Thursday, July 3, 2008

Columbia Gas Offers Ways To Save On Energy Bills

Columbia Gas of Ohio has proposed several energy conservation measures to help customers cut back as natural gas prices reach record highs. The company has filed for permission with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to implement a Demand-Side Management plan for residential and small commercial customers running from 2009 through 2011.

The $24.9 million program would offer customers rebates for home energy audits and to install high-efficiency gas furnaces, programmable thermostats and low-flow shower heads. It also would offer financial incentives to homebuilders to make houses more energy efficient.

Columbia Gas would recoup the costs through an addition to customers' bills that it estimated would average less than 50 cents a month. The charges would begin in May 2010.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Massachusett's Governor Signs Landmark Energy Bill

Governor Deval Patrick signed a landmark energy bill today that is being hailed as one of the nation's most innovative ways to curtail reliance on fossil fuels and boost efficiency with the use of wind, solar, and other renewable power sources.

The legislation requires utilities to make significant investments in energy efficiency, allows consumers with solar panels to sell electricity back to the grid at competitive rates, and starts a program that will place solar panels on the roofs of hundreds if not thousands of homes and businesses.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Massachusetts To Launch Green Revolution

The Massachusetts House of Representatives yesterday passed an energy bill that proponents say will put the state's renewable energy and efficiency programs in the forefront of green initiatives across the country.

The bill received unanimous support from both sides of the Legislature, with a vote of 149-0 in the House yesterday afternoon after passing 36-0 in the Senate on Tuesday. Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign the legislation into law within the next 10 days.

Known as the Green Communities Act, the bill contains measures that encourage energy efficiency programs, provide incentives for towns to move forward with wind and solar energy projects, and require that utilities enter into long-term contracts with renewable energy generators.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

California To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The California Air Resources Board Thursday released a long-awaited draft plan to lower the state's greenhouse gas emissions that relies on an emissions cap-and-trade program for the bulk of the reductions.

Under the draft plan, 85 percent of California's total greenhouse gas emissions would be placed under a declining emissions cap. Other measures set out in the plan, which is designed to meet a state-mandated limit in 2020, include expanding and strengthening existing energy efficiency programs and building and appliance standards, expanding the state's renewable-energy mandates to 33 percent, and implementing other measures such as the state's low-carbon fuel standard and clean car standards.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

State Offers Efficiency Grants

There will soon be a new pot of money for homeowners who want to make their houses more "green." Recently passed legislation creates grants for homeowners to renovate or build homes that are more energy efficient. And that funding could start going out to homeowners as early as January 2010.

Judith Enck is the deputy secretary for the environment in Governor David Paterson's administration. She says the agreement will give homeowners money to renovate their homes and apply energy saving devices.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Colorado's New Energy Efficiency Plan

Gov. Bill Ritter has announced the kickoff of a statewide energy efficiency and conservation campaign called “The New Energy Economy: Bringing It Home,” which will feature television and radio advertisements to educate homeowners, individuals and consumers about low-cost and simple steps to save energy.

Gov. Ritter said the 12-month campaign will provide basic advice and tips on how to save money at home and at work:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Clinton Urges Energy Efficiency

Former President Clinton said Sunday that he favored presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's position on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, though he noted that John McCain's stand on those cuts improved on Republicans in the past.

Obama has supported cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050, a position the Illinois senator shared with Clinton's wife when she was running for president.

McCain, the likely GOP presidential nominee, has announced a less ambitious plan to cut those emissions 60 percent by 2050.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Conserving Energy and Lowering Energy Bills

This week, the president called for Congress to make policy changes that could open up offshore U.S. coastal areas for oil exploration. The plan, which would end the federal ban on offshore oil drilling on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and some parts of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and also allow individual states more control over nearby drilling, is supported by Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

In several speeches this week, McCain discussed his potential energy policy, which calls for increased energy production, including more nuclear plants. But whatever happened to energy conservation?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Who Pays For Energy Efficiency?

New York electric bills will be slightly higher starting in November.

Utility regulators on Wednesday started a new program aimed at reducing energy consumption in the state and ordered power companies to collect the money to pay for it from their customers.

Some of the ideas the Public Service Commission is looking at include financial incentives to builders to adhere to higher energy efficiency standards and incentives to retailers for selling energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Electric bills on average will go up between 16 cents and 30 cents a month as the utilities raise $172 million to pay for the state-mandated efficiency programs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Model Data Center Delivers It All

Nicholas & Company is building a model data center that delivers significantly more computing power per watt. The Salt Lake City-based, 500 employee, food distributor has increased its computing capabilities while holding energy costs level by virtualizing applications, and consolidating its servers and storage on IBM systems.

With help from IBM (NYSE: IBM) and IBM Premier Business Partner Vision Solutions, Nicholas & Company has also added new capabilities and improved the availability of its information technology infrastructure, and helped protect vital company assets by installing a world-class backup and recovery system.

Nicholas & Company, which delivers food and other products to customers ranging from the smallest restaurants to the largest national fast-food chains throughout the western United States, operates a 24X7, 215,000 square foot facility and moves up to 600,000 cases of food every week.

The company chose the IBM BladeCenter® H platform as an integral part of its business, consolidating 12 separate servers on to the platform. IBM BladeCenter H is an integrated solution designed for consolidation, virtualization and top performance. To realize further efficiencies, Nicholas & Company is running virtualization technology from VMware on IBM HS21 blade servers in the BladeCenter H.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Intel's New Energy Efficiency Plan

At its annual "Research Day" last week, Intel revealed several technologies focused on energy efficiency, including four breakthroughs slotted for release throughout 2009—platform power management, energy-efficient wireless, 32 nanometer (nm) chips and power clamping for data centers.

The company's 32nm chip is likely to be the first of its kind on the market and will result in an average 30 to 40 percent increase in efficiency according to the company. Smaller in size, but packed with 2 billion transistors, the chips will also drive costs down and performance up, despite requiring a more expensive immersion lithography technique for production, according to Dr. Sanjay Natarajan, director of 32nm process technology at Intel.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Verizon Establishes Energy Efficiency Standards

To reduce its power consumption and energy costs and shrink its carbon footprint, Verizon has established its own energy-consumption standards and an associated measurement process for new telecommunications-related equipment.

The standards will be applied to certain broadband, video, data-center, network and customer-premises equipment purchased after Jan. 1, 2009. The target provided to the manufacturers of such equipment is 20 percent greater efficiency than today's gear.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sun Microsystems To Launch Energy Efficient Flash SSD

Sun Microsystems Inc. announced plans to introduce new Sun solid state disks or SSD to the market providing greater application performance, massive scale and value through the integration of the Solaris operating system, Solaris ZFS and other open source technologies.

Sun Microsystems indicated the Flash technology SSDs to consume around one fifth of the power of both memory DIMMs and disk drives, with no rotating media and consume very little power when not in use, more eco-friendly than alternatives.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Limiting Power Used By Electronics

The federal government will unveil new standards to limit the amount of power used by consumer electronics while in standby mode. The standards would limit the amount of power consumed by televisions, CD players, computers and other electronic devices.

A July 2007 news release said standby power accounts for up to 10 per cent of an average household's yearly electricity consumption. It said the estimated savings of limiting standby power consumption would be equivalent to taking a large coal-fired power generating unit off-line.