News & Notes

New research from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that about 6.5 million workers were employed in the global renewable energy industry in 2013, a 14% increase over 2012.

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The Potential Value of ESPC Energy Efficiency Savings Under EPA’s Pending 111(d) Standard for Existing Power Plants

State ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs approved and overseen by the states and operated by utilities invest more than $6 billion annually and typically have energy savings verified through independent evaluation utilizing protocols unique to each state. This diversity offers limited means to make comparisons across states and sometimes across utilities within states.

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Developing a Resilient, Diverse Electricity System—The NARUC Perspective

Now more than ever, the job of a state utility regulator is one of the toughest and most important in the country. The utility industries we regulate—from the natural gas companies that heat our homes to the electric companies that light our streets—are on the cusp of profound change.

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News & Notes

Dr. James R. Schlesinger, the first head of the Department of Energy, passed away on March 27 in Baltimore. He was 85. When Jimmy Carter became president, he named Schlesinger, a Republican, as his top energy policy advisor. Schlesinger’s first task was to organize dozens of small energy agencies, field offices, and research centers into the new, cabinet-level Department of Energy.

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Nine major cities in the United States now require building owners to benchmark and disclose the energy consumption of their buildings. Several states also benchmark all state-funded facilities. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that between 2008 and 2011, on more than 35,000 buildings with monitored energy consumption, average energy reduction was 2.4% per year and more than 7% over the 3-year period. It may be true that you cannot manage what you do not measure, but measurement is not enough.

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The Energy Water Nexus

Notes from the 2014 NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference.

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News & Notes

In a decision that could have far-reaching impacts on the solar industry, the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) voted in November to allow the state’s largest utility to charge a monthly fee to customers who install photovoltaic panels on their roofs.

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People on the Move

Arkansas Public Service Commission chair Colette Honorable was elected president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) at the organization’s 125th annual meeting in November. She succeeds outgoing president Philip Jones of Washington State. NARUC members also elected commissioners Lisa Edgar of Florida as first vice president, and Susan Ackerman of Oregon as second vice president. All officers will serve one-year terms.

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that renewable energy will grow from 13% of the U.S. energy supply in 2011 to 16% in 2040. This wildly understates the likely growth trajectory, in my view.

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The Midwest: Gateway to Energy Efficiency

For much of the twentieth century, the Midwest was where energy went to be spent. Its brawny factories and populous cities used enormous amounts of power to manufacture products for the entire world. Now, the Midwest has turned to saving energy as a way out of its prolonged economic doldrums.

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