Tag Archives: energy conservation

OPPD launches low-income efficiency pilot program

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

The Omaha Public Power District is launching a pilot program aimed at expanding the public power utility’s energy efficiency program among its low-income customers. “We want to make our customers aware of energy efficiency to reduce their energy burden and cut their costs,” said Britton Gabel, OPPD product specialist. The pilot project is a redesign of OPPD’s Smart Steps low-income energy efficiency program, according to Gabel. Through a revamped program, OPPD hopes to reach segments of the low-income population the utility hasn’t reached before. Continue reading here.

OPPD’s Income-Qualified Energy Efficiency Pilot begins in June.

Previously Posted
OPPD Customers Embracing Programs, Pilots To Help Manage Their Energy Usage, OPPD News Release

Links to additional OPPD programs included in the news release: 

New OPPD Resource: Energy Conservation Video
4 little-known summer energy tips, The Wire

Four key takeaways from a Michigan utility’s clean energy transition

By Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

In a speech this week to a large, business-friendly crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe presented an economic case for solar power, electric vehicles and moving past coal. The company closed seven Michigan coal plants in 2016, cutting carbon emissions 25 percent without hurting its workforce. As the company focuses on solar in the coming years, Poppe said electric vehicles will play a growing role in the company’s “triple bottom line” principle of serving people, the planet and prosperity. Read more here.

Photo: Consumers Energy’s community solar array at Grand Valley State University.

MORE CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

EIA says 4 GW of coal-fired capacity may retire by end of 2019, American Public Power Association. So far in 2018, 11 GW of coal-fired generating capacity has retired through September, and another 3 GW are expected to retire in the final three months of the year, based on data reported to EIA by plant owners and operators. “If these plants retire as planned, 2018 will be the second-highest year for coal retirements. Another 4 GW of capacity are planning to retire by the end of 2019,” EIA reported.

U.S. energy storage storm grows in strength, PV Magazine

A Wood Mackenzie report shows U.S. energy storage deployments tripling in capacity during Q3 ’18 versus last year’s volume, while noting that the future pipeline growth rate doubled versus prior quarters to reach a 33 GW of future projects.


NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

EV NEWS

 

New plans by VW, Tesla and BYD support predictions that EV sales are set to skyrocket, PV Magazine

 

 

Major Study Shows Electric Bikes Good For Health, CleanTechnica
There was moderate evidence that e-cycling provided physical activity of at least moderate intensity, which was lower than the intensity elicited during conventional cycling, but higher than that during walking. There was also moderate evidence that e-cycling can improve cardiorespiratory fitness in physically inactive individuals. Photo: Omaha QuikByke Kiosk

ENERGY CONSERVATION

 

Rule your attic, save on energy costs, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Jared Polis wants Colorado 100 percent powered by renewable energy, but talk is easier than the walk

By Mark Jaffe, Special to the Colorado Sun

Denver wants to do it, as do Fort Collins, Pueblo and Breckenridge. Aspen has already done it, and Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis wants the whole state to do it by 2040: run on 100 percent renewable energy. There is even a push by incoming congressional Democrats, led by U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Casio-Cortez, of New York, to set a national 100 percent renewable energy goal as part of a “Green New Deal.” U.S. Rep.-elect Joe Neguse, who will take Polis’ seat in the House, has signed on to the plan.  Read more here.

Xcel Energy Photo: Wind turbines in Limon, Colorado.

MORE NEWS FROM COLORADO & OTHER STATES

COST OF SOLAR POWER


ENERGY CONSERVATION

Deck the halls with energy savings

Wind energy the new ‘cash crop’ for Colorado farmers

By Liz Forster, The Gazette

For more than a century, Jan and Virgil Kochis’ family has farmed wheat, corn and other cash crops on 10,000 acres of pasture and farmland near Matheson in Elbert County.

It’s the only lifestyle they know, they said. So when crop prices started to plummet, the Kochises turned to a resource that is breathing new economic life into eastern Colorado: wind turbines. Continue reading here.

Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and craft beer enthusiast.

Photo by Excel Energy: Colorado Wind Turbines

RELATED READING

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Nebraska clean energy plan focuses on wind, solar, efficiency

By Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star

A clean energy coalition urged Nebraska on Wednesday to focus more on development of wind and solar power sources along with energy efficiency to help build a more environmentally friendly and healthier future. The coalition’s Husker Power Plan would “ramp up Nebraska’s investment in energy-efficiency measures like weatherizing homes and businesses, replacing outdated lighting systems and motors and reducing wasteful use of energy,” said Duane Hovorka, former executive director of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation. Continue reading here.

RELATED READING
‘Husker Power Plan’ aims to cut greenhouse emissions while keeping electric costs low, creating jobs, by Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald
The Husker Power Plan calls for doubling the state’s use of wind power over the next five years and adding 129 megawatts of community solar energy projects. The plan, done by the consultant Sommer Energy, also recommends aggressive work to reduce electric consumption by 2 percent a year.

DOWNLOAD
Husker Power Plan for Electric Utilities (PDF)
Consultants Report: – The Husker Power Plan: A New Energy Plan for Nebraska (PDF)

Good energy policy is good people policy

By Erica Mackie and Adam Browning, Opinion Contributors, The Hill

In 2014, two families of the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians in rural California installed rooftop solar panels to stem rising energy bills that were straining their already tight budgets.

Now, three years later, thanks to California’s innovative low-income solar incentive program, the tribe is well on its way to meeting a goal of 100 percent solar energy for the reservation’s 50 homes, including 12 that never had power at all. The tribal community has also built their own solar company, generating steady income in a community that suffered from an 80 percent unemployment rate in 2014. Continue reading.

Photo: Thinkstock

Erica Mackie is co-founder and CEO of GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer.
Adam Browning is executive director of Vote Solar, a nonprofit working to expand solar energy nationwide.

ENERGY CONSERVATION NEWS

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

As 100 Percent Renewables Become the New Norm, a New Role for Utilities Emerges

By Indran Ratnathicam, Vice President, Marketing & Strategy, FirstFuel
Renewable Energy World Magazine

Portland, Ore., is one of the most recent municipalities to join dozens of cities and states across the U.S. in pledges to run on 100 percent renewable energy in the coming decades . . . While Portland prides itself on being environmentally conscious, more and more government leaders across the country are introducing similarly aggressive measures — from Midwestern cities such as Chicago and Madison, Wis., to San Diego and the state of Hawaii. A similar movement is happening at the corporate level. Leaders of some of the nation’s biggest companies are adopting 100 percent renewable purchasing initiatives. Leaders include Walmart, Nike, Nestle, Salesforce, Microsoft and Facebook, among many others, and are all part of the global Renewable Energy 100 Initiative. Per RE100’s 2016 annual report, the 90 companies in the program were, on average, already halfway to reaching their goal. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING / VIEWING

OPPD News Release: Stay Cool This Summer With Smart Energy Savings

The Omaha Public Power District wants to help customers stay cool this summer by making smart energy choices. Power Forward solutions, a portfolio of demand-side management programs, are helping customers manage their electric use while working toward the district’s goal of shedding 300 megawatts (MW) of peak demand by 2023. Peak demand occurs on the hottest days of the summer, when air conditioners are working the hardest. Reducing the need for electricity at these times reduces the need to build another power plant. That helps keep rates low for all customers. One of OPPD’s Power Forward programs is Cool Smart. So far, 42,000 customers are actively participating in this air conditioning management program, and they’re getting paid to do so. Click here to learn more about Cool Smart and another OPPD program, HVAC Smart.

OPPD FEATURED IN UTILITY DIVE ARTICLE
Green designs: Corporate demand pushes new generation of utility green tariffs
By 
Herman K. Trabish

Corporations are hungry for green energy — nearly half of Fortune 500 companies have climate or renewable power goals, according to a recent report. Utilities know they must satisfy this growing demand or risk losing business to independent renewable energy developers. To do so, many are designing innovative rate designs — labeled green tariffs — to provide wind and solar power to corporations like Facebook, Yahoo and
Amazon . . . Nebraska’s Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) is the first public power utility designing a green tariff, with Facebook expected as its first customer.
Read the entire article. 

DistribuTECH 2017: All roads lead to the customer

By Amanda Levin, Sponsored Post, Utility Dive

Ultimately, the mindset of a utility is transforming from being a traditional utility – seeing the customer as a ratepayer with a connection to a meter – to a customer services
company – whereby the utility tailors the user experience to better serve the needs and desires of individuals. Read more.

Image Credit: Cyrus One

ALSO IN THE NEWS

LES adjusting to shifting customer use, stagnant demand

By Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star

journal-star-photo

“As an industry, a lot of us missed this dramatic drop in demand growth,” LES Vice President of Power Supply Jason Fortik said during a recent interview. “It wasn’t just an LES thing. As the utility industry, we’re out incenting people to be more efficient and place less demand on our system. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised when it actually starts to occur . . . ” A typical Lincoln household’s average monthly electric use peaked in 2010 at 906 kilowatt hours. By last year, it had declined to 829 kwh. Meanwhile, more customers are making their own electricity by installing solar panels. It’s a trend LES closely monitors and has encouraged. Read the entire article here.

Photo by Eric Gregory, Lincoln Journal Star. Maintenance Supervisor Tyson Chambers describes equipment at the Lincoln Electric System’s Terry Bundy Generating Station.

les-image Click image to enlarge it.