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Posts Tagged ‘Efficiency’

Perry Appointees Smitherman, Nelson, Anderson protect consumers from energy efficiency

There is a disturbing trend emerging in Texas. A once successful consumer-oriented program is floundering because of a deficit of perspective behind the dais at the PUC.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas proposed adopting an update to the state’s energy efficiency program that would cap the amount of money utilities could spend on programs that reduce the energy bills for homes and businesses.

Under the rule, utility expenditures on energy efficiency would be limited to one tenth of one cent per kilowatt-hour. That’s $0.001, which would amount to around a dollar a month for the average home. It’s worth pointing out that there are no cost caps for other energy resources, just the cheapest one.

This bears repeating: the PUC does not want utilities to spend more money to fund programs that make Texas homes more energy efficient and reduce their utility bills.

During today’s hearing, it was abundantly clear that Governor Perry’s appointees to the commission have folded to industry pressure and adopted the bizarre world view that energy efficiency costs consumers too much money. As evidence, in addition to only considering utility industry estimates on the cost of future efficiency resources, they frequently alluded to a report released this week by the conservative and industry-friendly Texas Public Policy Foundation which made unsubstantiated claims that the consumer benefits of energy efficiency programs could not only be less than currently estimated, but actually negative (page 3). (A more detailed critique of their report is coming).

At a workshop earlier this month, the commissioners only allowed industry representatives to present information. No consumer advocates, environmental groups, no academics were allowed to present and even the comments by ACEEE seem to have been ignored.

It’s now time for the Legislature to be the grownups in the room (more…)

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Phoenix, AZ – Today, the Arizona Corporation Commission acted to save consumers and businesses money by unanimously approving a final Energy Efficiency Standard Rule.

“There was strong support from all five commissioners to significantly increase Arizona’s commitment to energy efficiency via this landmark new standard,” said Jeff Schlegel with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “Arizona’s utility customers benefit from this standard as they will have better access to energy efficiency measures that will reduce energy consumption and lower their utility bills.  Consumers and businesses will save billions of dollars in lower energy costs.”

The Energy Efficiency Standard established in the Rule will achieve 22 percent energy savings in 2020 as a percent of retail sales from energy efficiency, with a credit of up to 2 percent for demand response.  This will put in place one of the strongest energy efficiency standards in the country.

“The energy efficiency rule is a big step forward in decreasing energy use and reliance on polluting sources of energy,” said Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club. “This will mean less air pollution, decreased water use, fewer emissions that contribute to climate change, and a more sustainable future for all Arizonans.”

Reduced power generation associated with energy efficiency measures will result in a decrease of a number of pollutants including carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury and other pollutants.  This will reduce the public health impacts related to emissions of particulate matter and mercury, and also reduce our contribution to global climate change.
The energy efficiency measures that are contemplated by the rule must be cost effective and will result in saving ratepayers money by lowering their overall bills for electricity.

“Energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective resources around and is much less costly than constructing and operating new power plants,” said David Berry with Western Resource Advocates.

“The Commission deserves credit for doing their part to help a struggling economy.  A strong energy efficiency standard is a win-win-win policy: ratepayers save money on their monthly electric bills; children, seniors and those with weak immune systems enjoy better health; and Arizonans continue to receive improved air quality,” stated Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.

Well, somebody’s got their heads on straight. Arizona gets it– why not Texas?  A little disheartening when you have the PUC deciding efficiency rules tomorrow and groups like the Texas Public Policy Foundation poo-pooing energy efficiency (they think we should build nukes!  Amazing!  Nuclear energy is like conservative “think” tank kryptonite– they HATE government subsidies and bailouts until it comes to nukes. Then they just can’t get enough of them.)

So, final word: Efficiency = lower bills, less pollution.  Building more non-renewables power plants = high bills, more pollution.  In this case, is this Arizona = good, Texas = needs to catch up to Arizona?

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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.

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Texas is growing.  In fact, we’re one of the fastest growing areas of the country.  Growing communities and growing business usually means building more power plants, which would add to our already significant air quality problems not to mention all of the greenhouse gases we would spew.

But, rather than building Megawatts, we should be looking at Negawatts, or “creating” energy by simply using less of it, or at least so says a new study from Duke University’s Nichols Institute and Georgia Institute of Technology.

This would save us from not only pollution and global warming, but also from the cost of building new power plants.  Efficiency gives a double payback, because not only are you not paying for more oil, gas, and coal, you save money on your electric bills because you use less electricity.  And no, efficiency doesn’t mean turning off your air conditioner more in the summer so you sweat more– it means properly insulating your home to keep the cool in and the hot out, or vice versa in the winter, and it means using a better a/c unit that gives you more chills for less bills.

How much money? Well, investments in efficiency would save  $13.7 billion  in 2020 and $21.5 billion in 2030. These savings are equivalent to the amount of energy used by almost a million Texas households, or an average savings of $330 per household a year.  Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, we also get Jobs, Jobs, Jobs:  96,300 jobs by 2020, and 132,100 new jobs from efficiency in 2030.

And how do we get these magical green jobs and billions in savings? Why, through efficiency mandates, similar to the ones proposed in federal green energy bills like Waxman-Markey.  Unfortunately, those goals were too weak to really produce the type of change we need, so it’s up to the Senate to do better.  Early word of a draft bill by Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman doesn’t look promising, and could even be WORSE than the anemic efficiency investments and mandates in Waxman-Markey.

(more…)

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By taking advantage of the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program from April 16-25, Texas residents can receive rebates for replacing old appliances with new, more efficient models.

Rebates range from $45 up to $1,000 and may be even more if you qualify for additional rebates through your electric utility.

Visit www.TexasPowerfulSmart.org to learn more about the program and start planning what appliances you would like to replace.

Based on past experience, the money available for this program will go fast. If you want to give yourself the best possible chance to get your rebate, be ready to make a reservation on April 5.

You may receive up to two rebates per household for a wide variety of qualified appliances including air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, hot water heaters, and more.

By replacing major appliances with more efficient models, you can save money, conserve water and energy, and help defray the need for polluting power plants.

Learn how to participate in the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program today!

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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.

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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…)

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Tonight, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell will host a town hall meeting on an energy plan for Austin Energy that would establish our own carbon dioxide cap and reduction plan. The great news is that by 2020, Austin’s investments in solar, wind and energy efficiency would allow us to reduce our dependence on the Fayette coal plant by 30 percent! The town hall meeting is our opportunity to show widespread public support for the plan.

Please attend the mayor’s town hall meeting at 6 p.m. TONIGHT, Monday, Feb. 22, at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.

Public Citizen will have a table outside the auditorium where we will gather signatures for the Clean Energy for Austin coalition. Working with other environmental organizations, we’ve gained the support of more than 70 businesses, 18 nonprofits and over 200 individuals, who are calling on the City Council to pass the clean energy plan. But we need you to come to this town hall and show your support.

This is your opportunity to ask questions, learn more and have your input heard by our mayor. In addition, city officials will be asking questions of the audience, so you can tell the mayor and City Council that you want a clean energy future for our town.

So please endorse Clean Energy for Austin, and come to the meeting Monday night. We hope to see you there!

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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.

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Still not sure what to do this weekend, Sept 25 – 27th? Come on out to Fredericksburg and join Public Citizen Texas at the 10th annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair!

Over the past 10 years, this community and family oriented Green Living Fair has grown to be the largest “green show” in the South. You can see the latest in eco-friendly technologies, learn how to save and create your own energy, attend informative talks by the experts, and visit with vendors to see contemporary green living and sustainability practices. It’s fun, environmentally friendly, and a great place tolearn how you can make a difference!

Aside from meeting with your friends at Public Citizen, at the Roundup you’ll be able to learn about:

Solar – Wind – Geothermal – Water Use & Reuse – Energy Conservation – Rainwater Harvesting – Green & Sustainable Building – Organic Growing – Alternative Transportation – Straw Bale Construction – Exhibits – Recycling – Composting – Eco Friendly Products – Natural & Organic Cooking Demonstrations – Educational Family Activities – Veggie, Organic and Natural Food Court

The gate entry fee is $10 Friday, $12 Saturday, and $10 Sunday – or get a three day pass for just $20. Children under 12 can enter free of charge.

Show Hours are: Friday – September 25, noon to 6 pm; Saturday – September 26, 9 am to 6 pm; Sunday -September 27, 9 am to 3 pm

Representatives from Public Citizen and our sister group, the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, will also be giving talks and presentations at the round up. Look for our director, deputy director, and the director of SEED at the following times:

Friday, 3:00 – 4:00: Karen Hadden – Why Efficiency & Renewables Are The Answer

Saturday, 3:00 – 4:00: Tom “Smitty” Smith – Creating New Energy Districts For Texas

Sunday, 10:00 – 11:00: David Power – Smart Meters & Net Metering

Hope to see you there!

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While at Netroots Nation a few weeks back, I had the opportunity to listen in on a panel discussing climate change, Texas’ energy future, and energy security featuring Houston Mayor Bill White (you might have also heard he is running for US Senate).

Mayor White gave very measured, political answers. Throughout the panel, never did the words “Cap and Trade” leave his lips, but he did remain skeptical of anyone who claimed to have it all figured out and that their answer would be easy and painless. He also showed legitimate concerns about the impacts of renewable energy mandates done wrong on low-income consumers. As a representative from a consumer advocacy organization, it is refreshing to hear White’s commitment to protecting our most vulnerable even as we chart a new energy future.

Mayor White’s stated goals are to become more energy independent for basic security reasons and to be in control of our energy future. To do so, he maintains that we must reduce our pollution based on sound science, and do so in a way which does not burden low-income households. He proposes three main mechanisms to meet these goals:

  1. Cut the amount of fuel we use in vehicle travel without impinging on people’s ability to travel freely– specifically by increasing our efficiency per mile traveled.
  2. Cut the amount of energy consumed in buildings. Why drive up the cost of business by paying for electricity?
  3. Decrease the amount of power we get from coal and substitute that power with cleaner sources

Despite some skepticism, Mayor White certainly showed that our energy future could have our cake and eat it too, namely through increased efficiency in building codes, fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, and use of cost-effective renewables. See the edited video here:

[vimeo 6300204]

Public Citizen does not and would never endorse candidates. Even if we could, it’s hard to get an exact read on Mayor White and how he would act as the next Senator from Texas on the issue of federal climate policy — so even so we could offer little endorsement other than a candid analysis of his words and his record.

When asked off-camera about how he would vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), the climate bill which passed in the House in June and due up for debate in the Senate over the next 2-3 months, he remained committed to energy efficiency but overall rather vague. White showed skepticism as to large long term goals rather than smaller but gradually increasing cuts in emissions. His version of the bill, he said, would have strong building code mandates, a renewable energy efficiency standard (which is it, Bill?) with a price cap on renewables to protect consumers, and change dispatch priorities to wean the nation off of coal fired power. He did not, however, indicate whether or not he would support implementing a federal cap on carbon dioxide emissions or the cap and trade mechanism.

This is a question likely to come up in the next few months when ACES comes to a Senate vote, and hopefully Mayor White will have a clearer answer prepared when that time comes. But if the final answer is no on ACES, would he have some specific policy solutions about how to improve the bill, or would he just cast the same “no way, never” vote that we’ll likely get from John Cornyn or Kay Bailey Hutchison?

That being said, it is refreshing to hear a candidate speak so fluently about energy policy. Mayor White’s record on energy as Deputy Secretary of Energy stands on its own, as does his impressive work on making Houston a national leader on energy efficiency. We may still be uncertain as to where he stands on ACES, but we certainly know his feelings on energy efficiency both in word and deed – which is nothing to sneeze at.

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intern-where-is-my-reportDear readers:  We need fall interns for our Austin office.  Think you’ve got what it takes to make me coffee contribute in a meaningful way to our team? Want to be the next Citizen X?  Check out the following infos and apply today!  Feel free to ask questions about the internship in the comments section, and I’ll respond if your wordpress avatar looks impressive right away!

Public Citizen, a national non-profit consumer advocacy and watchdog group, seeks motivated interns in our office in Austin. For over 25 years, the Texas office of Public Citizen has worked on protecting consumers and standing up for the common citizen in the halls of power. When corporate interests send in their high-priced lobbyists, the public can rely on Public Citizen to advocate for what is in their interest.

PC Texas currently works on mostly energy issues, as energy usually represents the second or third largest household expense for most families. We are currently involved in working on federal climate change policy, increasing the use of renewable energy and efficiency as new power resources, and stopping proposed coal and nuclear plant expansions across Texas. We also have a vibrant communications team which specializes in both traditional and “new” media outreach.

QUALIFICATIONS: An intense desire to work in the public’s interest, excellent writing and verbal skills, organized, ability to work under pressure, team player, self-motivated. Background in energy, environmental issues, politics, economics, public policy, etc helpful. Desire to learn a MUST. Interns interested in communications work should have some background in media/communications/PR, etc.

All internships are 20 hrs/week and unpaid and will take place at our office in downtown Austin at the corner of 13th and San Antonio (3 blocks East of the Capitol).

If interested please email Melissa Sanchez [email protected] with a resume and a short writing sample.

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Smoking or Non-Smoking (high res)

Austin Energy will make a recommendation to City Council in August of their future generation plan through 2020.  According to their website, “an important component of the planning process is input from the community” — but as of April, only about 300 people had filled out Austin Energy’s survey. Through the survey, you can give Austin Energy a quick gut reaction of what kind of an energy future you want: one with more coal and nuclear (boooo, hisssss, cough cough cough), or a non-smoking future fueled by renewable energy and efficiency (cheers, jubilation!).  We need as many Austinites as possible to fill out this survey and send the message loud and clear: say goodbye to our dirty energy past and look to a brighter energy future!

For a quick background on Austin’s current energy mix, check out the following video from our friends at PowerSmack:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqYd_AIpH8o&feature=player_profilepage]

According to Austin Energy’s survey, Austinites get about a third each of their power from coal, nuclear, and natural gas, and about 10% from renewables.  Looking at their draft generation plan, they are looking to change that mix to 26% from coal and nuclear power, 44% from natural gas, 5% from biomass, 22% from wind, and 3% from solar by 2020.

That plan may be an improvement from what we’ve got now, but it doesn’t show near the vision and leadership that Austin Energy ought to provide.  Imagine what kind of a message it would send if Austin Energy actually tried to divest itself completely from coal — and shut down the Fayette Coal Plant!

That’s right folks, Austin — that Central Texas shining star of wierdness, environmental stewardship, and progressive politics — has a dirty secret.  We own half of a coal plant, along with LCRA.  And 16% of the South Texas Nuclear Project!

GHASP! Skeletons in the closet.

Ghasp indeed — and skeletons in the closet for real.  We all know how bad coal is, and the Fayette plant is spewing toxic emissions into the air every day on our behalf.  A total of 44 people die early deaths as a result of these emissions every year.

But Austin Energy’s expected proposals don’t put a priority on shutting down Fayette.  That’s why, along with our friends at PowerSmack, we’re launching a new campaign to try to convice Austin Energy and the City Council to shut down Fayette.  Don’t sell it — don’t pawn those emissions off on someone else. Shut. It. Down.

James Hansen, one of the top climate scientists and greatest climate change advocates of our time, has said that the number one thing we can do to stop global warming is to stop using coal.  Better, cleaner alternatives exist.  We’re not looking for a silver bullet here, but through a mixture of aggressive solar, wind, geothermal, and energy efficiency — we can kick the habit.

But the first step is to admit we’ve got a problem.  So fill out the survey, and tell Austin Energy you want your power to come from MUCH LESS coal and nuclear and MUCH MORE renewables and efficiency.

If a city as polluted as Los Angeles can commit to stop using coal by 2020, so can we.  Let’s walk the walk.

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A message from Public Citizen, SEED Coalition, and Environment Texas:

Your help is needed right away to put energy efficiency into place!

Please call or email your city councilmember today to tell them you support STEP – the new energy efficiency program for San Antonio!

Tomorrow, San Antonio City Council will decide on how CPS Energy can fund their energy efficiency programs known as STEP (Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan). CPS Energy has set a goal to save 771 Megawatts of power through energy efficiency programs by 2020.  This would be one of the most aggressive efficiency goals in the country and we support it!

Energy efficiency is the cheapest energy resource CPS Energy can invest in.  By spending money on weatherizing low income homes and providing rebates for people to purchase high efficiency appliances, CPS avoids having to purchase more expensive energy that would cost everyone more. In addition, people who take advantage of these programs will begin saving money on their utility bills immediately, offsetting the cost of the programs!

Call or email your city councilmember today to tell them:

-I support energy efficiency and urge you to approve STEP

-I want public accountability for these programs through quarterly reporting including information such as the amount of money spent on and energy saved from each program

-I want to be sure that CPS spends the money they collect for STEP on energy efficiency and solar rebates, not for other purposes like coal or nuclear plants!

Mayor   Phil Hardberger (210) 207-7060   [email protected]

District 1   Mary Alice P. Cisneros (210) 207-7279   [email protected]

District 2   Sheila D. McNeil (210) 207-7278   [email protected]

District 3   Jennifer V. Ramos (210) 207-7064   [email protected]

District 4   Philip A. Cortez (210) 207-7281   [email protected]

District 5   Lourdes Galvan (210) 207-7043   [email protected]

District 6   Delicia Herrera (210) 207-7065 [email protected]

District 7   Justin Rodriguez (210) 207-7044 [email protected]

District 8   Diane G. Cibrian (210) 207-7086 dis[email protected]

District 9   Louis E. Rowe (210) 207-7325 [email protected]

District 10   John G. Clamp (210) 207-7276   [email protected]

If you don’t know who your councilmember is, find out here.

If you are able to, show up at City Hall tomorrow and talk to City Council about STEP.  It is agenda item #5 and should be up before lunchtime.  If you would like to speak, though, you have to sign up in person between 8-9 AM (114 W. Commerce).  If you can’t sign up in time, come by and be there for support!

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tvTelevision sets use about 4% of household power nation-wide, and the newest flat screens are even bigger power suckers — LCD screens use 43% more power than the old tube TV models.  Despite this situation, government efficiency testing standards for televisions haven’t been updated since Leave It to Beaver appeared in black and white.  Energy Star, a voluntary labeling system developed by the EPA, uses modern efficiency tests, but Energy Guide, the mandatory Department of Energy labeling program, still uses standards from the era of Lucy and Ricky in separate twin beds.

In order to confront this problem, California has once again stepped to the forefront.  According to Kate Galbraith at Green, Inc:

California regulators are drafting rules mandating that retailers stock only the most energy-efficient TVs, according to The Times. The program would start in 2011, with a more stringent standard coming into effect in 2013.

Industry, of course, objects:

The proposal is running into resistance from the Consumer Electronics Association and other industry representatives. One retailer told the Los Angeles Times that efficiency standards would “kill dealerships,” because Californians would search the Internet for less-efficient TVs, and get them shipped into California.

I’m sorry, but that argument is completely ridiculous.  And I’ve heard it before.  Remember when the auto industry resisted efficiency measures and stricter environmental standards that would have forced them to create a better product, and then foreign companies did just that and stole all their business?  And then domestic auto companies couldn’t keep their businesses afloat anymore and had to ask the government for a bailout? I remember that, because it just happened.

I’m really tired of industry bellyaching about efficiency and environmental standards that would make them create better products.  All this California amendment would say is, we want our consumers to be provided the most innovative, efficient products on the market.  There are already over 100 models that would keep up with their proposed standards.  Industry reps are just upset that their inefficient, energy sucking TVs won’t make the cut.  Sorry, but it isn’t California’s fault you created a sub-par product.

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santaTexas cities are working extra hard this holiday season on efficiency measures of all shapes and sizes. Do you think they’re looking for energy and resource savings, or could this just be a last minute push to make Santa’s “nice” list? In keeping with the holiday spirit, I’ll applaud these cities for good behavior, motives aside.

HOUSTON

The Houston City Council approved a $16.4 million contract last week to replace city traffic signals with energy efficient LED lights. The new lights will save the city more than $4 million a year on electricity bills.

Said city mayor Bill White,

“We want to use energy-efficient lighting and make energy-efficient improvements for the same reason that Wal-Mart does, and that is to reduce costs and save money over the long run and to give Houston a competitive advantage.”

The city has several other green initiatives in the works, such as stepping up recycling programs, installing solar panels, buying renewable energy and hybrid vehicles, and establishing new building energy codes.

tree

Houston decided to festoon its official holiday tree with LED lights as well, meaning that this year’s tree will use one-tenth the energy of last year’s spruce.

And last but not least, city officials announced the winners of Houston’s “Recycle Ike!” contest to determine the best way to recycle tree debris from September’s disastrous hurricane. A team of Rice students and scientists won first place for their plan to turn the waste into biomass charcoal (“biochar”) in a pilot bioreactor to be built on campus.

AUSTIN

Austinites need not turn green with envy, because our city has recently rolled out some great new initiatives as well.

My favorite is the Pecan Street Project, a new smart-grid project. Says Brewster McCracken, the mayor pro-tem,

“The goal of the Pecan Street Project is to provide one power plant’s worth of clean, renewable energy, and to produce it within the city of Austin.”

A smart grid would allow utilities to deliver energy more efficiently and provide customers with the information to make more efficient energy choices.

For more information on smart grids, check out Kate Galbraith’s post on Green, Inc., the New York Times’ energy and environment blog.

The Austin City Council has also been discussing a new “zero-waste” plan to keep 90% of the city’s waste out of landfills by2040. The Council is slated to vote on the plan this Thursday. I hope they remember that Santa’s watching!

irrigation

ROUND ROCK

The city of Round Rock is also looking into an ordinance to get customers to consume less water. The ordinance would jack up the cost of water for excessive users during dry summer months, educate people on the need for conservation, and step up conservation efforts citywide.

I’d say all that deserves a holiday “Huzzah”!

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This is so very cool. GM is “leaking” photos of its new VOLT concept electric vehicle. So the car maker is finally reaching its goals, as stated in the 1980 first edition of The Cousteau Almanac, An Inventory of Life on our Water Planet. To wit: “The great car hope of the future, of course, is the EV. General Motors promises an electric car by the mid-1980s that will reach a speed of 60 miles (97) kilometers per hour and run 80 miles (130 kilometers) before needing a recharge. The company estimates that 10 percent of the cars on U.S. highways will be EVs by 1990.”

Word on the net is the VOLT will reach 120 mph and travel 40 miles before needing a recharge. Although there might possibly be some need for us to lay blame for the delay at the feet of GM (as if there already isn’t mounds of it there for other stuff) , we might as well rejoice and move on. Actually, I only even feel the need to highlight it at all in effort to say let’s not make a similar mistake with this “Drill Here, Drill Now”-let’s-just-drill-for-oil-around-FLORIDA,-THE-ROCKIES-(hey don’t worry it’s S-H-A-L-E) campaign.

Back to Cousteau. The 1980 almanac also says things about energy like, “A 1978 United Nations report concluded that solar cells would become cheaper (more…)

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Sneezing, sniffling?  The culprit may be global warming according to this report. Experts are also warning us that allergy season may be extended or aggravated as the climate warms.

An article in the Austin American Statesman also discusses how climate change is spreading previously exotic diseases to places like Texas.

While you’re at it, watch out for your 401(k) and retirement savings, as some of Wall Street’s biggest funds and companies are not preparing adequately for climate change and may end up losing your money!

As if that weren’t enough, climate change is also affecting growing seasons, decreasing the pollination window for corn from 10 down to only three or four days.  This will eventually mean higher prices on everything from ethanol to beef or anything that contains corn-byproducts.

So what do we do?  Thomas Friedman, the noted economist and best-selling author, talked about how dealing with climate change is a huge economic winner with none other than Dave Letterman earlier this week:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVmJpM_UFVs]

Meanwhile, Google’s CEO Eric Scmidt has some ideas of his own, saying the United States could save $2.7 trillion dollars by switching to smart grids, efficient buildings, and renewable energy. So when’s the beta test coming out for “Google House”?

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