LA Confidential

LA Confidential is Luthin Associates’ newsletter which offers insightful, informative articles on a broad range of energy issues. LA Confidential presents “plain English” explanations of the complicated issues that directly impact your energy bottom line. Subscribe to our newsletter so you receive this informative publication the second it becomes available.

LA Confidential_Winter 2019_Star Wars Banner
LA ConfidentialJanuary 4, 2019

Factoid: The Powerful Force of Solar Energy

Happening currently, in a galaxy not so far away, is solar energy innovation. While solar energy is an expanding filed, its usage is low compared to fossil fuels. Solar accounts for 2% and fossil 60% of US power, respectively. Limitations for solar power include storage costs and accessibility to sunlight. However, recent developments may further enhance solar power’s capacity.

Read More
LA Confidential_Winter 2019_Star Wars Banner
LA ConfidentialJanuary 4, 2019

Which Is Easier to Understand: VDER or Wookie?

For years, on-site power producers (i.e. solar panel systems) in New York were compensated by utilities for excess electricity they injected into local grids (instead of being used on-site) based on a Net Energy Metering (NEM) rate equal to the utility’s all-in electric rate.

Read More
LA Confidential_Winter 2019_Star Wars Banner
LA ConfidentialJanuary 4, 2019

Han Solo’s Engine Room May Be Changing

Combined-heat-and-Power (CHP), also called “cogeneration”, has been around for more than a century. In parts of Europe and Russia, many central power plants produce both electricity and heat for nearby factories, office buildings, and apartment complexes. One of the first CHP systems installed in New York City was in 1929 in the New Yorker Hotel on 8th Avenue. In the last 20 years, more than a hundred systems have been installed around the City.

Read More
LA Confidential_Winter 2019_Star Wars Banner
LA ConfidentialJanuary 4, 2019

Will the NYISO Send Carbon Far, Far Away?

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) wants to reduce carbon emissions from power production by charging a fee for it at the wholesale production level. The result would increase market prices, benefitting renewable and no/low carbon sources that would not have to pay the fee, but doing so could create many wrinkles in the fabric of the electricity market structure. However, discussions at various stakeholder meetings since 2017 are working to iron them out in time to initiate the fee in mid-2021.

Read More
LA Confidential: Revenge of the Nerds
LA ConfidentialAugust 6, 2018

Factoid: ‘Nerds’ Find a Way to Breakthrough Cloudy Skies with Bacteria-Powered Solar

Solar power is a renewable choice that many of our clients have embraced as part of a slew of solutions to lower their carbon footprint.  However, what happens when it’s cloudy outside, and the sun does not shine?  Bacteria-powered solar cells may be the solution!

Read More
LA Confidential: Revenge of the Nerds
LA ConfidentialAugust 6, 2018

Benchmarking: A First Step to Finding Savings

Benchmarking shows a building’s relative energy efficiency compared to its past usage, and to similar facilities in the same geographic area. Such comparisons may help a building manager grasp potential savings if energy system upgrades were applied. Thousands of buildings are now participating in voluntarily and mandatory benchmarking programs. Many have found the process useful, and some may find that it offers a few surprises.

Read More
LA Confidential: Revenge of the Nerds
LA ConfidentialAugust 6, 2018

Will LEED’s New Focus on Energy Help Your Facility?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program was created and is maintained by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a private non-governmental organization. While a step toward improving general sustainability in buildings, the “energy” in the LEED name led many people to believe it would place energy efficiency high on its list of suggested activities. Fossil fuel consumption by buildings, either directly or via electricity use, is one of the largest contributors of the greenhouse gases that impact climate change, the foremost challenge to our future sustainability.

Read More
LA Confidential: Revenge of the Nerds
LA ConfidentialAugust 6, 2018

Con Ed Rolls out Smart Meter Data to All Customers

While monthly energy use data is essential for benchmarking, interval data (e.g., usage in 15-minute or hourly periods) provides a wealth of additional insights on how a facility uses energy. For many years, Con Ed’s largest customers have had access to such data via meters that send data to the utility via telephone landlines or more recently via cellular communications. Often sporadic due to metering and communication problems, that process will soon be consigned to the technology scrap heap by new smart meters under the utility’s Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program.

Read More
Star Trek - Winter 2018
LA ConfidentialJanuary 10, 2018

Working out the Tribbles of On-Site Power Storage

On-site battery power storage is a hot new energy option, but it does not come trouble-free. As Captain Kirk learned in Star Trek’s “Troubles with Tribbles” episode, some problems are easier to solve than others.

Read More
Star Trek - Winter 2018
LA ConfidentialJanuary 10, 2018

Factoid: Exploring the Possibility of Solar Energy from the Moon

We have often wondered, ‘Does life exist on other planets?’ Although we may not have infinite answers to extraterrestrial life on other planets, one concept that does exist out there is potential energy. Specifically, the possibility for lunar-based solar power (LSP).

Read More