Consumer Trends

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Latest Headlines

Energy Prize focuses on community, utility collaboration

The Georgetown University Energy Prize-- a $5 million national incentive competition that challenges communities across America to reduce their energy consumption by implementing creative strategies to increase efficiency-- requires local governments, residents, utilities, and others to work together to demonstrate success in sustainably reducing energy consumption.

The frenzy to divest fossil fuels

More than 800 investors worldwide are divesting their holdings in fossil fuels. The signatories, including foundations, individuals, faith groups, health care organizations, cities and universities around the world will make their divestiture commitment public today at the United Nations Climate Summit. Signers pledge to divest from fossil fuels over five years, taking a variety of approaches.

What they don't know about energy

Energy is as important to Americans as food, clothing and shelter. As I get to visit with people around the country on my  Just the Fracks  book tour I am learning a lot about what Americans think and know about energy. It seems that the further I get from areas that produce oil, natural gas and coal the less people know about where their energy comes from.

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."

Energy challenge nets local businesses 11 percent savings

With the average U.S. commercial building wasting 30 percent of the energy paid for by its owners, the potential to reduce energy waste is attractive to utilities, building professionals, members of the energy industry and business owners alike. Driving the cause is an increase in energy management and information systems (EMIS), which synthesize and display a building's energy use data, allowing occupants to leverage the information to make positive improvements in how they manage their energy use.

Despite Tesla, NV electric vehicle market could stall

Nevada was recently chosen as the location for the new Tesla electric vehicle (EV) battery factory, but a new report claims that if several proposed state policies concerning EVs don't pass, sales of EVs in the state-- and the economic and environmental benefits that come with them-- will suffer.

California's water challenge

Currently, Californians use 196 gallons of water per day-- the 15th highest rate of consumption per capita in the United States. The state is currently short more than a year's worth of water and supply will continue to decline until the upcoming winter. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation estimates that, by 2030, California may have an annual unmet water demand of between 1.5 and two trillion gallons of water each year.

Poll reveals support for CO solar net metering

Nearly three fourths of Colorado voters surveyed would vote "yes" to a measure protecting solar net metering if it were on a ballot, according to a poll by Public Opinion Strategies and Keating Research of 500 voters. Specifically, 74 percent would support a potential ballot measure that says "each electric utility will in no way limit its customers' participation in net metering," and maintains that net metering credit "equals the same rate that customers pay for grid electricity."

Pay-TV industry driving hundreds of millions in energy efficiency

The voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement between the pay-TV industry, consumer electronics manufacturers and energy-efficiency advocates has saved American consumers approximately $168 million in energy bills, according to the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top Boxes 2013 Annual Report conducted by D&R International.

Customers to AEP, Duke Energy: Down with coal

According to the telephone poll of 526 Ohio electricity customers, 75 percent said they would deny AEP's rate request to pay for extra costs associated with continuing to generate electricity from existing power plants.