Battery Storage = A Game Changer

January 24, 2013 14:28 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
The ability to store power in off-peak or low consumption periods in an efficient and cost effective manner could change the electric generation landscape. Battery storage can address the variability of renewable generation and how to more efficiently use renewable resources. [More]

Minnesota Electric Coop Offers Members Solar Power

January 18, 2013 15:09 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
For $869, members of Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative can purchase a solar panel, and the output from a solar array, to be built near the electric cooperative’s headquarters. This is an innovative means for residential electric consumers to purchase solar power without the installation requirements of retro-fitting each individual home, not to mention the challenge of evaluating optimal sun exposure. The community solar concept removes the implementation questions surrounding how residential consumers can participate in renewable power projects. [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]

Natural Gas Pumps Up Electricity Generation

September 18, 2012 11:29 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Consumers should celebrate the fact that natural gas is becoming the fuel of choice for many electric generators, as it’s a cleaner burning option and is currently a more economically attractive alternative to coal.  Considering electricity production has been the fastest growing segment for natural gas for the past decade, consumers should stop and savor this domestic resource, but also wonder about its long-term sustainability.  This is why we need a comprehensive energy policy that emphasizes using multiple fuel sources to keep up with electricity demand.   Read more in the Albuquerque Journal article here.  

Renewable Energy Projects + Master Limited Partnerships = a New Twist in Energy Financing

August 7, 2012 09:16 by Bill Conway in Energy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The recent introduction of a bill to allow MLPs to own renewable energy projects has the potential to reshape the renewable energy marketplace, especially considering the uncertainty of the tax credit programs and the expiration of the 1603 Grant program.  The MLP structure will help in leveling the playing field in comparing renewable vs. fossil fuel generation, and give the renewable industry the ability to grow.  However, despite a potentially more attractive financing path, renewable energy projects need to continue to focus on providing attractively priced power for electric consumers.   

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

Deloitte survey shows energy habits changing

August 1, 2012 16:02 by David Patterson in Energy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Christopher Kolomitz, euci.com | May 2012 “Researchers at the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions say a new era of energy frugality is taking hold in the United States with businesses and residential consumers changing energy habits as a direct result of the recent economic downturn.”  Read more… Links to Deloitte “resources 2012” studies can be found here and here.

Heartland’s Peak Savers Program

July 23, 2012 12:41 by Capital Advisors in Cooperatives  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative Press Release | April 2012 “Heartland’s Peak Savers program is expanding in 2012, and will be offered to all members looking to save money by reducing electric use in their homes during peak alert days in July and August.” “Members who take part in the Peak Savers program this summer will receive notifications via cell phone text messages, emails and phone calls to alert them when peak electric usage is expected across Heartland’s system. On those peak alert days, members will be asked to reduce their electric use from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.” “Rewards will be $1 for every kilowatt hour shifted from the peak.”  Read more

Vermont Electric Coop Starts an Energy and Environmental Management Project

July 23, 2012 10:51 by Capital Advisors in Cooperatives  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Vermontbiz.com | March 26, 2012 Vermont Electric Coop is working with Kilawatt Technologies to start an Energy and Environmental project.  As reported by VermontBiz.com, “A few advantages of Kilawatt’s program that will be realized by Vermont Electric Coop include: 1)      Elimination of occupant comfort issues within the building, 2)      Reduction of total energy consumption which is projected to be 15% or greater, and 3)      Avoidance of non-scheduled HVAC and mechanical equipment expenses.”

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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