Politics, Power & Grid Investments

January 10, 2013 09:52 by Bill Conway in Energy, Engineering & Construction, Regulation  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Modernizing the electric grid should be a top priority of our country, as much of the existing infrastructure is “past its prime” and is “stressed” in many areas. The effects of Super Storm Sandy highlighted weaknesses in the system that need to be addressed to ensure the continued flow of electricity. [More]

U.S. Electricity Use on Wane

January 3, 2013 14:16 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The good news for utilities is that consumers are plugging more things in. The bad news is energy efficiency and overall consumption patterns are driving electricity consumption down. The ability to deploy capital into regulated areas, specifically transmission assets is a bright spot for investor owned utilities. However, the impact on dividends has yet to be felt. [More]

City of Boulder, CO + Municipalization Efforts

December 10, 2012 11:22 by Bill Conway in Energy, Engineering & Construction, Financing  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
The outcome of these discussions could have a ripple effect on the age old “municipalization discussions” across the country.  Such transactions are complex undertakings, and require examination from multiple angles, but are perplexing considering the highest and best use of a municipalities limited resources.    To read the full story, click here.

Coal Transportation Rates to the Electric Power Sector

December 6, 2012 13:57 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Regulation  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The transportation cost for coal from mines to generation facilities via rail  increased 46% from 2001-2010, or 4.3% annually, with the largest annual rate of increase in the southern Appalachian region.  However, increases in commodity costs outpaced transportation cost increases.  To read more, click here.  

Manufacturers: EPA regulations Will Severely Harm Economic Growth

Further regulations on manufacturers in a challenging economic environment will cause a ripple effect, having a negative effect on job creation and growth opportunities, in addition to the staggering cost of compliance.  To read more on the subject, click here.  

Energy Information Administration released its Residential Energy Consumption Survey

August 1, 2012 16:18 by David Patterson in Energy  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
June 6 “Total United States energy consumption in homes has remained relatively stable for many years as increased energy efficiency has offset the increase in the number and average size of housing units, according to the newly released data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The average household consumed 90 million British thermal units (Btu) in 2009 based on RECS. This continues the downward trend in average residential energy consumption of the last 30 years. Despite increases in the number and the average size of homes plus increased use of electronics, improvements in efficiency for space heating, air conditioning, and major appliances have all led to decreased consumption per household. Newer homes also tend to feature better insulation and other characteristics, such as double-pane windows, that improve the building envelope.”  Read more

Regional Utilities Looking for New Electricity Market

July 19, 2012 08:37 by Capital Advisors in Energy  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
The Southwest Power Pool is looking to build a new marketplace for electricity in the region, giving customers access to the cheapest power available. However, creating centralized dispatch may be the most important aspect of the new market, allowing each utility to benefit from a broader selection of resources rather than being constrained in dispatching their own units in economic order.  Read more...    

Proposed Legislation on How Electric Coops Make Decisions

July 19, 2012 08:35 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Financing, Regulation  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
The draft legislation including the disclosure of power demand / load and forecasting information at the distribution level and requiring a G&T to secure approval from two-thirds of its members prior to entering into debt or energy contracts seem to be in line with what a cooperatives board role should be, that of protecting the member’s interest.  Read more...    

Energy Information Administration released its Residential Energy Consumption Survey

June 29, 2012 13:27 by David Patterson in Energy  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
“Total United States energy consumption in homes has remained relatively stable for many years as increased energy efficiency has offset the increase in the number and average size of housing units," according to the newly released data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The average household consumed 90 million British thermal units (Btu) in 2009 based on RECS. This continues the downward trend in average residential energy consumption of the last 30 years. Despite increases in the number and the average size of homes plus increased use of electronics, improvements in efficiency for space heating, air conditioning, and major appliances have all led to decreased consumption per household. Newer homes also tend to feature better insulation and other characteristics, such as double-pane windows, that improve the building envelope.   

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