Energy Exchange

California implements revolutionary new utility model for gas leaks

It is widely expected that the Environmental Protection Agency will soon release a proposal to weaken methane standards from oil and gas production. Such a blunder would result in increased climate pollution, energy waste and regulatory uncertainty. So, while the federal government looks to take another step backwards on oil and gas climate pollution, California just took another big leap forward.

Last week, California’s Public Utilities Commission adopted a rule that not only implements a new way to look at methane emissions from utility systems, it fundamentally alters the utility business model for leak control and sets an approach for the rest of the nation to follow.

Read More »

Also posted in California, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Gas utility planning is behind the times. Rhode Island has a plan to fix it.

When it comes to how utilities plan for future gas needs and use, challenges abound: Pipelines are built before state regulators have an opportunity to assess whether it is prudent for a gas utility to take service from that pipeline; decisions are made behind closed doors with little opportunity for stakeholder input; and planning efforts do not appropriately consider options other than traditional infrastructure such as energy efficiency, gas demand response, or renewable alternatives to natural gas.

Pending before the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RI PUC) is a proposal that would meaningfully resolve many of these issues. The utility in the state and the PUC staff crafted a joint memo proposing a more robust planning framework and rigorous oversight of utility decisions. As EDF recently explained in its comments to the RI PUC, this framework will serve the public interest and can be used as an important model for other states.

Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act taps power of energy efficiency

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau

This post is the fourth in our CEJA series.

The rollout of Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) has focused attention on the bill’s four main pillars: a 100% renewable energy target by 2050, the decarbonization of the state’s power sector by 2030, the electrification of the transportation sector and a focus on equity and economic justice.

But there’s a hidden gem of an opportunity in the bill that is just as promising as solar panels and electric cars: energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency programs and technology are among the most cost-effective routes to lower climate emissions and energy bills. And just like solar, wind and other clean energy tools, it’s a job creator. CEJA recognizes and capitalizes on that potential.

Read More »

Also posted in CEJA, Ohio / Comments are closed

The unsung reliability hero of New England: Energy efficiency

While most New Englanders are busy making summer plans, ISO New England, our regional grid operator, alongside stakeholders, is hard at work ensuring that our grid operates well in winter conditions.

As older, less efficient power generators retire and are primarily replaced by natural gas-fired generators without firm fuel contracts, grid operators warn that the lights could go out. There are solutions to this problem, including investing in winter-peaking clean energy resources such as offshore wind, and shoring up fuel supplies, but one year-round solution is often overlooked: energy efficiency.

Read More »

Posted in Energy Efficiency / Comments are closed

This year’s Greenbuild works to make sustainable buildings accessible to everyone

This is my fifth year attending Greenbuild and I am excited that my hometown of Chicago will again host the green building conference. I have come to appreciate the educational value and community that Greenbuild provides more and more each year, and I’m delighted Chicago will get to add to the tradition once more.

Greenbuild’s theme this year, Humans by Nature: The Intersection of Humanity & the Built Environment, covers a wide array of topics that define how we relate to the world we live in. One of these topics is enhancing building efficiency and performance, an ongoing mission that is at the very core of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Greenbuild.

Moreover, the mission statement highlights the importance of making sustainable buildings and environments accessible to everyone. As one of the founding cities of the BIT Building energy efficiency program, Chicago reflects these ideals, and the BIT Building program is a clear example of accessibility in action.

Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

This Energy Efficiency Day, manufacturing has its moment

By: Caroline Heilbrun, EDF+Biz intern

Have you ever thought about how much energy it takes to manufacture the products you use every day?

While our nation’s refineries, factories, and plants produce some of the world’s highest quality products, the energy at work in our industrial manufacturing facilities is extremely intensive. This is due, in large part, to the inefficiencies inherent in the manufacturing process. The sparks flying from giant robotic arms along the assembly line? That is heat lost to friction. Those harmful chemicals spewing from smokestacks? They represent unused inputs. At every step of the supply chain, there is opportunity to cut waste.

On Energy Efficiency Day, October 5, we should consider the myriad benefits of acting upon those opportunities. Efficiency cost savings for the manufacturer can translate into cost savings for the consumer, higher quality products, and healthier air for people who live and work nearby. Plus, less electricity consumption means less stress on the electric grid.

Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Jobs, Ohio / Comments are closed