News

San Diego utility leveling the playing field for customers

"Many of our customers are being negatively impacted because they use more energy based on the geographic area in which they live or the size of their families. Our goal is to 'level the playing field' and to move rates for all customers closer to what it actually costs the utility to provide electric service," said Caroline Winn, SDG&E's vice president -- customer services.  "Unfortunately, below-cost rates have undermined the incentive to conserve, while punishing others who use more electricity with rates that are significantly higher than the cost to serve them."

First BuildSmart NY awards issued

Nine organizations across New York have been recognized with BuildSmart NY awards for their leadership and excellence in building energy performance and innovative uses of clean energy solutions in public facilities, which ultimately drive down government operating expenses, save taxpayers millions of dollars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In its inaugural year, BuildSmart NY drove a five percent reduction in energy use at New York State government buildings and a corresponding decrease in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 130,000 tons a year.

CFA: AB 2581 a significant step backward for California

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Consumer Action (CA) have stepped up to oppose AB 2581 on the grounds that it would "undermine California's ability to continue the leadership role it has played in setting efficiency standards for over a quarter of a century" and are urging Governor Jerry Brown to veto the bill as passed by the legislature.

ACCCE to EPA: Forget the extension, throw out the proposal

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will extend the public comment period of its Clean Power Plan through December 1, 2014 -- an additional 45 days. The decision comes after months of feedback to the EPA that the 120-day comment period simply did not give states and utilities enough time to analyze, develop and submit their plans to comply with the EPA's proposed carbon rule.

Navy showcasing energy innovation in mobile app

The U.S. military has been on the cutting edge of energy innovation with microgrid deployments and efforts to conserve energy. Now, the Navy has a new digital application that highlights its innovative efforts in energy conservation and behavior change. Naval personnel are getting "the maximum warfighting punch" out of their energy efforts, according to the U.S. Navy, and the Energy Warrior application showcases their success.

Consumers to invest $625B in renewable energy resources

Electric utilities are facing disruptive new technology trends that are altering their traditional relationship with residential customers, according to Navigant Research, and it's called distributed energy resources (DER), which are now more affordable and have stimulated growing interest and adoption by residential customers who see an opportunity for greater control of their energy consumption.

VT renewable energy laws fundamentally flawed

The petition states that GMP both counts the Renewable Energy Credits (REC) generated by these sources against Vermont's renewable energy goals while also substantially selling all of these RECs to out-of- state utilities who, in turn, count them against their mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). The result is that Vermont customers are misled into thinking that they are buying "renewable energy," when they are getting "null" electricity consisting of a mix of fossil fuel, nuclear, gas and other "brown" sources of electricity from the regional grid, according to the petition. 

Iberdrola, Roseville Electric working together to meet CA RPS

As a municipal utility, Roseville Electric is not required to purchase renewable energy to comply with legislation until 2020. However, in an effort to gain the buy-in of its customers, Roseville Electric offers "Green Roseville," a voluntary program for those customers wishing to support energy from regional renewable energy sources.

NY hydro leverages gravity-fed water supply

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced its plans to build a new 14 MW hydroelectric facility at the city's Cannonsville Reservoir in Delaware County to advance New York City's goal of developing affordable, clean and renewable energy supplies that support economic growth while reducing the city's overall carbon footprint 

World eyeing up advantages of offshore wind

GlobalData expects offshore wind to become one of the largest renewable power market segments by 2020, with the UK, Germany and China making significant contributions due to a number of projects currently in the planning and construction stages.

Leased solar: A losing proposition?

A recent study by The Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, took a closer look at the subsidies created by net metering and other tax credits for a leased home solar system.  In California, more than $20,000 worth of subsidies go toward a typical 4 kW rooftop solar photovoltaic system.  Add in other federal tax credits, and solar systems are subsidized to the tune of more than $24,000 -- much more than the cost of the actual installation.

Utilities garner sustainability honors

Both the importance and the understanding of sustainability has grown dramatically over the past 15 years, and those utilities which have grasped that are being recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) -- a leading benchmark in the field. The DJSI tracks the performance of the top 20 percent of the 600 largest North American companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index based on a variety of criteria, including climate change strategies, energy consumption, human resources development, knowledge management, stakeholder relations and corporate governance.

Dominion to acquire EDF RE solar projects

Dominion has announced plans to acquire two solar energy projects from EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE). The two California solar projects in question total 42 MW. These acquisitions would increase dominion's renewable energy generation and growth strategy, aligning with its portfolio of regulated and long-term contracted assets.

Advanced buoys offer real-world offshore wind data

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy has purchased two 20,000-pound buoys complete with the latest in meteorological and oceanographic equipment to enable more accurate predictions of the power-producing potential of winds that blow off U.S. shores. The buoys are expected to improve offshore turbine performance in the near term and reduce barriers to private investment in large-scale offshore wind energy development in the long term.

Duke Energy increasing NC solar by 60 percent

Duke Energy is making a major expansion of solar power in North Carolina -- to the tune of $500M -- culminating the utility's request for proposals (RFP) in February 2014 and furthering its commitment to renewable energy, diversifying its energy portfolio and meeting North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS).

Iberdrola expanding electric vehicle fleet

Iberdrola USA is taking to heart an industry-wide goal set by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with a signed commitment to spend at least five percent of its annual fleet acquisition budget on plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) and related equipment and technology. The fleet electrification commitment is part of EEI's long-term strategy to develop the PEV market, demonstrating the benefits of PEVs and supporting the growth of the nascent PEV industry.

NY utilities challenge FERC over capacity zone pricing

Joining the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation and Iberdrola USA subsidiaries New York State Electric & Gas Corporation and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation have challenged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) decision to assess "unnecessarily high prices in the new capacity zone in the lower Hudson Valley," providing oral arguments in the Second Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City.

Report: CSP uniquely positioned as part of low carbon energy mix

As the penetration of variable renewable energy resources increases worldwide, more attention is being paid to the effects of renewable energy on power system reliability and operations. CSP with thermal energy storage is a potential solution that meets clean energy and climate change policy goals, reduces the variability of the aggregate renewable energy portfolios and provides a wide range of operational and reliability benefits.

APS seeking coal compromise

"When the EPA issued its final rules to manage regional haze, we told the agency that the cost of adding SCRs along with the other technologies required to meet the mercury rules placed the unit at risk of being uneconomic to operate," said David Hansen, APS vice president of fossil generation. 

Court validates PPL beliefs on state subsidies for new power plants

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit came to a unanimous decision that a New Jersey law promoting construction of new power plants by subsidizing development of new generation in the state is invalid because it oversteps the state's regulatory authority. The decision upholds a New Jersey District Court decision in a lawsuit filed by PPL EnergyPlus and other competitive electricity suppliers after the legislation was enacted in 2011.