Author: Jim Pierobon

Among the things that irk Debbie Dooley the most: How mostly Republican state lawmakers opposed to solar energy benefit – and stay in office – thanks in large part to campaign contributions from investor-owned utilities.

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Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power are public utilities. They hold their monopolies by the grace of the people of Virginia, and are expected to act in the interest of the people they serve. In this case, they have manifestly failed to do so.” — Ivy Main

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Another state in the Southeast U.S. is recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy as commissioners, utilities and stakeholders in South Carolina are ironing out details of a new solar law that enables third-party leasing and contemplates the state’s two investor owned-utilities utilities, collectively, installing an estimated 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy…

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Net metering is voluntary in South Carolina, Idaho and Texas. There is no net metering in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and South Dakota.

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There is another dynamic in play which does not necesssarily show up as clearly in states where solar makes a lot more sense economically: the desire to be part of a like-minded community and share the learning experience of buying into a much-talked about technology that can scale to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Don’t discount the bragging rights from one’s rooftop.

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This graphic projects coal plant closures in all 50 U.S. states. Guess which stand to lose 10 or more plants? Go to CountOnCoal.org for details.A few examples: Iowa, Indiana, Ohio:  15 each Kentucky, Pennsylvania:  13 each Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia:  12 each Colorado, Missouri: 11 each North Carolina: 10  

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Pressure from customers and other stakeholders is boosting utility commitments to programs and tools designed to save energy and enable markets for renewable sources of electricity, so says a report by Ceres, a sustainability-focused non-profit and Clean Edge, a research consultancy. But it depends on where you live. In some states – you can probably…

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In less than 60 days, Dominion Virginia Power was able to file for and receive a rate increase boosting residential bills 4.1%.

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Among the recommendations: ensure that all benefits, and not just the costs, of efficiency programs are accounted for.

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