Locations

Apple Acquires Renewable Energy Power Plant in Oregon

Apple, the American electronics conglomerate, has reportedly bought a renewable energy power plant in Oregon. The purchase was driven by Apple’s commitment to make all its data centers powered entirely with renewable energy. Local paper Oregon Live has reported that the tech giant has taken over a small hydroelectric project at a Central Oregon site near its new data center in Prineville. The amount of electricity used in the data center to power the thousands of computers and devices would match that of a small city, according to Oregon Live. Apple has previously openly stated that it has invested significant… Read more.

New Hampshire to Deregulate Electricity

New Hampshire Legislature is headed toward approval of a bill that would direct the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to start a process that could lead to the sale or closure of PSNH power plants. Such action would complete the deregulation of the electricity market, which was started more than a decade ago. Testimony on HB 1602 before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on April 09, 2014 was mostly favorable. The bill passed the House, 185-134, on March 25. The bill does not order the sale or closure of the power plants. It directs the PUC to conduct hearings… Read more.

Customers of PPL Utility to Expect Storm-Related Fees

Starting in the year 2015, customers of PPL Electric Utilities Corp. may be charged special fees for the utility’s storm-related expenses. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) granted the Allentown-based utility a storm damage expense rider, in addition of its standard rates. The ruling modified terms and conditions of the fee originally sought by PPL. The new rate, which will allow PPL to charge customers for net annual storm damage costs exceeding $14.7 million, takes effect in January 2015, according to a PUC order issued Thursday. PPL filed the proposal in March 2013, three months after the PUC directed the… Read more.

Spark Energy Launches Tree Planting Initiative

Spark Energy, a Houston-based independent retail energy supplier, has announced it will plant a tree on behalf of each customer enrolling in a green energy plan in the month of April through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. “As we continue our focus on green solutions, we are excited to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation on an initiative that directly impacts our environment,” said Nathan Kroeker, President of Spark Energy. “Best of all, many of these trees will be planted near the communities we serve.” Customers enrolling in any of the company’s green energy products will have a… Read more.

Connecticut Proposes Regulation of Electricity Suppliers

As a response to hundreds of complaints about rising electric rates and allegations of deceptive practices, Connecticut officials have unveiled a legislation that will require greater disclosure from electricity suppliers as well as fixed rates for at least three months. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz and Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams spoke to several dozen senior citizens at a Hartford senior citizen wellness center to detail a proposed “bill of rights” for consumers. Evidence of a “serious dysfunction” in energy markets is a business model among some electricity suppliers that relies… Read more.

Spike in Eletric Bills Causes Legislative Action in Pennsylvania

Many Pennsylvania residents who switched electric companies over the last few months have had a rude awakening. Customers across the state reported a spike in their electric bills over the winter, some saying that their bill doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in price. This has prompted legislators and regulators to examine the need for new laws and regulations concerning electricity. “Many consumers have been misled by questionable marketing practices that advertise low rates but fail to emphasize the limited terms,” said state Rep. Dan Moul, a Republican who represents Franklin and Adams counties. State lawmakers held a formal hearing on… Read more.

Illinois Leads the Nation in Renewable Energy Usage

A newly released report states that Illinois is leading the nation in renewable energy use, with 91 communities, including Champaign County and Urbana, achieving 100 percent renewable electricity. The report, titled “Leading from the Middle: How Illinois Communities Unleashed Renewable Energy,” states that since 2013, the 1.7 million people represented in Illinois reduced pollution levels “equivalent to taking more than 1 million cars off the road or 250,000 homes off the grid.” Illinois communities have been able to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity using the Community Choice Aggregation, an energy model also known as municipal aggregation, which was passed in… Read more.

Pennsylvania PUC Plans to Shorten the Electricity Supplier Switching Timeframe

Responding to consumer outrage over winter electricity rate spikes, regulators plan to make electric utilities dramatically shorten the time it takes for customers to switch from one supplier to another. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PAPUC) has drafted new regulations that would require utilities such as PPL Electric Utilities and Met-Ed to complete a customer’s switch to a new supplier in three business days. That’s far less than the current lag of 11 to 40 days for a switch to take effect. “Due to the recent impact of wholesale electricity market price increases on Pennsylvania consumers, and concerns that similar… Read more.

Direct Energy Announces Price Protection Plans

Electricity supplier Direct Energy announced that it will add price protection to current residential electric variable rates offered in Pennsylvania beginning April 1. The utility regions that would be impacted include: Duquesne Light Company, Metropolitan Edison Company (MetEd), PECO Energy Company, Penn Power, Penelec, Pike County Light & Power Company, PPL Electric Utilities, and West Penn Power. The price protection will offer current residential customers with variable rates in their contracts the flexibility of a month-to-month plan and protection against price spikes caused by short-term market events, such as the recent record cold temperatures caused by the Polar Vortex. Direct… Read more.

Electric Deregulation Saves Illinois Customers Billions

Electric deregulation has saved Illinois customers as much as $37 billion over the past 16 years, a report released Monday said. Commissioned by four business groups, the report says the average household has paid $3,600 less overall — or about $240 annually — than if the average annual electricity rates had stayed the same as they were before the 1998 deregulation. That law allows Illinois utilities to compete for business on the open market rather than being regulated monopolies whose rates are set. Utilities had supplied, as well as delivered, electricity to consumers. The Legislature also restructured the natural gas… Read more.