Energy efficiency is trending up and down in the Southeast

Yesterday we reported on how Duke Energy leads the Southeast in energy efficiency, and Florida Power & Light is providing the worst results in the region. But what about the rest? There are a lot of great stories to tell, but first here’s a reminder of the overview. We report on the recent performance of [...]

Duke Energy leads the Southeast on energy efficiency

Duke Energy Carolinas has reached the 1% energy savings benchmark in 2016, a nationally recognized indicator of success in providing customers with energy efficiency programs. Congratulations to all the staff at Duke Energy for that achievement! Since we last reported utility energy efficiency savings in 2014, we have seen some remarkably good as well as [...]

Georgia is whupping Tennessee in more than just football this year

Let’s talk about the ridiculously lopsided football game at Neyland Stadium last week. The University of Georgia (UGA) pummeled the University of Tennessee (UT) 41-0…in UT’s own backyard. This annual match is usually competitive, but this year, UT suffered their first shutout in over 20 years. But have you noticed that Georgia is whupping Tennessee in more than just college football this year?

What Could TVA Do, If No One Was Looking?

Recently, two southeastern utilities found themselves facing scandal head-on as major projects fell apart, leaving the utility – and potentially customers – covering lost costs that add up to billions of dollars. Both Southern Company’s Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle plant and SCE&G’s VC Summer nuclear plant serve as important reminders that decision making [...]

Is TVA Causing a Solar [Market] Eclipse?

TenneSEIA, the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association, issued a press release yesterday about TVA’s decision to continue restricting the Green Power Providers program. TVA is withdrawing support for solar power and, much like the solar eclipse we’ll all see on Monday, TVA is blocking the sun.

Walking in Memphis—Just Feet Above a Coal Ash Cesspool

Memphis residents now have another reason to sing the blues. Last week, the nation’s largest public utility, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), admitted that the groundwater beneath its Allen coal-burning power plant is poisoned with astronomically high amounts of arsenic. Levels of the potent carcinogen measure nearly 400 times the federal limit for drinking water. In addition, lead in the groundwater is more than four times the standard.

A Penny Shared is a Penny Used to Lift Energy Burdens in Memphis

More often than not, Memphians rely on each other in the face of a challenge, so it’s only appropriate that now, when other options are unavailable in the short-term, Memphians are turning to each other to help lift unnecessarily high energy burdens that are contributing to an intergenerational cycle of poverty. The Share the Pennies program, which came out of a community-driven effort to find relief for burdened communities, is betting that Memphians will once again come to each other’s aid in the short-term, as we continue to fight for long-term solutions from sources outside our communities.

Does “SMR” stand for “Squandering More Resources?”

What does the acronym “SMR” stand for? If you’re talking about plans for TVA’s Clinch River Site near Kingston, Tennessee there may be multiple answers. TVA and nuclear industry proponents would say you’re referring to a plan to possibly build up to 800 megawatts of new nuclear power technology known as Small Modular Reactors. But for those of us concerned with yet another untested, risky nuclear scheme, it stands for “Squandering More Resources” or “Squandering Money and Resources” on something that is clearly not needed, which TVA itself recently stated.

Pruitt EPA Should Deny New Utility Move to Weaken Federal Coal Ash Rule

Like last month’s stay on the water discharge rule, a potential stay on the Coal Ash Rule extends unconscionable risk for the people who live near coal ash pits, which can rupture or leak toxics into drinking water, while pandering to corporate utilities that have gotten away with dangerous waste handling for decades.

Pruitt EPA’s Water Pollution Delay Extends Uncertainty for Southeast Coal Plants

Since 1982, little has changed about the toxic pollution coal-fired power plants are allowed to dump in water, although change was on its way. Unfortunately, if EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has his way, our waterways and our health will remain threatened by our nation’s leading source of toxic water pollution – coal fired power plants. We will have to keep on waiting for modern, updated protections and coal plant operators face continued uncertainty over their compliance obligations – uncertainty that may actually accelerate coal’s decline. In early May, Environmental groups challenged the legality Administrator Pruitt’s stay.

In the Southeast, many power plants’ operators were already preparing to meet new 2015 standards, which would go into effect in 2018, updating pollution control technology at their plants and working with state agencies to update state water discharge permits. The 2015 Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs), which represents the first update to these regulations since 1982, nearly eliminates dumping of ash-contaminated wastewater, and for the first time, limits the discharge of toxic heavy metals that come from removing toxics from the air pollution stream and trapping them in sludge as part of the wastewater stream.