User: flenvcenter Topic: Energy-Independent
Category: Conservation and Efficiency
Last updated: Aug 25 2015 20:53 IST RSS 2.0
 
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5 Reasons Utilities Are Hating on Their Solar-Producing Customers 25.8.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
It seems crazy that electric companies would have anything against customers that spend their own money to reduce their energy use with clean, local solar power. But any number of utilities are slapping excessive fees and charges on customers with solar to slow or stop them. Here are five reasons why... 1. Utilities Don't View Customer-Owned Solar Power as a Resource Most utilities see a solar array on a customer rooftop the same as they see an energy efficient refrigerator. It means the customer buys less electricity. In some states, policies called "decoupling" tend to hold utilities harmless to these sales losses in order to encourage more investment in cost-effective energy efficiency. But with solar, utilities tend to ignore the benefits that this energy provides to the electricity system unless someone tells them to account for it. Read a utility integrated resource plan (their 15-year plan for the electric grid), and you can see an electric utility wax eloquent about a shiny new 100 megawatt power ...
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How the Clean Power Plan is a Game-Changer for Clean Energy 25.8.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
**Note:** This blog post is part of a series geared toward discussing the wide ranging impacts of the President's Clean Power Plan. Over the course of this week, Sierra Club experts are adding to this series of posts on Sierra Club's Compass blog with more posts on what's new in this plan and its effects on coal , environmental justice , labor , policy , and international climate negotiations (coming soon!). This piece was co-written by Mary Anne Hitt and Liz Perrera, Climate Policy Director at the Sierra Club. The final Clean Power Plan is the most significant single action any President has taken to date to tackle climate disruption. It establishes the first-ever set of national carbon limits on power plants, our biggest source of the pollution that's throwing our climate into chaos. It's also a game-changer for clean energy, because it creates big, important new opportunities for renewable energy and energy efficiency in every state. This post provides an overview of the clean energy elements of the ...
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California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story: $90 Billion in Utility Bill Savings, Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs, and 40+ Polluting Power Plants Avoided 20.8.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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The EPA’s Clean Power Plan: How Unions and Allies Can Protect Affected Workers 7.8.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Clean Power Plan Puts Emphasis on Clean Energy, Not on Natural Gas 6.8.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
America is taking historic action against climate change. On Monday, President Obama announced the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants. This breakthrough will help shield future generations from climate chaos and prevent thousands of premature deaths each year. It is also a major opportunity for us to shift away from fossil fuels--including natural gas--by expanding clean, renewable power. This is welcome news for people living on the frontlines of reckless fracking for natural gas. Natural gas companies have a track record of running roughshod over communities. Frack pads are often sunk in people's backyards and neighborhoods and have been linked to increased air pollution and contaminated drinking water . When the Environmental Protection Agency first proposed carbon limits a year ago, some groups feared the agency's plan would promote natural gas as a "bridge" fuel between coal and renewable energy. Instead the EPA's final Clean Power Plan puts energy efficiency and ...
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The Climate Post: Final Clean Power Plan More Ambitious, Flexible 6.8.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
On Monday, President Obama announced the release of the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), which sets mandatory limits on the amount of carbon dioxide emissions the nation's fleet of existing power plants may emit. The rule is projected to reduce emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. "We're the first generation to feel the impact of climate change. We're the last generation that can do something about it," Obama said, noting that power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution, a key contributor to climate change. "Until now, there have been no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution plants dump in the air." Some Plan Particulars The complicated and controversial 1561-page rule was developed by the Obama administration using existing authority under the Clean Air Act--specifically, section 111(d) . The plan, according to a Washington Post op-ed, "is about as flexible as possible," because it allows each state to come up with its own compliance program to meet the federal ...
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U.S. Clean Power Plan: Game-Changer for Curbing Climate Change 4.8.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
On August 3, President Obama announced the first national limits on carbon pollution from power plants under the Clean Air Act. Laid out in the Clean Power Plan, the new limits are a game-changer that will give a big boost to state efforts to tackle climate change through clean energy solutions. President Obama in a video announcing the Clean Power Plan said, "We can't condemn our kids and grandkids to a planet that's beyond fixing. Climate change is not a problem for another generation. Not anymore." This is the biggest single step our nation can take to fight climate change right now. It is historic. It is achievable. And it is time. Climate change is already supercharging extreme weather in our communities. Several Western states remain in the grip of severe or extreme drought , costing farmers billions of dollars . And East Coast officials issued heat advisories and air quality alerts when temperatures soared last week and increased the risk of asthma attacks and other health problems, especially for ...
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6 Quick and Easy Ways to Go Green 30.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Going green at home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are many ways to improve efficiency without spending a fortune. Here are some quick and easy ways to increase energy efficiency while decreasing your monthly utility bills: #1 Perform a home energy audit. Perform an energy audit to identify all of the energy-wasting areas in your home. You can hire a home energy auditor for about $220 to $530 . An auditor will usually find more than one way to save energy in your home, saving you as much as 30 percent or more on your monthly utility bill. The savings add up quickly whether you decide to invest in some or all of the recommended changes. Photo courtesy of Electrical Plus, LLC in West Chester, PA #2 Upgrade your light bulbs. Switching out your light bulbs with their CFL or LED alternatives is another low-cost way to save energy. CFLs convert most of the energy they use. Altogether, they use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer. You will save about $90 over the lifetime of every ...
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New Report Shatters Myth of 'Nuclear Renaissance' 17.7.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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New Frontier for Energy Efficiency Emerges in Small Buildings 22.6.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Jim Lindberg, Senior Director, Preservation Green Lab , National Trust for Historic Preservation Small business owners work hard to keep the lights on, so they often don't have time to think about the opportunity to strengthen their bottom line through energy efficiency improvements in their building. That's why the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is working with a national team of experts to test a program for pinpointing long-term energy cost savings in existing buildings. The America Saves program is using energy and building data to demonstrate the benefits of money- and energy-saving facility improvements. Marge Anderson, executive vice president of Seventhwave , a leading energy nonprofit, and I recently spoke about America Saves and the challenges and opportunities that exist for enhancing energy efficiency in small buildings across the country. Here is a portion of that conversation: Lindberg: Small buildings of less than 50,000 square feet represent 95 ...
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Future of Nova Scotia's energy efficiency is on the line 15.6.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Monday, June 15, 2015 The future of Nova Scotia's quest for energy efficiency, its status as Canada's leading jurisdiction in that regard, and the wisdom of the Liberal government on energy matters will be on trial before the Utilities and Review Board this coming week, as the board deals with a demand by Nova Scotia Power Inc. to slash efficiency programs by nearly half. You'll remember that Efficiency Nova Scotia, an independent, non-profit energy conservation utility, was funded by a charge on your power bill, which aggravated many. Nova Scotia's quest for energy efficiency, along with the wisdom of the Liberal government on energy matters, will be on trial before the Utilities and Review Board this coming ...
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How the Transition to Renewable Energy Could Come 15.6.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
While I do not believe that a carbon tax is practical or feasible and do not believe it is the "solution" to the problem of global warming, I do believe the transition to renewable energy is practical, feasible and necessary. We need to address the problem of global warming and to do that we need to gradually replace fossil fuels with other forms of energy. Energy is an indispensible ingredient of modern economic life, and the long-term future for fossil fuels is greater expense and greater environmental damage. So if a true price for fossil fuels won't stimulate the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy, what will? I am counting on human ingenuity and technological innovation. But, if I am dismissing higher fossil fuel cost as a way to stimulate innovation, what will stimulate the development and implementation of new energy technology? To address that question I look to the technological innovations I have seen in my lifetime and ask: How did they come about? I also look to the current reductions in ...
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A Carbon Tax is Not Feasible or Practical 8.6.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
In a prominent editorial this past Sunday, the New York Times once again advocated the adoption of a carbon tax. While the theory of a carbon tax makes perfect sense, its lack of practicality makes it the unicorn of energy politics. It is an imaginary creature of elegance and beauty that has little chance of walking the earth. It is true that greenhouse gas regulations and gasoline taxes are forms of carbon taxes and, as the Times reports, British Columbia has a carbon tax. But the space between the carbon tax as a policy idea and the reality of American politics is too vast to overcome. For better or worse, here in America we are in a period of tax policy paralysis that is unlikely to be surmounted anytime soon. If it is, it will be because the Republicans have achieved control of both the presidency and Congress--and the agenda will be to cut taxes, not to establish new ones. In my view, the focus of climate policy should not be to raise the price of fossil fuels, but to lower the price of renewable ...
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Assessing the Energy-Efficiency Gap 3.6.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Global energy consumption is on a path to grow 30–50 percent over the next 25 years, bringing with it, in many countries, increased local air pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and oil consumption, as well as higher energy prices. Energy-efficient technologies offer considerable promise for reducing the costs and environmental damages associated with energy use, but these technologies appear not to be used by consumers and businesses to the degree that would apparently be justified, even on the basis of their own (private) financial net benefits. For some thirty years, there have been discussions and debates about this phenomenon among researchers and others in academia, government, non-profits, and private industry, typically couched in terms of potential explanations of the so-called " energy efficiency gap " or " energy paradox ." Thinking About the Energy-Efficiency Gap I wrote about this some two years ago at this blog ( Thinking About the Energy-Efficiency Gap) . I noted then that ...
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Energy Efficiency in the Digital Age: A Win-Win 2.6.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Three billion personal computers in use today consume more than 1% of energy production, and 30 million computer servers use an added 1.5% of global electricity generation. And it's not just computers using all of this power. The explosion of smartphones, tablets and the other digitally enabled devices - the so called "Internet of Things" - is causing all of those numbers to escalate. By 2020, the estimate is that there will be 50 billion connected devices - about seven devices for every person on the planet today - that are forecasted to consume 14% of global electricity generation. So, with this large and growing power demand, is the digital revolution helping or hurting efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses? A panel discussion at the recent Boston College Corporate Citizenship Conference dug into this question. The panel featured Sam Naffziger, Corporate and IEEE Fellow from AMD; Dr. Neal Elliott at ACEEE; Chris Lloyd of Verizon; and Dr. Michael Webber from the University of Texas. Titled "The ...
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China Power Sector Reform Plans Aim To Boost Energy Efficiency and Renewables 28.5.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
[Tangshanpeng Wind Farm/Land Rover Our Planet] China's drive for a cleaner and more efficient energy grid received a boost in April when the Chinese government issued four documents on power sector reform. The documents, which were published in rapid succession, came from several different ministries and outlined long-awaited upgrades to the functioning of the world's largest utility. The reforms were wide-ranging and introduced a number of different topics, including improving efficiency in the power sector, assisting efforts to integrate renewable energy into the grid, and removing conflicting incentives in power generation, all changes that NRDC has been advocating for years. The first document, issued by China's State Council, sets forth general guidelines for power sector reform in China. It's the first major State Council document on power sector reform since 2002, but these latest reforms take a stronger stance on environmental protection than past policy changes . The document emphasizes the ...
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How to Scale Energy Efficiency Initiatives 22.5.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
2015 - an important year for climate action 2015 represents a crucial juncture for global climate governance. This year, signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet at the climate summit in Paris to negotiate a legally binding and universal agreement to keep global warming below two degrees. In addition, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - agreed by 189 United Nations member states in 2000 to address global poverty, hunger, disease, education, gender inequality and environmental sustainability - expire in 2015. Following and expanding on the MDGs, a new set of universal goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will be adopted by the UN members in September. From January 2016 until end of 2030 the member states of the United Nations are expected to frame their agendas around those goals. Up to now, the improvement of global living standards has been targeted by the MDGs mainly through the transfer of relevant technologies (e.g. electrification, telecommunications, ...
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EPA Coal Rules Could Save Thousands of Lives Per Year: Study 5.5.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Energy Efficiency in Bloom 29.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Each Spring, our environment transforms as bare tree branches sprout new buds that blossom into a refreshing palette of color that replaces the muted tones of winter. While this year's peak bloom has come and gone in many cities, a different blossoming occurred this past week that befits business owners, building operators, and city leaders across the country. Transformation is underway in our built environment--and last week there were three developments of note. First, last Monday, Atlanta became the first major Southeast city to adopt an energy efficiency policy that focuses on tackling building energy use and waste through measures such as benchmarking, transparency, and energy audits. Second, the unanimous City Council approval of Atlanta's Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance was followed by Portland, Oregon's City Council unanimously approving an Energy Performance Reporting Policy for buildings over 20,000 square feet. This is not a situation where two events are just a coincidence. ...
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6 Eco-Friendly Tips For The Home 21.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors By: Anne Reagan, Editor-In-Chief of Porch.com Earth Day celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, and looking back over the past 45 years and what we know now about climate change, sustainability, energy efficiency and how our actions impact our planet is alarming but also empowering. We now understand that what we choose to purchase or produce, or what we choose to use or waste, can have a direct impact to the health of our planet as well as the health of our bodies and surrounding environment. Nowhere is this extraordinary potential seen more than in the decisions we make with our homes, and particularly with home improvement. Even a small DIY project like painting a wall gives us the opportunity to choose a product that doesn't negatively impact our health or our environment. And when it comes to major home remodeling or improvement projects, homeowners have a wide array of choices that can ultimately make a positive, rather than a negative, impact on the environment. As we ...
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