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5 Things You Need to Know About Obama's Clean Power Plant Rule - EarthTechling

Bangor Daily News

Thursday and Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold the final in its series hearings on its proposed rule to clean up carbon pollution from coal fired power plants.

ProviderPower's insight:

With all the talk about the EPA's new restrictions regarding power plant pollution, namely plants that use coal, it's easy to get lost.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when researching the subject.

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Desperately Seeking a Cheaper Kilowatt Hour - Forbes

Desperately Seeking a Cheaper Kilowatt Hour - Forbes | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

" . . . how can electric companies lower their prices to attract businesses and industries? Countless factors make an impact. Research and development. Construction costs. Permits. Securing land. Mining, drilling and refining. Operating and maintenance costs. Taxes and fees. Power lines. The risk of changing laws and regulations."

ProviderPower's insight:

This article highlights the effects of a diverse energy portfolio by comparing Washington State and Connecticut.  Washington is able to offer the lowest industrial price per kilowatt hour due to the variety of energy sources its power grid relies on, including nuclear, coal, natural gas, and renewables.  On the other hand, Connecticut relies almost completely on nuclear power and natural gas.  Because of this, industrial companies must consider a hefty electric bill when moving to this New England state.  Read more to understand how.

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Natural gas pipeline expansion has Worcester and surrounding communities in crosshairs

Natural gas pipeline expansion has Worcester and surrounding communities in crosshairs | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Natural gas pipeline expansion has Worcester and surrounding communities in ...
ProviderPower's insight:

While a proposed $4 billion natural gas pipeline expansion has some people excited, some residents are less than pleased about the project.  While the pipeline would increase New England's natural gas supply, the new lines would run through several communities.  


The concept of increasing natural gas supplies for the region is supported by governors in the New England states, as well as utility companies, and will be occurring as four large New England power plants, including coal, oil and nuclear, are slated to close in the next few years.


Residents along the Northeast Energy Direct Project, which stretches 418 miles through Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, are concerned about how the pipeline will impact property values and agriculture lands.  

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Steam from the Sun

Steam from the Sun | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
A new and innovative material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun.
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A fascinating look at new technology that could give solar power and steam power new possibilities. 

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Poll: Are you in favor of Consumers Energy switching to smart meters?

Poll: Are you in favor of Consumers Energy switching to smart meters? | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

Are you in favor of Consumers Energy switching to smart meters

ProviderPower's insight:

Smart meters can help lower your utility bill, but some people are worried that they encroach on home privacy.  In Kalamazoo, Michigan, utility customers are discussing the pros and cons of the new technology as its usage increases across the state.

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Energy-efficient lights provide opportunity for significant cost savings

Energy-efficient lights provide opportunity for significant cost savings | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Energy conservation and efficiency practices, once adopted, can assist in lowering electricity costs, and as such, the GEA has noted that an analysis of sectoral energy consumption revealed that the power sector accounted ...
ProviderPower's insight:

Just the simple act of switching your old light bulbs to the newer, energy efficient bulbs can help make a dent in your utility bill.  More importantly, energy conservation like this can help you reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.

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How to keep your energy bills low

How to keep your energy bills low | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

It's a topic that's front and center right now given the energy market in New South Wales was deregulated on 1 July (deregulation happened in Victoria in 2002).

ProviderPower's insight:

How do you save on your electric bills?  Here's a few ideas from across the Atlantic.

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Panel discusses energy solutions in New England as extra winter ...

Panel discusses energy solutions in New England as extra winter ... | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
ISO New England, which oversees the power grid, believes the region will see more “dual-fuel” power plants, which can switch from natural gas to oil and back as needed, despite environmental efforts to phase out oil-burning ...
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Get our latest infographic: 20 questions to ask BEFORE you buy smart meters

Get our latest infographic: 20 questions to ask BEFORE you buy smart meters | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Most in the electric power industry would call it a foregone conclusion that utilities will move to smart metering. Obviously many already have. But how to choose the right smart meter isn't so obvious.
ProviderPower's insight:

Smart meters seem to be the future - but what questions should you ask before picking a smart meter for your home?

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Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips

Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips
ProviderPower's insight:

Here you'll find strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Some of the tips in this article are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the spring and summer.

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Is your cable box costing you?

Is your cable box costing you? | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Cable TV boxes become 2nd biggest energy users in many homes Los Angeles Times The recent announcement by the Obama administration of plans to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30% and reduce electricity costs to the nation by 8% will...
ProviderPower's insight:

People are growing accustomed to pulling the plug on certain appliances when not in use to avoid wasting energy - but have you ever paused to think how much your cable is really costing you? 

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Most Water Utilities Are In the Red, Study Finds

Most Water Utilities Are In the Red, Study Finds | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
The buzz in the utility world in the past week was around the EPA rules to limit carbon from power plants.
ProviderPower's insight:

Everyone is talking about the EPA's new restrictions for power plants, but water restrictions should be mentioned. "Based on traditional U.S. water utility management practices, there is no clear path for overcoming the totality of today’s most pressing issues,” the third annual report on the U.S. water industry states. “Regardless of utility size or geographic location, the collective water industry in the United States must do a better job of engaging its stakeholders and educating them on the true cost and value of providing reliable and safe service."

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Home Air Conditioning and Energy Savings | The Energy Collective

Home Air Conditioning and Energy Savings | The Energy Collective | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
New energy-efficiency standards for room air conditioners went into effect June 1 – just in time to help save on summer AC bills. These standards will save Americans money this summer, and were set at levels agreed to jointly by efficiency advocates, manufacturers, and consumer groups.
ProviderPower's insight:

New standards in home air conditioning will save energy and money.

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LePage plan could give dormant dams new life - Press Herald

LePage plan could give dormant dams new life - Press Herald | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
LePage plan could give dormant dams new life
Press Herald
The LePage administration is looking anew at Maine's old dams, mills and hydropower facilities as a way to increase electricity generation.
ProviderPower's insight:

Governor's LePage's administration is attempting to increase hydropower in Maine as a source of electricity.  The first step will be taken by the Governor's Energy Office, who intend to hire a consultant to take inventory of Maine's hydroelectric facilities and make recommendations for expanding and improving the facilities.

The hope is that dams and former saw and grist mill locations will have a real potential for developing hydropower.  The Governor's Energy Office has stated that they want to find ways to capitalize on existing hydropower in Maine, not build new dams. 


According to the director of the Governor's Energy Office, Maine's hydropower resources has not been assessed since the early 1990's, so it will be interesting to see what kind of potential hydropower locations are found.

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Home energy management systems get another chance (in Massachusetts)

Home energy management systems get another chance (in Massachusetts) | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
While home energy management devices are nowhere near as popular as we expected them to be years ago, National Grid is going to make a go of it with CEIVA at its smart grid test bed project in Worcester, Massachusetts.
ProviderPower's insight:

Some Massachusetts residents are being given the option to try smart meter technology at no cost.

CEIVA Energy's home energy management system will be launching today, a program that is part of National Grid's Smart Energy Solutions Program. Almost 15,000 National Grid customers in Worcester, Massachusetts will be included in the program.

Smart meters are a hot topic at the moment, and it will be interesting to see how they are received in Worcester.

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Four Reasons Why Energy Efficiency Programs Fail

Four Reasons Why Energy Efficiency Programs Fail | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
So you’ve decided to take the initiative to achieve sustained energy savings at your organization. By addressing every source of electricity consumption your goal can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time.
ProviderPower's insight:

Making the decision to work towards saving energy is a big one.  When you do, keep these common mistakes in mind so that you can avoid them.  

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A boost for offshore wind energy? DOI offers commercial leases for development

A boost for offshore wind energy? DOI offers commercial leases for development | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
In case you were wondering, offshore wind energy is far from dead in the U.S. The Department of Interior has opened up two large areas off the coasts of Maryland and Massachusetts for development.
ProviderPower's insight:

Offshore wind opportunities are looking more likely in more parts of the U.S.

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Cash Wobbles Lower; Futures Grind to New Six-Month Low - Natural Gas Intelligence

Cash Wobbles Lower; Futures Grind to New Six-Month Low - Natural Gas Intelligence | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Cash Wobbles Lower; Futures Grind to New Six-Month Low Natural Gas Intelligence The New England ISO forecast Tuesday's peak load of 22,520 MW would slide to 20,610 MW by Wednesday, and the New York ISO reported Tuesday's peak load of 26,277 MW...
ProviderPower's insight:

Natural gas prices affect the nation's power grid in a big way - check out this article for an idea of what's going on in the natural gass market.

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An Introduction to Electricity Markets - Scientific American (blog)

An Introduction to Electricity Markets - Scientific American (blog) | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Scientific American (blog) An Introduction to Electricity Markets Scientific American (blog) The algorithm combines all of the energy offer curves and solves a very large optimization problem to figure out which generators should be online, and...
ProviderPower's insight:

With all the talk about changes in the electricity market, things can get a bit confusing.  Read more for a better insight into our electricity market, and why prices can be volatile at times.  

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Energy Supply is Power to the People

Energy Supply is Power to the People | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
energy supply is power to the people
Herald Sun
Ten years ago there were three major retailers in Victoria, electricity price deregulation hadn't been introduced and customers had little choice.
ProviderPower's insight:

Here's an interesting article on how energy deregulation has affected to cost of electricity in Australia.

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Sea Change: Efficient homes – you can get there from here

Sea Change: Efficient homes – you can get there from here | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Sea Change: Efficient homes – you can get there from here
Press Herald
Some homeowners opt to power heat pumps with electricity from their own solar photovoltaic panels.
ProviderPower's insight:

As climate change presses on,with Maine leading the nation in the fastest rise in annual temperature, it's time to take a look at home energy efficiency.

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As consumer electronics proliferate, per-home electricity use falls

As consumer electronics proliferate, per-home electricity use falls | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Despite their higher market penetration in U.S. homes, consumer electronics now account for a lower percentage of electricity usage per household than they did three years ago, according to research by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
ProviderPower's insight:

Consumer electronics, or electronic equipment we use everyday mostly for entertainment and communications, are using less energy.  Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, stated that,  “Rapid changes in the energy consumption characteristics of high-tech devices make it essential to develop up-to-date and accurate assessments of energy usage. And it’s clear the energy efficiency improvements for consumer electronics are best driven by innovation, competition, voluntary agreements and programs such as Energy Star."



 

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House Prohibits Department of Defense from Funding Climate Change Assessment

House Prohibits Department of Defense from Funding Climate Change Assessment | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- The House passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill on Thursday that would bar the Department of Defense from using funds to assess climate change and its implications for national security.

The amendment, from ...
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Sea Change: Counting the ways Maine gains from renewable power - Press Herald

Sea Change: Counting the ways Maine gains from renewable power - Press Herald | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Sea Change: Counting the ways Maine gains from renewable power Press Herald The EIA chart of energy production in Maine, including such possible sources as coal, natural gas, crude oil, nuclear electric power, biofuels and “other renewable energy,”...
ProviderPower's insight:

An interesting look at how Maine could benefit from more renewable energy.

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Obama's Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases by 30% in 15 Years…10 States just did ... - AllGov

Obama's Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases by 30% in 15 Years…10 States just did ... - AllGov | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Wall Street Journal
Obama's Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases by 30% in 15 Years…10 States just did ...
ProviderPower's insight:

Maine is one of 10 states that are ahead of the game regarding the EPA's new regulations requiring plants to cut their emissions.  In fact,  Maine, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire all cut power-plant emissions by more than 40% between 2005 and 2012.  Despite protests from naysayers claiming that such regulations would kill jobs and hurt the economy, the states that have already complied with the new regulations have experience few economic consequences.

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