Energy Efficiency Industry News – February 13th
Welcome to Industry News: a weekly overview of developments in the energy utility, smart grid & energy efficiency markets. In issue 30 we have positive developments for energy efficiency in Vermont, more leadership announcements from Exelon and the world’s largest offshore wind farm opened in the UK.
Duquesne Light, the Pennsylvania-based utility, reported the sale of its two millionth discounted compact fluorescent bulb (CFL). The utility’s Watt Choices program, managed in part by Ecova, sells the bulbs at 137 stores in the state.
SCANA Energy announced that the Georgia Public Service Commission has again selected it as Georgia’s regulated provider of natural gas. SCANA has served in this position since the state’s deregulation in 2002, providing gas to 80,000 elderly, low-income and otherwise in-need customers.
Exelon has named the next round of senior executive appointments after the Exelon-Constellation merger closes. Christopher D. Gould will become SVP Corporate Strategy and Chief Sustainability Officer for the combined group, with Val Jensen named SVP Customer Operations for ComEd.
Source: Enhanced Online News
SmartGridNews has highlighted five utilities making positive changes, from free software tools to flash mob dances. The companies highlighted include ComEd, Eugene Water & Electric Board, and National Grid.
Exelon has laid out plans for its new headquarters after the expected acquisition of Constellation Energy. Leasing the 22-story skyscraper on Baltimore’s Harbor East waterfront will cost Exelon $120 million over twenty years.
Source: Baltimore Sun
Utilities – Business
American Electric Power cut its 2012 profit view, expecting a loss from its Ohio operations. AEP Ohio will incur charges from the state’s deregulation, leading to plans to separate the business from the rest of the company.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Hydro One released its 2011 year-end results, with net income of $641 million on revenues of $5.47 billion, 7% higher than 2010. Dividends to the shareholder, the Province of Ontario, were $168 million.
Source: Daily Exchange
Tampa Electric confirmed that it is considering the purchase of Lakeland Electric, Florida’s third largest public power utility. Lakeland recently failed to raise rates, leading to discussion of commercial alternatives.
Source: The Ledger
Fortis Inc earned $318 million in 2011, growing profits for the twelfth consecutive year. Increased investment, and an $11m payment after the Central Vermont PSC merger terminated, were the primary drivers of earnings growth.
Source: Power Engineering
Utilities – Regulatory
The Maryland Office of People’s Counsel, a consumer advocate, has argued in a filing to regulators that Exelon’s $7.9bn takeover of Constellation Energy is not in the public interest. The companies argued to the contrary in their filing, and a decision is expected by February 17th.
Source: Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
The Kansas Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB), a consumer advocate, has pledged to fight the $50 million increase in Westar Energy’s latest rate case. The utility had asked for $91m, with regulators recommending $33m and CURB $11m.
Source: The Hutchinson News
Institutions, Cities & States
Three Vermont groups will share up to $34 million over five years from the Environmental Protection Agency to promote energy efficiency. The Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment, The Clark Group, and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation will focus on the commercial, institutional and industrial sectors.
Source: Boston Globe
The University of Vermont has committed $13m to energy efficiency, to be spent over the next three years on projects with a payback under seven years. UVM will draw the money from cash-on-hand, expecting a comparable return to more typical financial investments.
Source: Burlington Free Press
Pepco Energy Services, the energy savings performance contracting division of Pepco Holdings, picked up the Maryland Quality Initiative’s 2012 Green Sustainability Environmental Award of Excellence. The company recently installed a 505kW solar energy system at BWI Marshall Airport, Maryland.
The 2012 update of LEED-EBOM will rewrite each credit and prerequisite to include Establishment and Performance sections, with the Operations and Maintenance system getting the biggest changes. The dual-part credits ensure both a solid foundation, and real-world building performance.
Source: Facilities Management
The White House has announced a further $150 million funding round for renewable energy and energy efficiency, channeled through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding calls for real-world applications with “the potential to be disruptive in the marketplace”.
The UK opened the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, as part of its push for 18GW of offshore wind power by 2020. The 367MW project off the North-Eastern coast of England was built by Denmark’s Dong Energy, and cost around $1.5bn.
China’s electricity consumption growth will slow this year, according to a report by the China Electricity Council. Growth is expected to slow from 11.7% in 2011 to around 9.5%, due to global economic uncertainties.
Source: China Daily
Please send any story suggestions, questions or comments about Energy Efficiency Industry News to Peter Cavan.