Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

Seal of Travis County, Texas

Image via Wikipedia

Austin Energy hired a consultant to help determine how its rates compare to those of other utilities in preparation for its plan to substantially raise electricity rates in 2012.   The work is ongoing, but an eye-opening statistic has already emerged.  Estimates indicate that the average US household’s energy costs are equal to 7% of household income, but the study shows that on average, the poorest 5 percent of Travis County households spend about 45% of their incomes on electricity.

That is a staggering statistic and points out the need to provide more energy efficiency funding for low-income families.  The short and long term benefits are economic relief and cost-effective home improvements. While assistance relieves pressure on individual households, the benefits also ripple into the community. With less money spent on energy, more money is available for other goods and services. If this money is spent locally, Austin captures this revenue, with further benefits rippling out from there.

Keep in mind, most low-income households are renters.  There should be incentives put in place to encourage landlords to increase the energy efficiency of their properties.  And don’t forget, there are environmental benefits to reducing our energy usage.  This seems like a win win for our city.

Read Full Post »

Oncop logoOncor wants to get some home energy monitors in the field to see how they work and get customer feedback. There are a limited number available, so you would need to act fast to have a chance at one. There are a couple of qualifications, of course.

First you must live in the Oncor service territory. Oncor is the “poles and wires” part of the DFW-area electrical system, not the Retail Electric Provider. (Their general area is in the DFW area but they reach into east and central Texas, as well as some other areas.)

Second, you must have an active smart meter. These are the new meters that Oncor has been deploying, you should have received a door hanger when you had your meter changed out, and the meter must be active. You can check on the Smart Meter Texas website to see if your meter is active.

Here is the information found in the flier that they are distributing:

“Act Now! You may be eligible to receive a free in-home energy monitor!

Oncor is giving away up to 500 FREE  In-Home Energy Monitors through the end of the year.  The monitor interacts with smart meters and
allows electric customers to monitor energy consumption in a real-time basis.  You may be eligible to receive a FREE In-Home Monitor* by
taking the following steps:

1.  You must have an active smart meter.  You may verify this by logging on to the Texas smart meter web portal at www.smartmetertexas.com and sign up to view your energy usage.

2.  Email us at [email protected] with “Free IHM Request” in the subject line of the email.  We simply need your name, ESI ID number,
which can be found on your electric bill, email address and the address for us to mail the device.

This FREE offer is part of Oncor’s Smart Meter Verification Plan.  If you have questions about the program, please contact Lauren Davis at
214.486.5306

*While Supplies Last

This is a limited offer so if you have a new smart meter and are interested in you real time energy consumption here is an opportunity to get a free in-home display and participate in the initial roll out of this new program to help save energy.

###

By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

In last week’s Oak Hill Gazette, State Senator Jeff Wentworth wrote a guest article profiling the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program.  Next month, from April 16-25, Texas residents can get a rebate to buy up to two energy efficient appliances including refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, hot water heaters, clothes washers, and both room and central air conditioners. Check out the article for more information, and stay posted to Texas Vox for continued updates on the program.

Conserve energy and save money
Jeff Wentworth, State Senator, District 25

Texans who believe in saving money and conserving energy will have the opportunity to do both when they purchase an appliance through the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, April 16-25.

Appliances that qualify for the rebate include refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, hot water heaters, clothes washers, air source heat pumps and both room and central air conditioners. In addition to money received through a rebate, Energy Star appliances use less energy and less water than most older appliances, saving consumers money each month on their utility bills.

Participants must be Texas residents. They must replace an old appliance with a new, energy-efficient model that they purchase in-store from a Texas retailer between April 16 and April 25 to receive a mail-in rebate. State rebates, including an additional $75 for recycling the old appliance, may be combined with other rebates and incentives offered by manufacturers and retailers and with federal tax credits. Each household is eligible for up to two appliance rebates, as long as they are for two different types of appliances. (more…)

Read Full Post »

President Obama has voiced that two of his top priorities will be climate change and energy.  Earlier this month he picture-5announced an energy plan that would call for 14% reduction in emissions from the 2005 levels by 2020, and an 83% reduction by 2050.

But House Democrats Henry a. Waxman (California) and Edward J. Markey (Massachussettes) want more!  They drafted a bill with even more gusto to capture greenhouse gases—a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020!

Remember that this power team was also responsible for the bill to put a moratorium on coal plants introduced a year ago.   The new Waxman-Markey bill will require every region of the country to produce 25% from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal.  This could be a huge factor to increase the demand for sustainable energy to spur wide-range development and adoption of energy technology.

Mr. Waxman, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce committee said regarding his bill:

This legislation will create millions of clean energy jobs, put America on the path to energy independence, and cut global warming pollution.  Our goal is to strengthen our economy by making America the world leader in new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.

However, the bill also makes some concessions to the states whose economy rests upon coal and energy-related industries, with the hope that it will smooth the transition to cleaner forms of energy.   To read more, check out this press release from Tyson Slocum at our D.C. office.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This bill is a really great start.  Obama started the bid at a 14% cut, the House upped the ante to 20%, but according to the Nobel-prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the real target we should be shooting for is about 35%.  Unfortunately, none of the bills in the House or Senate is shooting for this target.  The good news is, according to an analysis by McKinsey and Company, almost all of that 35% can be achieved at a net cost savings through things like energy efficiency.  And realistically, that’s only 3.5% per year for the next decade. ~~Citizen Andy

Read Full Post »