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November 24, 1999

News and Events

  • Kinko's and City of Oakland Buy Green Power
  • Commonwealth Energy Signs Up Time Warner, Restaurants
  • Renewables, Efficiency Winners in Budget and Tax Bills
  • Coalition to Bring Wind Power to Pennsylvania
  • DOE, Owens Corning Aim to Reduce School Energy Use
  • DOE Sets Pollution Prevention, Energy Efficiency Goals

Site News

  • Energy Ed Online
Energy Facts and Tips
  • Household Energy Consumption
  • Turkey Tips

About this Newsletter

News and Events

Commonwealth Energy Signs Up Time Warner, Restaurants
Commonwealth Energy, a provider of electricity from renewable energy sources, had a banner week last week. The company announced new contracts with Time Warner Communications, two California restaurant chains, and the City of Palmdale, California. Commonwealth will provide green power to 1,700 electric accounts servicing Time Warner's Los Angeles Division. Forty-two Panda Express restaurants and 24 Pick Up Stix restaurants will also be powered by green power, as will all city-run facilities in Palmdale, California, located about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. For more information, see the Commonwealth Energy press releases.

In related news, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) announced last week that it had reached a milestone by signing up 20,000 customers to its "Green Power for a Green LA" program. DWP also announced that it is constructing a "Solar Carport" that will use a solar photovoltaic electric system to charge electric vehicles. When completed in early 2000, the carport will provide recharging for a commercial airport shuttle service using Daimler Chrysler's electric-powered Epic minivan. For more information, see the DWP press releases.

Renewables, Efficiency Winners in Budget and Tax Bills
An omnibus budget bill that was passed by Congress last week includes a funding increase of 9 percent for energy efficiency research, development, and deployment. For more information, including a preliminary budget breakdown, see the Alliance to Save Energy's press release.

The budget bill also extends through 2001 the production tax credits for wind and biomass energy production, which effectively cut the cost of power from these facilities. The tax credits — at 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced — will apply retroactively to June 30, 1999, the date when they expired. The wind energy production tax credit was largely credited for a boom in wind energy installations in the first six months of this year. For more information, see the American Wind Energy Association's press releases.

Coalition to Bring Wind Power to Pennsylvania
A coalition of non-profit and for-profit companies is working to build two 65-kilowatt wind turbines near Hazleton in eastern Pennsylvania. The new "Pennsylvania Wind Energy" will use wind turbines provided by Energy Unlimited, Inc. and the business infrastructure of Conectiv Energy to deliver wind energy to electricity customers in the state. Pennsylvania's Clean Air Council and the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies (LWF) have formed Community Energy, Inc., a nonprofit company that will market the power to businesses in the Philadelphia area. The turbines, which will generate an estimated 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, are expected to be completed by the end of this year. For more information, see the press release on the LWF Web site.

DOE, Owens Corning Aim to Reduce School Energy Use
DOE and Owens Corning announced last week a campaign to help U.S. public schools make better use of energy. U.S. K-12 schools spend $6 billion each year on energy, of which about $1.5 billion is wasted because of inefficient heating, cooling, ventilating, lighting, and insulating systems. DOE's EnergySmart Schools campaign will help schools save energy through energy efficiency investments, while raising students' awareness of energy efficiency. The campaign includes a four-day "Saving Energy Starts With Me" educational program, which features hands-on experiments and a home energy quiz.

Twelve "EnergySmart School Ambassadors" also released an "EnergySmart Schools Proclamation" during the announcement. The "Ambassadors" are student winners of a national essay contest — sponsored by DOE and Owens Corning — on the subject "Saving Energy Starts with Me." Students, parents and other interested parties may sign the EnergySmart Schools Proclamation. In April 2000, the signatures will be forwarded to local school superintendents nationwide along with energy-efficiency educational materials and advice, in conjunction with Earth Day 2000. For more information, see the DOE press release.

See the winning essays and sign the proclamation on the EnergySmart Schools Web site on EREN.

DOE Sets Pollution Prevention, Energy Efficiency Goals
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced last week 14 new pollution prevention and energy efficiency goals that will support President Clinton's executive orders for "Greening the Government." The DOE goals include improved energy efficiency and increased vehicle fleet efficiency. One of the goals is for 75 percent of DOE's light- duty vehicle purchases each year to be alternative fuel vehicles. For more information, see the DOE press release.

Site News

Energy Ed Online
The Energy Center of Wisconsin's Energy Ed Online provides a comprehensive guide to K-12 energy education in Wisconsin. The site includes a calendar of training sessions and course offerings for educators, classroom activities and lesson plans, field trip ideas, a discussion list, and other teaching resources.

For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.

Energy Facts and Tips

Household Energy Consumption
The average U.S. household used 27 percent less energy in 1997 than the average household did in 1978, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). But the number of U.S. households increased by 33 percent over that time period, so overall U.S. household energy use has held steady. Those are just two of the findings from "A Look at Residential Energy Consumption in 1997," released by the EIA last week. The average U.S. household spent $1,338 for energy in 1997, according to the report. For more information, see the EIA press release (with a link to the full report).

Turkey Tips
Since most people in the United States will be roasting a turkey tomorrow, it's a good time to look at ways to save energy on Thanksgiving Day — compliments of the California Energy Commission (CEC). Save oven energy by skipping the preheat and minimizing the number of times you open the door. And make the most of that hot oven by cooking several items at once. Before cooking on the stove, make sure those stovetop burners and reflectors are clean. Also try to match your pots and pans to the size of the heating element — don't place a small pot on a large element. And don't forget to use the microwave oven when possible — it uses only half the energy of conventional ovens! For more tips, see the full story by selecting the Energy Commission News Features on the CEC's News Releases Web page.

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