Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) knows that some of the best ways to impact greenhouse gas emissions is by reducing energy use and highlighting energy efficiency. That is why the utility launched Step Up and Power Down-- an energy savings movement that will empower businesses to encourage smart energy choices by individuals-- which is being joined by some big city mayors.
For generations, electric utilities have been content to get paid by customers primarily based on the amount of electricity they use. But recently, the rise of customer-sited distributed generation (typically rooftop solar) and the success of energy-efficiency programs in reducing load growth have led utilities to look for new ways to recover their costs and reduce their risk. Several utilities across the country have proposed new or higher fixed charges of one form or another in order to keep up revenue as consumption falls. However, fixed charges can stymie adoption of distributed generation, distort the market for energy efficiency, and disproportionately affect low-income customers. That has made these charges the subject of controversy.
The Department of Energy is giving select Alaska Native villages assistance to implement President Obama's Climate Action Plan through the Alaska Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program.
There's a lot happening with the Obama Administration's Better Buildings Challenge-- an effort to advance energy efficiency and combat the effects of climate change-- not the least of which is the recent revelation that Better Buildings Challenge partners have cut energy waste by 94 BTUs, saved a total of $480 million in energy costs, and avoided 6 million tons of carbon emissions, since its launch in 2011.
A number of big business players aren't too happy about some proposed changes to North Carolina's clean energy policies, specifically the provisions to change policies for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS)-- and are expressing their concerns in a letter to the NC Senate and NC House of Representatives.
The United States Energy Information Association (EIA) evaluated how the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) section 111(d) of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) would affect carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants, and found that the proposed rule would lower power sector CO2 emissions to about 1,500 million metric tons per year by 2025. According to EIA, that is a level not seen since the early 1980s.
The European Union (EU) and all EU countries met last week in the Netherlands to talk about the world's energy future, and more than 65 countries signed a new 'International Energy Charter'. The charter covers many issues, including development of international trade in energy, the development of efficient energy markets, the promotion and protection of energy investments, access to and development of energy sources, nuclear safety, energy efficiency, and environmental protection.
Energy industry leaders who gathered last week in Portland, Oregon for the Association of Energy Services Professionals spring meeting were schooled in speaking the language of energy efficiency-- in more ways than one.
Despite positive progress, the energy-efficiency scores across the board demonstrate significant room for improvement. Boston was the only city to earn more than 80 points, and only 13 cities earned more than half of the possible points.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a total of €8 billion in financing for projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy infrastructure.