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Posts in Category: Utility Policy

Which Segment of the Energy Industry Supports the Most Jobs in the Southwest?

Hint: It’s not fossil fuels production
Which Segment of the Energy Industry Supports the Most Jobs in the Southwest?
The Powder River Basin in Wyoming is the largest coal-producing region in the U.S. There are tens of thousands of oil and natural gas wells as well as over 1,900 wind turbines operating on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. Eastern New Mexico is a major oil and gas producing region, and large-scale solar power plants are sprouting up across the desert Southwest. But which segment of energy industry supports the most jobs in the energy-rich Southwest? Answer: It’s the energy efficiency industry, ... More
 

Southwest Has More “Zero Energy” Homes and Homebuilders Than Anywhere Else in the Country

Reasons for progress could Serve as national model
Southwest Has More “Zero Energy” Homes and Homebuilders Than Anywhere Else in the Country
This Zero-Energy home in Durango, Colorado, keeps residents warm even in winter at an elevation of over 6,500 feet. More than 60 percent of the most energy-efficient homes built today in the country have been constructed in the Southwest. What’s more, nearly two-thirds of the homebuilders who make these highly efficient houses also are based in this region. The reasons for this success could serve as a model for other parts of the nation seeking to improve the efficiency and quality of... More
 

Time for States to Step Up on Clean Transportation

States, cities can embrace EVs, add public transit
Time for States to Step Up on Clean Transportation
When President Donald Trump recently walked away from the Paris Climate Agreement, his decision spurred many states, cities and businesses nationwide to step up their own push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what the federal government does or doesn’t do. One key area for action is transforming America’s transportation systems. Cars and trucks are now the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. Emissions from electricity generation are declining due to the... More
 

Doubling Down on Energy Efficiency

States, local governments must pick up the slack
Doubling Down on Energy Efficiency
On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration as 45th President, he has nominated Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, and Rick Perry as Energy Secretary. If the adage "personnel is policy" holds true, energy efficiency and clean energy will face a tough four years with respect to federal policy. While it's too early to know what specific actions the Trump Administration will take, it's reasonable to assume that the Clean Power Plan will fall by the wayside; use... More
 

Elevate Energy Efficiency on Oct. 5, 2016

It's the first national Energy Efficiency Day: Get on board via social media.
Elevate Energy Efficiency on Oct. 5, 2016
On October 5, 2016, a network of organizations and partners across the country will join together to promote the benefits of energy efficiency for the first-ever, nationwide Energy Efficiency Day. You are invited to participate. Campaign Goals: Boost the visibility of energy efficiency and talk about its benefits Showcase people who are doing concrete, effective things to save energy and money It's all happening this first year on social media, and we've made it easy for... More
 

Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest

Generating enormous benefits for consumers and the environment
Utility Energy Efficiency Programs in the Southwest
The major electric utilities in the Southwest greatly expanded their energy efficiency programs over the past eight years, programs that will result in their customers saving $5.5 billion net according to the utilities’ own data. These programs help households and businesses save energy through education, technical assistance and rebates, thereby increasing the adoption of energy-efficient lights, appliances, buildings, industrial processes, and the like. Utility energy efficiency programs ... More
 

The Supreme Court Did Not "Stay" Energy Efficiency

The Supreme Court Did Not "Stay" Energy Efficiency
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included many references to energy efficiency as a strategy to achieve Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance and encouraged states and utilities to pursue this path. Even though the Supreme Court of the United States has issued a “stay” on the CPP, some states are moving ahead with CPP planning and/or related efforts. We appreciate these efforts as the CPP represents a significant step forward in our nation’s efforts to mitigate against climate change. ... More
 

Sensible Rate Design for Residential and Small Business Customers

Sensible Rate Design for Residential and Small Business Customers
With growth in electricity sales disappearing and adoption of rooftop solar systems expanding, electric utilities are increasingly proposing new rate designs in order to protect and stabilize their revenues. SWEEP participates in rate cases throughout the Southwest to challenge these utility proposals, ensure that rates continue to encourage greater energy efficiency, and help protect low-income consumers. Many utilities are proposing to increase the monthly fixed charge and... More
 

Staying the Course: Despite Supreme Court Decision on Clean Power Plan, Progress Continues

Energy efficiency policies and programs are generally scaling up across the southwest
Staying the Course: Despite Supreme Court Decision on Clean Power Plan, Progress Continues
The Supreme Court recently took the unprecedented action of "staying" the Clean Power Plan prior to its review by the U.S. Court of Appeals. This means the Clean Power Plan will not go into effect while the litigation is pending. However, this does not mean that efforts to reduce the harmful carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will or should stop in southwest states or elsewhere. Nor does it mean that efforts to accelerate cost-effective energy efficiency improvements will or should slow ... More
 

Utilities are Heading Upstream to Increase Energy Efficiency

Utilities are Heading Upstream to Increase Energy Efficiency
Midstream utility energy efficiency programs provide utility-funded incentives to equipment distributors and contractors to stock and sell energy efficient measures, such as commercial lighting products and heating and cooling equipment. By contrast, downstream programs pay incentives directly to consumers or businesses that purchase energy-efficient products. SWEEP has discussed the advantages of upstream and midstream program designs over traditional downstream designs here. Programs... More
 
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