Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The next big turning point in the net neutrality debate - The Washington Post

 December 30
On Tuesday, industry associations representing smaller telecom companies and start-ups asked the FCC to apply Title II of the Communications Act to Internet providers. Title II has become a key flash point in the net neutrality debate; advocates say that part of the law, which also governs more traditional telephone service, would give the FCC the strongest possible powers to make sure Internet providers treat all Web traffic equally. Opponents argue Title II is unnecessary and could deter Internet providers from spending money on further network upgrades.

Here’s how far every Tesla Model S can go on a single charge - The Washington Post

 December 30 at 5:46 PM
Most actual drivers aren't going to get anywhere near the kind of fuel economy described in the far left part of the chart above; you're just not going to be driving at 40 miles an hour on flat highways all the time. In EPA tests, the company came away with results more in the 200- to 300-mile range.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Republican-led panel will focus on energy and environment - The Washington Post

 December 30 at 6:00 AM
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), future chair of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced that he would form the new panel to watch over the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the departments of agriculture, energy and interior.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SC sets national net metering example - FierceEnergy


South Carolina is setting a national, and unprecedented, example with an agreement not to seek any solar specific charges until 2021, according to The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), a national group that helped with the negotiations.

Friday, December 12, 2014

New SC net metering agreement: Full retail rate, no solar fees | Utility Dive

South Carolina is an outlier when it comes to solar regulation. As Utility Dive reported last month, the state is doing something few others are — devising a regulatory framework for high solar penetration before it reaches them. 

COLUMBIA, S.C.: Conservation groups, SC utilities reach solar net metering agreement | Business | The State

rburris@thestate.comDecember 11, 2014 
Under the settlement, residential and commercial utility customers who install solar panels on their rooftops before 2021, when the settlement agreement expires, will receive full retail credit for any excess power that flows back onto the electric grid. They also will be eligible to remain on this rate until Dec. 31, 2025 without any solar-specific charges or fees.
The utilities are to file, within 60 days of the settlement’s approval by the Public Service Commission, additional solar programs and incentives with the PSC designed to spur investments in residential and commercial solar use.

Read more here:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Commissioner Elam Appointed to the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services

Public Service Commission of South Carolina Commissioner Elliott F. Elam, Jr. has been appointed to the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services. Commissioner Elam's appointment fills the position vacated by the Honorable Geoff Why, former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable.

Solar Storm: Rooftop Panels Spark Fights Between Utilities, Startups : NPR

Peter Overby
Utilities say consumers who put solar panels on their roofs should help pay to maintain the lines that carry the power they sell back into the system. Panel leasing firms say that's anti-competitive.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why it’s not okay to have a second refrigerator

By Chris Mooney | Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Nadel adds that these older refrigerators, aged 15 to 25 years, will use some 750 to 1000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy each year. "At the national average electric rate of about 13 cents per kWh, this works out to about $97-130 per year," he notes.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fort Jackson gets $43M energy-saving project

Facility improvements include a comprehensive high-efficiency lighting project with LED lighting technologies, an extensive 20,500-point controls upgrade, central plant improvements including a 2.4 million gallon thermal energy storage tank and water system upgrades including irrigation controls.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Is South Carolina solar about to explode?

By  | November 18, 2014
“The way I read the legislation is ‘Let’s figure out the new net metering equation and not have one customer subsidizing another. But, since we need to encourage early adoption of DERs, we will limit what we are asking of consumers,’” explained CEO Robert Hochstetler of Central Electric Power Cooperative, which distributes about a third of South Carolina’s generation through the state’s 20 electric cooperatives.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Report: Duke Energy pushing back decision on Lee nuclear plant - Charlotte Business Journal

Senior Staff Writer-Charlotte Business Journal
"We completely understand the risks of (nuclear) construction," Good said. "Fundamentally we're watching the important work that Southern Co. andSCANA Corp. are doing" at Plant Vogtle and the V.C Summer nuclear plants, respectively.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Energy, Security, and Climate » What the Big U.S.-China Climate Announcement Means

by Michael Levi
November 12, 2014
The U.S. target looks like it’s going to be really tough to meet without new laws.The United States promised to cut emissions 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and to try to get to a 28 percent cut. (Notice a pattern – baseline and stretch goals – between the United States and China?) If the United States hits its current target – 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 – on the head, it will need to cut emissions by 2.3-2.8 percent annually between 2020 and 2025, a much faster pace than what’s being targeted through 2020. That is a mighty demanding goal. It will be particularly challenging to meet using existing legal authority – which the administration says can be done.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Henan power supply officials plunge county into darkness after drunken KTV brawl

James Griffiths
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, a group of staff working for a local power supply station run by state-owned power giant State Grid Corporation were out drinking at a karaoke bar in Qixian county on November 2.
After buying and consuming several bottles of expensive liquor and crates of beer, the group demanded another round on the house. When staff at the bar refused, the power station posse began smashing up the room.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

New England Electricity Prices Spike As Gas Pipelines Lag : NPR

Sarah Evans Brown, Nov. 5, 2014
For Sage and other consumers, these changes seem to have come out of nowhere, but in reality, they have been a long time coming. Between the years of 2000 and 2013, New England went from getting 15 percent of its energy from natural gas to 46 percent. That's dozens of power plants getting built.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

SCANA earnings climb 9.9% in Q3 - Columbia Regional Business Report

An abnormally hot summer, customer growth and rate hikes fueled a 9.9% increase in third-quarter earnings for Cayce-based SCANA Corp., parent of South Carolina Electric & Gas.
The company reported Thursday earnings for the quarter totaled $144 million compared with $131 million for the third quarter of 2013.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, SCANA said its earnings climbed 17.7% to $433 million compared with $368 million for the first nine months of 2013.
“Electric margins continue to increase as expected due to customer growth and financing cost recovery through the Base Load Review Act," said Jimmy Addison, SCANA executive vice president and CFO. Additionally, hot weather during the summer contributed to higher earnings.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How the EPA may change the Clean Power Plan | Utility Dive

By Gavin Bade | October 29, 2014 

 Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released itsNotice of Data Availability (NODA) on the Clean Power Plan, itsdraft rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. The document, meant to address concerns raised during the agency's public comment period, opens the door to more flexibility for utilities trying to cope with the new regulations. 
In particular, the EPA document reveals that the EPA will seek further comment from stakeholders in three areas: The 2020-2029 trajectory—or glide path—for emission reductions, the Clean Power Plan's building blocks, and calculating state-specific CO2 goals.

Monday, October 27, 2014

How utilities can streamline rooftop solar interconnection and cut costs | Utility Dive

By  | October 16, 2014

The SEPA survey was performed as part of a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative award that also funded the development of a new online platform for interconnection application processing by Clean Power Research (CPR)
PowerClerk Interconnection (PC-Interconnect) was developed by CPR out of its widely used PowerClerk Incentives (PC-Incent) online tool. PC-Incent was developed eight years ago for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). It automated the processing of applications for state incentives. It has been used by 22 utilities and agencies to process over 280,000 applications representing more than 6 gigawatts of renewables capacity.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

USDA Efficiency Program Kicks Off with 2 Co-ops | Electric Co-op Today

By Steven Johnson | ECT Staff WriterPublished: October 23rd, 2014
It’s been two years in the making, and now a pair of electric cooperatives has kicked off a federal program designed to help rural residents save energy and reduce their electric bills.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How Miraculous is the Amish Fireplace?

"Whether a space heater costs $40.00 or $300.00, 1500 watts cannot magically be converted into more BTU. The maximum amount of heat energy is 1500 watts and it cannot produce more than that," Dr. Doyle said.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Randy Mitchell Obituary: The State

Mitchell SALUDA - Mr. Randy Mitchell, 64, of Saluda, passed away on Sunday, October 5, 2014 from injuries incurred during an accident on his family farm.
Born September 16, 1950, he was the son of Rudolph Mitchell and the late Lenora Werts Mitchell. Randy is survived by his wife of 36 years, Wanda Joyner Mitchell; four children whom he adored Amy Lenora M. Harper (Brandon) of
Richland, Washington; Jason Rudolph Mitchell (Cory) of Simpsonville; Lauren Elizabeth Mitchell and Jeremy Randolph Mitchell both of Saluda; father Rudolph Mitchell (Faye), sister Molly Mitchell Spearman (Bill) of Saluda; grandchildren Ava Grace and Layla Rae Harper; and Whitney Marie Mitchell; a host of family members and friends who loved him dearly and appreciated the way he was always ready to help them. Randy graduated from Hollywood High School in 1968 and his best memories were his days on the basketball court with his team. That love of basketball continued throughout his days at Spartanburg Methodist College and Lander College, where he graduated with a B.S. in Physical Education. He instilled a love of basketball with his children by volunteering to coach their youth teams and cheering them on in every game. He loved working on the rolling hills of his family farm in Saluda County where he built a prize winning herd of Guernsey Cattle, a producer of Louis Rich turkeys, and a large herd of Black Angus Beef Cattle. Always giving back to the community, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Saluda County Council 1981 87, Saluda County Probate Judge 1987 98, and was elected to the South Carolina Public Service Commission from July 1998 until his retirement 2013. During his tenure on the PSC, he served as Chairman 2004-06 and was selected to the Universal Services Administrative Company Board of Directors and the Federal State Joint Board on Universal Service. In his community he served as President of the Hollywood Ruritan Club and enjoyed the monthly supper meetings and annual machinery sale. He was a lifelong member of Hickory Grove Advent Christian Church. Randy loved to laugh, to enjoy the peaceful countryside, to ride through the fields of Saluda County, to talk politics, but most of all, to be with his family and friends. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. Visitation will be held at Ramey Funeral Home, 202 N. Rudolph St, Saluda on Wednesday, October 8 from 6-8 p.m. Services will be held at Hickory Grove Advent Christian Church,340 Hickory Grove Road, Saluda on Thursday, October 9 at 11 a.m. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hickory Grove Church, or to the Hollywood Ruritan Club, 2563 Denny Hwy., Saluda, SC 29138. Memories and condolences may be shared
online at - See more at:
Read more here:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

White House unveils new solar, energy efficiency steps

Wendy Koch, USA TODAY8:58 a.m. EDT September 18, 2014
It announced $68 million in federal funds for 540 renewable power and energy efficiency projects in rural areas, including 240 solar ones. It said it's proposing stricter rules for commercial air conditioners that could save more energy than any prior standard and it's partnering with military bases to launch a veterans' solar job training program.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bob Guild Honored for Environmental Advocacy

Bob Guild received the Harriet Keyserling Advocacy Award from the Conservation Voters of South Carolina at its annual Green Tie Luncheon Today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

SCANA Corp. nuclear project facing further delays

SCE&G plans to re-evaluate and reschedule its owners cost estimates and cash flow requirements in light of that new schedule when it is finalized,” SCANA added. Once the company reaches an agreement with the consortium, SCE&G plans to go to the commission later this year and seek permission to revise the construction schedule and revise the cost cap.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cab companies unite against Uber and other ride-share services - The Washington Post

 August 10 at 5:52 PM 
The rapid rise of ride-share services, led by the multibillion-dollar Uber, has galvanized the Washington region’s taxi industry in an unprecedented spirit of cooperation.

Friday, August 8, 2014

S.C. joins states suing EPA over proposed coal plant emission limits

Staff Report 
Published Aug. 6, 2014
Under the proposed rule, South Carolina would have to reduce its emissions rate by 51.4% by 2030. In 2012, South Carolina’s emission rate for the state’s power sector was 1,587 pounds per megawatt. The EPA proposes that the state reduce that to 772 pounds per MW.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Borrowing costs up as spending for Duke Energy nuke plant reaches $403.4M - Charlotte Business Journal

Senior Staff Writer-Charlotte Business Journal
The report says $15.1 million, or 69.7% of the costs incurred in the first six months of the year, is categorized as “allowance for funds used during construction,” or AFUDC. That’s the cost for those six months of the money Duke has borrowed to finance the work done to date.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Religious Conservatives Embrace Proposed E.P.A. Rules -

Although many of the faith leaders come from traditionally progressive congregations, like black churches, synagogues and mainstream Protestant denominations, others were more conservative Christians who reflect a growing embrace of environmentalism by parts of the religious right. This week’s hearings on the new E.P.A. rule gives them an opportunity to make their argument that climate change hurts the world’s poor through natural disasters, droughts and rising sea levels, and that it is part of their faith to protect the planet.

Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record

By Terence P. Jeffrey

( - For the first time ever, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity in the United States has broken through the 14-cent mark, climbing to a record 14.3 cents in June, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The 5 Best And 5 Worst Utilities At Renewables and Efficiency: Ceres Rankings

Utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric Co  and Sempra, in California, lead the nation’s utilities in renewable energy sales and adoption of energy efficiency, while Entergy, Southern Company and Dominion, in the American South, have achieved the least.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good scrambles senior management team - Charlotte Business Journal

Senior Staff Writer-Charlotte Business Journal
Lloyd Yates will take responsibility for regulatory policy and power distribution in the Carolinas. He also will have responsibility for customer services across the company. His title will be executive vice president, market solutions and president of the Carolinas region.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DHEC Public Meeting on Proposed Clean Air Rules

The SC Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC) will host a public hearing this Thursday on new federal rules targeted at cutting carbon pollution. South Carolina has already reduced its carbon pollutionsubstantially over the past decade with the retirement of older coal plants and increased use of natural gas. These new rules are expected to result in increased energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment in the state.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency

July 21st, 2014 by  
Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency, according to the 2014 scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today. Sixteen nations were studied. Six of the top 10 were from Europe. Canada was the only North American nation to make the cut, placing 9th.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Charleston police plan to sting UberX drivers, Uber says it will pay fines | Region | The State

The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.July 21, 2014
However, the city's strategy of penalizng UberX drivers may be futile. Taylor Bennett, a spokesman for Uber, said the company will pay for all the fines that its drivers in Charleston are issued by law enforcement officers, even if the drivers are cited more than once for the same violation.
That may not be an empty promise. The San Francisco-based technology company is backed by Google Ventures, which recently estimated that the company is worth more than $200 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Uber Launches in Columbia, But State Agency Says It’s Illegal -

By Eva Moore
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ball isn’t the only one concerned, though. In June, the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff asked for a formal hearing by the state Public Service Commission regarding Uber to determine how it should be regulated under state law. The commission has scheduled that hearing for Aug. 26. 
- See more at:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In Net-Neutrality Push, Democrats Aim to Make the Internet a Utility -

July 14, 2014
Sen. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, collected signatures for a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet like the telephone system.
Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Al Franken of Minnesota, as well as independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have signed on, aides confirmed. The lawmakers have planned a Tuesday morning press conference with Internet advocacy groups. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Former prosecutor takes over as Public Service chairwoman

Nikki Hall, a former Richland County magistrate, has been sworn in as chairwoman of the S.C. Public Service Commission.
Hall, of Columbia, is an attorney who began her career clerking for the Circuit Judge Casey Manning. She also served as a prosecutor in the 5th Judicial Circuit.
A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Hall earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

US Energy Firms Report Cyber Attacks

On  by Thomas Brewster 
The so-called “Dragonfly” hackers, also known as Energetic Bear, largely went after businesses in the US, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey and Poland. They managed to compromise industrial control systems (ICS) used to control sections of power plants

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New PSC officers and Commissioner Elam will be sworn in next week

The swearing in ceremony for  Chairman-Elect Nikiya “Nikki” Hall, Vice Chairman-Elect Swain E. Whitfield, and newly-elected Commissioner
Elliott F. Elam, Jr. will be held on on Wednesday, July 9th at 2:30 p.m. in the Commission’s Hearing Room.

Commissioner Elliott F. Elam, Jr. Joins PSC

Commissioner Elliott F. Elam, Jr. assumed office on July 1, 2014.  He represents the Second Congressional District.  Commissioner Elam was previously employed with the South Carolina Department of Consumer affairs for twenty-seven years as a law clerk, staff attorney, and as the state's Consumer Advocate.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

AT&T Saves $191 Million from Energy-Efficiency Projects in 4 Years | Sustainable Brands

AT&T has realized annualized energy savings of more than $191 million from 18,800 energy efficiency projects implemented since 2010, according to the company’s recent Annual Update, released Tuesday.

Duke Energy Foundation grants $75,000 for incubator program - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

A public-private partnership among the Clemson University Institute for Economic and Community Development, the Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville and the City of Hartsville, DECI was established in July 2013 as one of Clemson’s Technology Villages, connecting those innovators who have developed technology business ideas with the resources and expertise to develop sustainable commercial enterprises. The Duke Energy Foundation and Hartsville’s Byerly Foundation served as initial major sponsors for the effort, providing funding to open the program in a downtown Hartsville location.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Central Electric names Hochstetler CEO

Robert Hochstetler has been named president and chief executive officer for Central Electric Power Cooperative, replacing Ron Calcaterra, who is retiring. Hochstetler begins work at Central Electric in July.

Hochstetler was vice president of power production for Hoosier Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative in Indiana, where he was responsible for power plant operations, contracts and commodities hedging.Prior to that, he was commercial asset risk manager for Duke Energy and operations vice president for Cinergy.

"Rob Hochstetler comes to Central at an important time in our work for cooperatives and during a period of significant change in the electric industry," said Central Board Chairman Lawrence J. Hinz. "We will need Rob's breadth of knowledge in the years to come."  

Friday, June 6, 2014

South Carolina: The perfect case study for new EPA power plant rules | TheHill

By Frank Knapp Jr.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released proposed rules for reducing carbon emissions from the nation’s power plants in an effort to address the negative impacts of climate change.  Power plants contribute about 40 percent of the country’s carbon pollution.
Transitioning to a clean energy economy is thus very important and it is clear that EPA rules for states to control carbon pollution are needed.

Read more:
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

PSC Elects Officers

On June 4, 2014, the Public Service Commission of South Carolina elected Commissioner Nikiya "Nikki" Hall to serve as Chairman and Commissioner Swain E. Whitfield to serve as Vice-Chairman for the period beginning July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2016.

Energy Efficiency Strategy Benefits From A Portfolio Approach

ContributorThe issue of how to finance energy efficiency continues to evolve. Since the program was launched in 2011, more than $1.77 billion in vehicles such as equity re-investment, distributed generation contracts, and tax-exempt leases have helped organizations achieve their goals. That doesn’t include the roughly $1.4 billion in performance contracts being used by the federal government; right now, this sort of financing isn’t used very much by the private sector, Vargas said. “Some people will tell you it’s a red herring,” she said.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Obama’s climate rule clocks in at 645 pages | TheHill

By Tim Devaney - 06/02/14 12:31 PM EDT
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook
The public will have 120 days to comment on the first version of the rules. After that, the EPA will read through the comments and is likely move forward with a final version.
Read more:
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Are Higher Prices the Future of Energy?

That's the technology causing such a fuss at Southern's Kemper plant. In fact, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz called Kemper "a plant of the future" because of carbon capture. That's how important the technology is. In fact, he went so far as to say, "We're going to need not 10 maybe 100 more of these plants across the country in the future."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Duke Energy eyes another step in Progress merger integration - Orlando Business Journal

 May 27, 2014, 5:47am EDT
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) is preparing to take another step in its integration ofProgress Energy, asking regulators to let its two Carolinas utilities share power plant capacity.

Governments Await Obama’s Move on Carbon to Gauge U.S. Climate Efforts -

WASHINGTON — President Obama is expected to announce on Monday an Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants, in a speech that government analysts in Beijing, Brussels and beyond will scrutinize to determine how serious the president is about fighting global warming.

Egypt’s New Strongman, Sisi Knows Best

CAIRO — Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former army officer soon to be Egypt’s president, promises to remedy Egypt’s crippling fuel shortage by installing energy-efficient bulbs in every home socket, even if he has to send a government employee to screw in each one.

Friday, May 23, 2014

SCE&G Places Containment Vessel Bottom Head on V.C. Summer Unit 3 Basemat

Consisting of nearly 2-inch-thick carbon steel, the CVBH forms the base of the Unit 3 containment vessel and is approximately 40 feet tall and 130 feet wide. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

CLIMATE: States pressing EPA for efficiency credits in power plant regs -- Moniz -- Wednesday, May 21, 2014 --

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told reporters today at the 2014 Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Washington, D.C., that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is offering states as much flexibility as possible, and states are playing up efficiency programs.
"She's certainly hearing from the states that efficiency would be an effective tool," Moniz said.
During an online forum earlier in the week, McCarthy said that President Obama had tentatively decided to introduce the existing power plant proposal himself on June 2. The rule is the centerpiece of Obama’s Climate Action Plan unveiled last year, and environmentalists have urged the administration to do everything it can to ensure it delivers serious reductions -- including by improving demand-side energy efficiency.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

COLUMBIA, SC: Columbia water, sewer rates increase rejected; Questions raised about implications on city budget | Local News | The State

— Columbia City Council rejected on Tuesday a proposed 8 percent average water and sewer rate increase for residential customers, but left unanswered whether it would approve a smaller increase later or how council will make up the loss in revenue.

Read more here:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Santee Cooper OKs job-creating initiatives

The grants, which come from the S.C. Power Team Site Readiness Fund, will total up to $6 million a year for high-value projects in areas served by the state’s 20 electric cooperatives.

In addition, a $2.5 million-per-year Santee Cooper Municipal Site Readiness Fund will offer grants for high-value projects in municipalities served as wholesale customers by Santee Cooper. Both funds are available for five years

Monday, May 19, 2014

That Dream Apartment With a Crackling Hearth Is Losing Some Spark -

Under the proposal, announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Earth Day in April, no new wood-burning fireplaces can be built after July 1. Innocuous as this may sound, at least one other city has introduced similar regulations only to ban all existing fireplaces a few years later.

COLUMBIA, SC: An energy efficient home makeover | Local News | The State (803) 771-8306May 18, 2014 

Read more here:
SCE&G volunteers completed several upgrades at five homes as part of the blitz that was designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes while ensuring the health and safety of the occupants. The work included caulking, weather-stripping, painting, and insulating and replacing windows and doors. Workers also completed several outdoor beautification projects at each site.

The effort was coordinated with the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program that provides home weatherization assistance to improve the quality of life for low-income families – particularly the elderly and people with disabilities.

Read more here:

AT&T, DirecTV announce $49 billion merger - The Washington Post

The deal is the latest mega-merger to be announced this year in a dramatically shifting telecommunications industry. The titans of the industry have recently rushed to bulk up — in overall size and in diversity of service offerings — as their legacy phone and TV businesses have frayed and consumers have turned to the Internet for communication and entertainment.

The deals, which must be approved by federal regulators, have prompted new concern that consumers could be left with fewer options and even higher prices after years of creeping increases. In 2012, U.S. cable-TV bills increased 5.1 percent, to an average of $64 a month, triple the rate of inflation, according to a government report.

SCE&G pulling plug on rebate program for energy-saving projects – The Post and Courier

David Slade, May 18, 2014
South Carolina Electric & Gas is ending an energy-efficiency rebate program that offers customers up to $2,500 toward the cost of certain home improvements, including insulation.
So, if those incentives would be useful to you, you'd better hurry. The deadline to have work completed and rebate forms submitted is July 31, and it can take some time to complete this sort of project.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Energy Efficiency Exhibit proves a draw at Al-Ahsa | Kingdom | Saudi Gazette

Saeed Haider  Wael Al-Mulaa, supervisor of the Energy Efficiency Exhibit, in one of his demonstrations to the visitors disclosed that the annual growth of power usage in the Kingdom, which is reaching around 7 percent annually is supposedly the highest in the world.

He said that the measures for power conservation recommended by the exhibition could well help in reducing the domestic electric bill be 50 percent

Make energy efficiency part of US policy | TheHill

Jim Pauley, April 1, 2014

By highlighting this easy win for energy efficiency policy, we’d like to call attention to how this process can be replicated with the larger piece of energy efficiency legislation waiting to hit the floor—the bi-partisan energy bill from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that would truly indoctrinate energy efficiency into U.S. policy.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

US Energy Efficiency Programs Cost 2 Cents Per Kilowatt-Hour Saved - Clean Technica

The new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), “The Program Administrator Cost of Saved Energy for Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs,” puts a price tag on the cost of saving energy through various types of efficiency programs from 2009-2011.
most comprehensive study of energy efficiency costs has found programs
paid for by utility customers cost just two cents per kilowatt-hour
(kWh) of power saved.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Energy efficiency aid can counter utility rate hikes – The Post and Courier

  • Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 12:01 a.m.

  • The best approach may rest in the success of on-bill financing, the emergence of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and the promise of a statewide Energy Efficiency Fund.
    On-bill financing allows a homeowner to receive energy efficiency upgrades - such as weatherstripping, duct and insulation repair, and HVAC replacement - without having to pay for the up-front installation costs. The utility company instead finances the upgrades, and the homeowner's utility bill usually drops significantly. Then, a portion of the monthly savings goes back to the homeowner, and the rest goes to reimburse the utility.

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    NRECA honors Pee Dee Electric Cooperative for Outstanding Energy Efficiency Program -

    Consistent with electric cooperatives’ longstanding commitment to saving their members money through greater efficiency, Pee Dee Electric developed a program to install more efficient lighting at local poultry and livestock facilities, offering rebates to members who purchase the new bulbs.

    COLUMBIA, SC: PCBs in sludge draw scrutiny by SC regulators | Local News | The State

    sfretwell@thestate.comMarch 13, 2014 

    Read more here:
    The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control board voted unanimously to require that wastewater treatment plants and others monitor more often for PCBs in sewage sludge that will be applied to farm fields.

    Read more here:

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    COLUMBIA, SC: Sanitary sewer overflows identified in Columbia Friday | Local News | The State

    akflanagan@thestate.comMarch 7, 2014 

    Read more here:
    The City of Columbia Wastewater Division identified sanitary sewer overflows on Brickyard Road and Peeples Street entering Crane Creek and the sanitary sewer overflow on Garners Ferry Road entering Reeder Point Branch.

    Read more here:

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    China sets 2014 target cuts for energy use and emissions to boost efficiency - Natural Gas | Platts News Article & Story

    China aims to cut energy intensity by over 3.9% this year, as it continues its drive to increase energy efficiency and cut emissions, according to a government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday at the annual session of the National People's Congress.

    China's energy intensity was cut by 3.7% last year, according to the work report.

    A country's energy intensity is typically defined as the energy consumption per unit of GDP, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The higher the energy efficiency is in an economy, the lower the energy intensity.

    Opponents to appeal court ruling approving Duke, Progress deal - Greensboro - The Business Journal

    John Downey, Senior Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal

    Jim Warren, executive director of the watchdog group NC WARN, says his group plans to appeal the decision to the N.C. Supreme Court.

    Court upholds Duke-Progress merger approval |

    The N.C. Court of Appeals has upheld state approval of Duke Energy’s 2012 merger with Progress Energy, which created the nation’s largest utility.

    The court ruled Tuesday on challenges to the $32 billion deal that were filed by the city of Orangeburg, S.C., and the Durham advocacy group NC WARN. The groups appealed approval of the merger by the N.C. Utilities Commission.

    Read more here:

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

    Government mulls energy efficiency audits - The Standard


     The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has already engaged a
    consulting firm, Sustainable African Energy Consortium (Saec) to
    conduct a national energy efficiency audit for Zimbabwe.

    Director for Energy Conservation in the ministry of Energy and Power
    Development, Raphael Tirivanhu said the ministry, through Zera, would
    carry out a national energy efficiency audit so as to determine the
    national efficiency baseline. This would ultimately lead to the
    formulation of an energy efficiency strategy for the country.

    “The purpose of the energy efficiency strategy will be to promote
    mandatory energy audits and regulate energy efficiency and conservation
    in all energy demand sectors as well as promote investment in this
    area,” he said.

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