One year ago, at Solar Power International 2016, I helped Julia Hamm, CEO of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) with a keynote “skit” in which I was a reporter interviewing a homeowner about her awareness of her energy use. The year was supposed to be 2026.

Playing the role of fictional homeowner-of-the-future, Hamm explained that her relationship with her utility had changed over the decade because the utility had put new devices in her home, solar on her roof and “a box in the garage.” Now, in 2026, Hamm’s family paid the same amount for energy each month, used less of it and was happy because they knew it was coming from cleaner generation sources.

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