A Home Energy Control Panel

One of the effects of energy deregulation is rising prices, and greater volatility in prices, due to the change in policies that had previously dictated that energy utilities could only earn a set rate of profit on top of their operating costs. The idea with this policy change was that greater competition would incentivize utilities to reduce their costs. However, because traditional utility companies already had an effective monopoly on the infrastructure and generation capacity, it actually resulted in costs for consumers increasing because utility companies were no longer restricted in the amount of profit they earn (1). More widespread deregulation will likely result in similar increases in costs to consumers.

Energy resellers have become a booming new business in the deregulated marketplace. I see them frequently at the entrance to grocery stores and sometimes also going door to door in my neighbourhood in Philadelphia. They promise to offer customers lower, fixed rates on electricity than if they were to buy directly from the dominant electricity provider in their area. Grid management software companies and services also stand to profit from energy deregulation, due to additional independent energy producers contributing energy to the grid.

As an entrepreneur, I would work toward launching a home energy management technology company that would develop a home energy control system to help consumers manage the energy use of their home and take advantage of lowest-available energy prices. Deregulation means that in many areas, electricity costs more or less depending on the time of day. I would create a plug-and-play energy management application that would turn any home into a “smart home”. There would be a device connected to the circuit breaker box that would need to be programmed to know which appliances were on which circuits. This device would obtain real-time information on the cost of electricity via wifi and be able to communicate with a control panel in the living area of the home. The homeowner could program a day on which they wish to wash dishes, do laundry, etc and this device would activate those appliances at a time when the energy being supplied is the cheapest. It could also heat and cool the home based on energy prices rather than being programmed strictly on time.


Works Cited

1. http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/public_events/Energy%20Markets%20in%20the%2021st%20Century%3A%20Competition%20Policy%20in%20Perspective/slocum_dereg.pdf

Mark Moore Renewable Future L2

Nuclear energy has been an attractive source since first developed in the late 1940’s. Continuous research and development has streamlined nuclear power fostering it’s capacity factor to approximately 90%, whereas the capacity factor for wind is 34%, solar photovoltaic 25%, and hydroelectric is 54% (EIA, 2013). The fact that nuclear is identified as a dispatchable technology, possesses a much higher capacity, and can reliably meet demand and base load capacity supplies makes it more attractive than renewables. Nuclear is perceived as being a much cleaner energy source than fossil fuels, and nuclear already supplies close to 20% of the energy in the U.S. Nuclear power plants are expensive to build but relatively cheap to run. In many places, nuclear energy is competitive with fossil fuels as a means of electricity generation (World Nuclear Association, 2014). Fossil fuels are still leading the energy sector and the government has tried to incentivize renewables, but politicians and lobbyists ultimately control policy on energy, which in turn affects investment. Investment in renewable energies is staying strong and if investors such as Warren Buffett keep investing in renewables the future looks bright. Warren Buffett briefly lost track of how many billions of dollars his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is spending to build wind and solar power in the U.S. That didn’t stop him from vowing to double the outlay (Buhayar & Polson, June 2014). I believe renewable energy financing will eventually surpass that of nuclear. Granted nuclear is a ‘clean’ energy source, there are far more safety risks and hazards than that of renewable. I believe worldwide renewable energy investment will grow larger as climate change becomes more and more obvious to the non-believers.

I believe there are several niche opportunities for entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector. One such niche is battery storage. Battery storage would benefit both residential and commercial energy consumers. Commercial consumers would have back up energy for peak hour use or for emergency need. Residential would have back up power for non-windy or cloudy days for example. There is a huge market for renewable energy and especially battery storage in developing nations where infrastructure is lacking. Speaking of infrastructure, there is a need for efficient transmission lines, smart grid technology, and construction in developing nations, as well as in the U.S. I believe in the next couple years policy and financing for renewable energy will come together and substantial growth will take place.


Buhayar, N. & Polson, J. (June 10, 2014). Buffett To Double Down on Renewable Energy
Investments. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from

Energy Information Administration. (January 28, 2013). Levelized Cost of New Generation
Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2014, from

World Nuclear Association. (June, 2014). The Economics of Nuclear Power. Retrieved from

L2 Learning Activity: Searching for the Entrepreneurial Niche – Cole

     It is true, some renewable energy projects are failing to receive the same degree of support from the financial community and the government that nuclear does. In my opinion, I believe this is because we can generate much more electricity from nuclear than we can from any other renewable energy resource. With higher capital costs, it is much more expensive to build a nuclear facility and financial backing essential for this industry. With nuclear power generation, it can be built anywhere and relies on two of the most abundant substances of Earth, Water and Uranium, which are not hard to get. While as for other renewables like solar and wind, they rely on radiation and air currents which are best in only specific locations. We have learned in this lesson that no new nuclear power facilities have been built for over 35 years. Yet nuclear power still generates 19% of the nation’s electricity while other renewables generate 10% according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. I can also imagine a lot of government intervention in and lobbying from this industry which could also have an effect on this degree of support.

     Some niche opportunities I see for entrepreneurs in the global development of renewable energy sources are hydro-kinetic energy, or off shore wind generation, expanded bio-gas generation technology around the world to agricultural areas, and in the near future I see a new renewable source of energy using infrared emissions from the sun. I have included a link about that down below:


Bibliography from EIA:



Mark Moore Introduction

My name is Mark Moore and I currently live in Lake Ariel, Pa. I started my secondary education in 1990 when I attended Temple University. I majored in biology and unfortunately in my junior year I lacked the financial support to finish so had to withdraw. I then moved to NYC (East Harlem) where I worked at a mid-town restaurant, Sparks Steakhouse for 14 years. I was earning a very good living with free health care so my education was not a priority at that age of my life. In 2009, my wife and I moved permanently to Lake Ariel and I quickly realized how important education is in obtaining a ‘real career’.

I have always been interested in business and environmental issues. I would like to start a business in the renewable energy sector providing residential and commercial structures a clean source of energy. I plan on gaining experience in the energy/utility sector next summer working for Consolidated Edison in their development program(renewable/sustainability department). I have no prior experience in starting a business or even working in the energy sector, so my eyes and ears are wide open. I expect to learn a great deal in this course to help me better understand what is needed to start a business. I plan on working for ConEd for a few years to also gain knowledge in the energy sector. I hope to start my own company in 10 years based on all the knowledge and experience I will gain. I also hope to gain valuable knowledge from fellow classmates who already work in the energy field and from those who have started their own business’s.

I look forward to working with everyone this semester!

Getting to know Mike Reichart

Hello everyone! My name is Frank Reichart, although I do go my Michael. I cannot believe it, but I am actually a Junior majoring is ESP. I live and grew up in Cambridge Springs Pennsylvania. Cambridge Springs is a small town, about an hour South of Lake Erie and PSU Behrend. I actually attended Behrend for 3 semesters, and it was (still is) a fantastic campus. As far as a career that I am thinking of pursuing, I typically do not even know how to respond. I have grown up doing residential improvements, so a part of me wants help homeowners be sure that they have proper insulation, efficient lighting and up to date appliances. Then I actually see a wind turbine, and I feel that I should be involved with renewable energy. So I honestly do not know exactly what specific field I might join, and I am open to suggestions. The biggest thing I am thinking about and leaning towards is spending time with the Peace Corps upon graduation. I could learn so much, and right now I have nothing holding me back. My main interest in this course is Energy Auditing on a Residential and Commercial Scale. There are many homeowners who ask for my opinion of efficiency energy used in their homes, so it will nice to have proper training.

I personally have not legally started a business, but it is trend that runs in my family. Therefore I have learned that anyone who has started a business deserves massive credit. I have helped to start, resolve daily issues, and even close companies that my family owns, so I am very excited so learn more about entrepreneurship. I feel that the entertainment business will have a huge impact on renewable energy. Television and movies which show people using renewable energy successfully will make people more aware of the industry we have. Of course this might not be the case for the writers of this blog, but I feel that if Family Guy or (name a popular film) were to have some solid episodes focusing on renewable energy, that there might at least be a spike of potential sales. I am sure everyone will have a different answer to the last question though, and I am looking forward to reading them.

Mike Reichart