Let’s face it, regulators won’t let U.S. utilities die; they SHOULD update rules to better serve customers by allocating costs to those who benefit from them

The tally of utilities and governments around the world imposing or boosting fixed charges for grid-supplied electricity is rising to make up for the decline in traditional, rate-based revenue.  In the U.S. this has been due primarily to ever-improving energy efficiency and the end of year-to-year increases in electricity usage. Now, the demand curve looks […]

How About a Wiki for Clean Energy to Share Best Practices for Improving Energy Efficiency, Boosting Renewables and Reducing Emissions?

There is no shortage of ideas on how businesses, governments and households in the U.S. and other industrialized countries can become more energy efficient; same applies on how to grow cleaner supplies of energy while lowering harmful greenhouse gas emissions and doing so in ways that create sustainable jobs. There are so many ideas, in […]

Actions speaking louder than advocacy: Microsoft programming for profit with carbon neutrality

The number of companies taking tangible steps to prepare for and prosper in a lower-carbon economy is growing — even absent a national carbon tax or cap-and-trade regime.  Their actions speak much louder than the hyperbole that many advocates are using to argue for and against paying for carbon emissions. One of the most instructive […]

With LED bulb options growing, how smart are you about more efficient lighting?

The tipping point in the adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in households around the globe is rapidly approaching as 40-watt and 60-watt are phased out in the U.S. and their equivalent LED lamp bulbs drop below the closely-watched $10 (U.S.) price point. The race in many countries to meet the growing interest in LEDs […]

Mapping Whole Communities and Homes with Thermal Images to Reduce Heat Loss

What if you could determine how much heat your home is losing, how much it’s costing you in higher energy bills and what insulation and other improvements would fix it? Oh, and you could accomplish without an energy audit, free-of-charge and from a mobile device no less? That’s the vision of Geoffrey Hay, an Associate […]

Real-time, big-data-enabled, demand reductions becoming THE go-to smart grid app

Of all the forward-thinking at this month’s 10th annual Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid in Washington, DC and similar conferences in the U.S., one new application is appears curiously off the main radar screen. I’m talking about software that utilities can use to automatically program large-scale demand reductions in real time by […]

With demand response & distributed energy growing: how long will regulators preserve traditional utilities’ business models?

In the six months since a consultant to the Edison Electric Institute wrote a paper describing “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business,” many utility officials, analysts, investors and consultants have been mulling over how investor-owned electric utilities may have to change principally due to the growth of demand […]

Homebuilders moving beyond Energy Star; Illinois gets its first net-zero energy ready ‘Challenge Home’

Ever thought about building a very energy-efficient custom home? What if this home would be one of the greenest homes of its kind in the country? Weiss Building & Development LLC and Tom Bassett Dilley Architects in the Chicago area have accomplished just that in completing the first home in Illinois meeting the U.S. Department […]

Bloomberg to natural gas industry: stop resisting sensible regulations, join with renewables

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the 2013 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit near Washington, DC to prod the oil and gas industry to stop resisting efforts to forge “sensible” regulations. “We need sound regulation and we need it soon,” he said. While he’s been on the bandwagon for enabling responsible hydraulic fracturing for natural […]

Energy and climate portion of President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address

To save you time searching for the energy and climate portion of Obama’s February 12, 2013 State of the Union address, which occurred not quite half way through the speech, here it is, courtesy of ABC News: “After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce […]