Solar MythBusters #1: Clouds blocking solar in the Sunshine State?

SACE staff member Charlie Coggeshall contributed to this post. This is the first in a series of blogs on solar myths; stay tuned for future MythBuster posts in the coming months! Orlando Utility Commission (OUC) Vice President Chip Merriam recently propagated one of the greatest myths about solar – often heard in our region – while speaking [...]

What Is a Watt, Really?

Clean Energy. We’re all for it. In fact we’re the Southern Alliance for it. But what is it? I’m not talking about the “clean” part. That one word deserves its own essay. I’m talking about the “energy” part. We all have some idea about what energy is. We all pay utility bills. What we’re paying [...]

How Cheap Is Coal?

Remember when coal was king? Just a few years ago the consensus was that coal was cheap and abundant and would remain that way for the foreseeable future. Today, though, coal prices are increasing and becoming more volatile. Perhaps more important to us here in the Valley, TVA’s existing fleet of coal plants will soon [...]

To Avoid Price Shocks, We Must Meet Energy Needs

This guest post, written by SACE consultant Susan Glickman, originally appeared in the Sunshine State News, 22-Aug-12. Read the post and view the comments here. The energy challenges of the 21st century demand new ways of doing things — namely, moving from the old paradigm of “selling energy” to one where we “meet energy needs” with [...]

How Not to Set Electricity Rates

Clare McGuire, former attorney for the Georgia Public Service commission and Georgia Watch, contributed to this post. Electricity rate setting is a hornet’s nest full of accounting, policy-making and politics. People love power companies when rates are low, and they sometimes even love them when rates are high. The thing that really riles electric customers [...]

VEC Utility Customers More Informed Than Most

Not all electricity bills are created equal, and today we’d like to commend a local utility company on providing their customers with an exceptionally detailed one. Volunteer Energy Cooperative (VEC) provides information and advice beyond what the average national utility bill presents. Last November, John Wilson, SACE’s Research Director, shared with you a study about [...]

What your electric utility bill is NOT telling you

A fascinating new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy takes a look at what’s on the bills that electric utilities send to their customers. OK, you have got to be an energy geek to appreciate this kind of insight, but here are two observations. ACEEE’s report, “The State of the Utility Bill,” [...]

Duke Energy leads Southeastern utilities in avoiding taxes

According to a new study from Citizens for Tax Justice, Duke Energy led five other Southeastern utilities in avoiding federal corporate income taxes. Compared to the statutory 35% corporate tax rate, Southeastern utilities paid about 10.5% of pre-tax profits in federal taxes during the 2008-10 time period. Duke’s effective tax rate of -3.9% (that is, [...]

Driving energy efficiency too slow

Just a brief update for those who are interested in why Florida is moving so slowly on energy efficiency. As recently noted by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, “regulators in Florida … took actions to render their energy savings target ineffective.” Similarly in response, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is protesting [...]

A fresh look at the buyer of last resort, PURPA

For over a decade, states have been coasting along with policies that affect the market for key energy resources: small renewable energy generators and companies that practice cogeneration (also known as energy recycling, or combined heat and power). As advocates for consumer-friendly energy efficiency, we’ve learned that these same policies affect energy efficiency, particularly what [...]