New EmPower TN initiative set to cut state utility bills by an estimated 28% with energy efficiency and renewable energy

Tennessee lawmakers have recently demonstrated that investing in clean energy is not a partisan issue, so much as it’s just plain common sense. In the majority-Republican General Assembly, the state budget was approved with tens of millions of dollars for new investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, predicted to yield $1 billion in savings [...]

Declaring energy independence

This 4th of July, celebrate the anniversary of our country’s independence with more than a cookout and sparklers. This Independence Day weekend, declare your independence from our fossil fuel past and take some small personal steps towards realizing a clean energy household! Years ago, just before another Independence Day weekend, my Irish husband returned from [...]

Monopoly Utilities Orchestrate Solar Opposition Before Sunshine State Supreme Court

Florida’s utilities, led by Florida Power & Light, are orchestrating a well-coordinated attack on solar power in the Sunshine State. By cashing in on political connections and donations, monopoly utilities have recruited Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, as the headliner in this dubious and misleading act before the Supreme Court. Merriam-Webster defines a hypocrite as “a [...]

TVA Advisory Board Meeting Gives Preview of Final 2015 IRP

Today, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Regional Energy Resource Council (RERC) ended two days of meetings in which they were given a preview of the recommendations in TVA’s forthcoming 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). SACE staff have played an integral part in both the 2011 and 2015 IRP planning process, serving on each of the various [...]

PSC’s ‘Misplaced Priorities’ Lead to Higher Utility Bills for Alabamians

This guest post by Dr. Stacie Propst, executive director of GASP, was originally published on GASP’s website on May 28, 2015. A report titled “What Public Service? How the Alabama Public Service Commission’s misplaced priorities put utility profits over people” was released last week by Greater Birmingham Ministries. GASP has been seeking transparency at the [...]

Memphis Sustainable Schools Challenge Ends its First Year

Last month, the Shelby County Schools Sustainable Schools Challenge (SSC) held its first annual awards ceremony at the Memphis Botanic Garden to recognize and celebrate the outstanding work of students, teachers, and administrators who participated in the first city wide school sustainability initiative. SACE’s Memphis Energy Organizer, Sandra Upchurch, was part of the SSC steering [...]

Do Southeastern utilities deserve high marks for helping manufacturing?

Site Selection magazine’s annual rankings of top utilities for economic development routinely features the four large Southeastern utilities: Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light. But is there room for improvement? YES! In the Southeast, utilities’ energy efficiency programs, and overall utility planning, fail to focus on critical manufacturing growth issues. [...]

Duke dealt largest federal criminal fine in NC history for coal ash crimes

On May 14, 2015, Duke Energy pled guilty to 9 criminal misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act. The charges stemmed from a widened investigation, after the Dan River disaster, that found violations at Duke-owned facilities in Buncombe, Chatham, Wayne and Gaston Counties in North Carolina. Duke negotiated a plea bargain that included $68 million [...]

Knoxville Receives $7.12 Million from TVA for Lower-Income Energy Efficiency Program

Thanks to collaborative community efforts and new funding from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), hundreds of lower-income residents in Knoxville will soon have much more affordable utility bills. TVA recently announced the first round award winners in the Extreme Energy Makeovers project, part of TVA’s Smart Communities program. Knoxville received $7.12 million – after applying [...]

TVA 2015 IRP Public Comment Period Closes – What’s Next?

While the scope of TVA’s IRP process has been unprecedented in the Southeast, some significant gaps between the IRP planning intent and recent decisions by TVA’s management and Board of Directors still exist. Even as electric demand growth has slowed to only 1% per year, TVA’s capital budget for 2015 is a record $3.5 billion. While TVA claimed that these decisions (below) were consistent with the 2011 IRP, this capacity expansion policy exists concurrently with TVA’s failure to invest in energy efficiency and meet the modest energy efficiency commitments made in the 2011 TVA IRP.