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Columns

Planning for the 21st Century Grid

Carl Zichella

It seems everyone involved with renewable energy and climate change is asking the same question these days.  What will the 21st century grid look like?  This is one of the key questions the Department of Energy is asking as part of the first “Quadrennial Energy Review (QER)” seeking to understand how much modernizing the nation’s   …Continue Reading


The Energy Efficient Path

Daryl Letto

Getting from point A to point B used to be a simple task. If we use the analogy of a vehicle, we would historically have planned a journey by thinking about if we wanted to get there the quickest way possible or if the purpose was to take a more scenic route. Or maybe we would   …Continue Reading


Efficiency Financing – Decide the Vehicle Before Discussing the Rate

Michael Park

In my first article about financing energy efficiency investments, I wrote about using equipment leases and financing agreements. In this article I’ll cover the most popular source of outside capital – the building owner’s commercial bank – and my thoughts on using loans and credit lines for equipment purchases. As most know, the two most   …Continue Reading


Coincident Peak and Your Electricity Costs

Daryl Letto

What’s driving your electrical energy spend?  It depends on the rate that you have negotiated with your utility provider.  It’s important to understand this since your electricity costs are typically six times greater than that of your natural gas energy spend.  There are typically three general components to the electricity bill: 1. Consumption Charge: Cost   …Continue Reading


Seattle’s Energy Code Bests National Standard

Duane Jonlin

Energy codes, the complex regulations that limit the energy consumed by new buildings, vary widely between states and even between cities. Not coincidentally, this distribution bears some resemblance to that familiar red state/blue state map from election season. More conservative regions of the country sometimes provide little or no regulation of building energy use, while   …Continue Reading


New Electric Utility Business Model a Bold Effort in NY

John Finnigan

The US electric grid has not been updated since World War II, when telephones, dishwashers, and air conditioning were the cutting-edge technology innovations of the century. Today, this same grid is struggling to cope with the technological advances of the last decade, a reality that hit home for New Yorkers in the wake of Superstorm   …Continue Reading


Winter Polar Vortex’s Biggest Lesson: Supplier Transparency Is Key

Richard Rathvon

The history-making 2013-2014 Winter Polar Vortex dramatically demonstrated the importance of energy supplier transparency. With both demand and prices reaching record highs, users need to fully understand the energy supply products they are purchasing, and also need to be aware of the way that risk is being shared between customer and supplier. The unexpected extremes   …Continue Reading


The CPUC’s Energy Storage Rulemaking: Developing the Bridge to a Renewable Energy Economy

Jack Stoddard

Energy storage is widely considered to be the missing bridge between today’s electric grid, which is reliant on conventional generation that can be dispatched on demand, and an electric grid reliant on increasing levels intermittent renewable resources such as solar and wind. Unlike water, oil, or natural gas, electric energy on today’s electric grid is   …Continue Reading


Don’t Miss Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Lacey Miller

Remember when energy efficiency was just a whisper? No, you probably don’t, because that was decades ago! Energy efficiency is not a new concept; it’s not a new idea that you get to use to “disrupt” the built environment. Building energy efficiency is a well-seasoned concept…now, somewhere along the way we decided that efficient meant   …Continue Reading


Energy Efficiency: the Hidden Benefits

Marc Karell

I was fortunate to have been the construction and environmental manager for the largest conversion from No. 6 oil to natural gas so far in NYC. Three large boilers, providing heat and domestic hot water for 8 high-rise apartment buildings and other areas, were upgraded in preparation for the fuel switch. It is now two   …Continue Reading


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