charge a car at a much lower cost than to fill at the pump, but they also have the potential to keep a lid on electric bills for all consumers.”
CUB is celebrating its 35th anniversary as Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB, 1-800-669-5556, or visit CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
SOURCE Citizens Utility Board
Penta Security and R3 Announce Strategic Partnership for Digital Asset Management and MPC Technology
Penta Security and blockchain software firm R3 today announced that they have entered into a global strategic partnership for digital asset management and MPC (Multi-Party Computation) technology, combining Penta Security’s technologies and R3’s extensive enterprise blockchain platform, Corda.
With technology and services playing a critical role in digital asset payment and management aspects, the demand for a safer digital asset and private key management solution is dramatically increasing. The partnership brings together deep skills in MPC, blockchain key management solutions, technology development, and deployment in the finance sector via R3’s enterprise blockchain platform Corda.
As a result, Penta Security is devoted to expanding in the finance industry with its MPC technology which is based on the secret-sharing algorithm, and PALLET, an advanced key management solution for blockchain. Both parties will be heading to achieve goals through various new projects by forming a software enterprise firm, in addition to deploying Penta Security’s MPC technology on R3’s major projects.
Dr. Sim, Chief Technology Officer at Penta Security, said: “There’s no doubt that the private key to successful blockchain deployment is the most important asset. We believe Penta Security’s MPC and digital asset management technology can provide an ideal key protection solution for both blockchain and digital asset key protection. By diversifying our offerings through strategic partnerships, we’re excited to be devoting our expertise in the evolving blockchain scene.”
Cathy Minter, Chief Revenue Officer at R3, said: “The creation of a new market, powered by digital assets, is one of the most exciting promises of blockchain technology. Coupling our Corda platform with Penta Security’s MPC technology will be one step closer to addressing the industry demand for secure digital asset management. We are proud to be partnering with Penta Security to deliver an industry-leading solution and look forward to them achieving continued success in the future.”
SOURCE Penta Security Systems
FiO Fixes Wine, Gaming and Fitness Industry Pain Points
Innovative SaaS platform FiO is expected to release details on how its blockchain-onboarding service solves long-existing problems in wine provenance, online gaming and fitness tracking next week.
FiO merges the latest blockchain technology and GPG encryption with existing ledger software to create easy-to-use decentralized solutions for conventional businesses.
The company’s FiO software boasts a conventional form factor and simple templates to create a painless experience for non-technical users. Only 3 simple onboarding steps are required: user registration, service selection and finally, a connection to their API.
FiO’s “plug & play” technology aims to fix inherent issues that have long plagued traditional industries. For example, with counterfeit wines a multi-billion dollar problem, FiO enables a reliable and immutable traceability platform for wine products as they make their way from the vineyard to the consumer.
Through FiO’s simple blockchain tool, users can create a robust decentralized ledger and shareable digital certification pertaining to a wine’s appellation, winemaker, vintage year and shipping and storage. This enhanced ability to record the production, obtaining and selling of wine should foster greater trust between producers, distributors, resellers and collectors.
In recent years the fitness industry has seen a boom in wearable, biometric devices that track the end-user’s fitness regime and health vitals. FiO allows fitness gyms to integrate AI-enhanced features without compromising customer privacy. Gym users can consolidate their health and fitness training data from wearables, equipment and even medical service providers in one location, import token economy items and connect with social fitness influencers and networks.
The gaming industry, currently worth $150 billion per year, is predicted to double in value by 2022, with an increasing demand for B2B game development solutions that build and manage in-game item economies.
Until now, players could only trade and sell their virtual items directly or on third-party websites, with little protection against fraud, hacking and theft.
With FiO, game developers can now facilitate the easy and secure transfer of in-game items and rewards between players through their existing wallets. This increased functionality and fungibility of gaming rewards through blockchain will likely attract new players to the industry.
FiO made it clear that its platform is highly flexible and its benefits can be applied to nearly any conventional businesses. The company, currently in its final fundraising round, welcomes interested parties to get in touch.
Crypto Earn: Now Earn 8% p.a. on EOS Deposits
Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, announced today that it has added EOS to Crypto Earn, allowing users to enjoy up to 8% p.a. on their deposits.
In addition to having EOS available in Crypto Earn, deposit and withdrawal of EOS is also enabled on the Crypto.com App.
EOS.IO is a free, open-source blockchain software protocol that provides developers and entrepreneurs with a platform on which to build, deploy and run high-performing blockchain applications. It is currently supporting over 260 projects.
Crypto Earn now supports 16 coins including BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BNB, TUSD, PAX, USDC, MCO, BAT, LINK, CRO, MKR, DAI, PAXG with the addition of EOS. Interest is paid out weekly in the coin deposited with flexible, 1-month or 3-month terms available. Users earn more by staking at least 500 MCO.
Note: For the U.S. users, both deposit and withdrawal of EOS and Crypto Earn deposit in EOS are initially available in 38 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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