July 15, 2013 | By:
This week there is lots of great news from across the U.S. – from Michigan residents saving $360 million on energy since 2009, to the annual Energy Fair in Wisconsin, to a breakthrough in wood burning stove technology that produces no smoke. Take a look and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you come across any articles for next week’s edition!
Energy Efficiency Programs in Michigan Have Saved Customers More Than $360 Million –- “Consumers Energy” released some jaw dropping numbers this past week about the amount of money consumers saved in Michigan since 2009 – more than $360 million! The company estimated that more than 900 jobs have been created through the programs, and more than 67,000 inefficient refrigerators and freezers were turned in for a $50 rebate, which cut carbon dioxide emissions equal to operating 134,000 cars for a year. In 2013 alone, more than 106,000 Michigan residents have participated in their energy efficiency programs.
20,000 People Gather in Custer Wisconsin to Talk Renewable Energy – If you’ve never heard of the three-day Energy Fair in Wisconsin, this New York Times article is a must read. Essentially, thousands of people attend hundreds of workshops to learn about how to cultivate energy from the wind, sun, algae, and everything in between. There are tons of great ideas in the article to save energy and money, we’ll explore more later this week.
Computers + Wood Burning Stove = Smoke-free Energy – News out of Washington State should make everything think twice about that wood burning stove in your home or hunting cabin. A company there, Greenwood Clean Energy, is using wood gasification to not only burn wood for heat, but it also burns the smoke and gasses to create a smoke –free wood furnace. The technology is really amazing and the article is a good read for anyone interested in hearing how a 19th century technology has been updated.
Petition in California Aims to Let Consumers Sell Back Solar Energy to Power Companies – In sunny California, it’s currently illegal for home owners to install solar panels on their house that over-produces more than what is needed for the home. A petition being pushed through Clean Technica would let California resident’s oversize their solar systems and then sell the power back to energy companies for 25 cents for kilowatt hour.
Retirement Home in Florida Installing Solar Systems – A retirement community in Florida, Del Webb, is installing 2-kilowatt solar systems onto homes in their community, and expect them to save $300 per year on energy bills. The solar systems are being used as a way to encourage new residents –- and they all come with a lifetime warranty – seems like a pretty good deal for energy conscious baby boomers looking to retire in Florida!
Utility Companies Looking for Innovative Ways to Engage Consumers – Green Biz covered a big national push from energy company National Grid US, and their efforts to push consumers to save energy. Several studies are being conducted across the U.S., and statistics are showing that if the country doubles our energy production by 2030, the average household will save $1,000 per year, add more than 1 million jobs and cut carbon dioxide emissions by one-third.
Computerized Irrigation a Game Changer for Farmers – The Packer, a community for produce manufacturers, wrote an interesting piece earlier this week about the rapid advances in green technology for farmers. Censors near the trees alert a computerized system when a plant needs watering, which dramatically cuts watering costs.
Idaho Leading Efforts to Use Technology to Manage Power Usage – The Idaho Statesman covered how Idaho regulators, industry players, and consumers are working together and using technology to better understand the way power is used in the state, and looking for ways to find efficiencies. It’s a good read if you’re interested in hearing more about how regulators look out for the public good and the nuts and bolts of how power gets from a power plant to your home.
Fourteen Illinois Students Traveled to Germany to Study Renewable Energy Projects – Fourteen Illinois State University students went to Germany in May to visit and learn from the Solar Settlement, a structure that generates 420,000 kilowatt-hours of solar energy per year. The Settlement was designed by the same architect who built The Heliotrope, which is the first home in the world that produces more energy than it uses.
Will the World’s First Renewable Heat Incentive Spark a “Domestic Energy Revolution?” – Business Green covered the new financial incentives out of the UK that encourage home owners to cut their energy bills by installing renewable heating products. The incentives are hundreds of dollars per year for the average household, and it may not be long before the U.S. residents see similar incentives for cutting the energy consumed from heating products.