How much energy do YOU use brewing a pot of coffee and toasting 6 slices of bread?

Now before you reply ‘it’s not enough energy to care,’ consider this: Up until now there was no way to gauge how much electricity a small appliance uses over an average 5- year lifespan. Enter Savenia Labs of Bethesda, Maryland, just north of Washington, DC. Long overlooked because of their relatively modest energy consumption, toaster/convection […]

As fingerpointing over Solyndra rages, ‘green’ jobs push has run out of ‘gas’

With Solyndra executives take the Fifth Amendment to escape scrutiny form Congressional investigators, the ‘open’ season on Federal loan guarantees means any credible push for green jobs has run its course. That said, any continued finger-pointing holds opportunities and risks for both Democrats and the GOP. If the GOP pushes too hard to make an […]

Intellectural property protection for U.S. cleantech entrepreneurs in China – waning hopes

From this week’s RETECH conference and expo in Washington, DC, there seem few realistic aspirations for energy, clean tech and other entrepreneurs to protect their intellectual property if manufacturing in China or selling to Chinese markets. It is the 600-pound gorilla at just about every conference gathering with an Chinese dimension to it. While moderating […]

THIS is the way to crystallize the risks of dirty power – kudos to American Lung Association

“Log on to and tell Washington: ‘Don’t weaken the Clean Air Act’ ” is the closing appeal from this 30-second TV commercial running this week at least in the Washington, DC market.  It follows audio of an infant coughing and wheezing in a red stroller / carriage on the National Mall, in a Congressional […]

Virtual generation and demand response: how Constellation Energy finds energy where there wasn’t any

As operators for regional power grids such as PJM Interconnection begin to roll out more robust demand-response programs, the private sector is responding with software products that can save energy for large commercial and industrial consumers and help utilities avoid brownouts and perhaps even blackouts. One of the emerging leaders in this space — Constellation […]

Infrastructure upgrades, time-of-use pricing offer most efficient ramp-up for Smart Grid apps

Those two hurdles are on the agenda of just about every utility, vendor and consultant vying to enable the Smart Grid’s potential in the U.S. and to capitalize on its ability to help consumers save energy and understand how much they waste it. But regulators are the gatekeepers and will have the final say. Therein […]

FAST FIX: Cialdini’s 6 Rules of Influence — Smart Grid marketers take note

One of the most widely respected researchers of human behavior,Robert Cialdini, asserts there are six rules of influence when reaching out to the public.  They may have a lot to contribute to effectively engaging utility ratepayers and consumers about using energy more wisely through smart grid applications. Cialdini serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of […]

FAST FIX: These residents in the Southeast and Midwest U.S. DO want to combat climate change

Large majorities of African Americans in Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri and South Carolina believe that everyone — including governments and individuals – can do something to reduce the impact of climate change. This according to research by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies: “Consistent with African Americans nationally, black adults in the four states […]

Engaging consumers about smart grid apps: face-to-face better than Facebook

From the successes, hiccups and outright failures of utilities trying to deploy smart grid applications, those worth emulating are few. As previous posts on TheEnergyFix demonstrate, Southern California Edison is widely hailed for rolling out programs that are working. So is Oklahoma Gas & Electric. Another success story to emulate is the “PowerCents DC” effort […]

Obama’s green reversals throw curve ball to clean air & energy advocates; the risks in 2012 for both

Defenders of the environment and some clean energy advocates are growing more outraged by the week as Barack Obama reverses course on proposed ozone pollution rules amid signals he will approve the application for the massive Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline ready for construction by TransCanada Corp. Figuring he’s got his political ‘bases’ covered […]