(February 11, 2014) President Barack Obama last week signed a Farm Bill after a long grueling process to renew the bill, after the last one ended in 2012. This is the third Farm Bill to include an Energy Title since the first one was established in 2002. ELPC will provide more in-depth resources in coming days but a quick overview of key programs is available at FarmEnergy.org.
Posts Tagged ‘Energy Efficiency’
What happens when the “low-hanging fruit” of energy efficiency runs out?
Illinois is about to find out.
After years of heavy reliance on lighting upgrades and other programs, the state’s two largest utilities, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Ameren Illinois, are now coming up short on meeting state-mandated efficiency goals.
However, Illinois Commerce Commission orders released last month show there are still plenty of opportunities to further cut energy consumption, according to clean energy advocates who are part of the stakeholder group involved in the proceedings.
As required by Congress, the EPA recently released annual greenhouse gas data “detailing carbon pollution emissions and trends broken down by industrial sector, greenhouse gas, geographic region, and individual facility.”
Interestingly, in 2012, coal-fired electricity generation increased while natural gas generation decreased considerably. This is counter to all the talk about the shale gas revolution (“bridge,” if you’re optimistic), including a line right in the first paragraph of the EPA press release — “The data, required to be collected annually by Congress, highlight a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions as more utilities switch to cleaner burning natural gas.”
A report published in the journal Nature Climate Change proposes 21 steps that countries, cities, and companies can take to reduce global warming in the absence of an international treaty. The suggestions include reducing deforestation, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, and many steps that individuals are already taking to increase energy efficiency in their homes and businesses.
Read more here.
ELPC Senior Attorney Rob Kelter
|Read coverage from the
Champaign News Gazette
or view this video clip from
local NBC affiliate WEEK:
The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) are marking the first day of summer by urging Illinois residents to take advantage of $170 million in new rebates and discounts on energy-efficient appliances that can help ease the pain of high summer electric bills. New energy efficiency programs in Illinois began this June, just in time to lower your high summer energy bills and help protect the environment.
“Energy efficiency means making your home more comfortable while lowering your bills,” said Rob Kelter, Senior Attorney for the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “When we save energy, we cut down on air pollution by burning less coal and natural gas.”
“We’ve known for a long time that making your home more energy efficient is not only good for the planet, but it’s great for your pocketbook,” said CUB Energy Attorney and Outreach Advocate Celia Christiansen. “These energy-saving programs can put an extra $100 or more in your pocket. It’s a win-win on savings and the environment and that’s why CUB and ELPC are teaming up to promote the programs.”
ELPC and CUB outlined four easy ways energy-efficiency programs can save Ameren customers $100 or more this year.
- Replace Your Light Bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs. Don’t wait until your old bulbs burn out to start saving money. There are at least 15 light bulbs in most homes. Each CFL bulb can save about $7 a year, or $40 over the life of the bulb. Now customers can find CFLs for deep discounts, 35-66 percent, online or at stores. So it’s easy for everyone to make the switch and start saving money.
- Get an AC Makeover. Replacing your old central air conditioning unit can save you up to $200 a year—utility programs provide rebates up to $600 for efficient central air conditioners and $35 for window air conditioners.
- Recycle That Extra Fridge. Refrigerators use more energy than any other appliance except air conditioners. If you have an extra fridge or freezer running in your home, it’s costing you around $100 per year. Instead of spending $100 to run an extra fridge, Illinois utility companies will pay you $25-50 to pick up and recycle your old fridge.
- Buy a Programmable Thermostat. ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats are more accurate than non-digital thermostats and can help you maintain consistent comfort levels and save the average home $100 per year on electricity costs. Utility programs offer rebates on programmable thermostats
These programs are part of Illinois’ new efficiency standards, designed to reduce energy consumption in Illinois 25 percent by 2025. For details on these and other incentives, go to www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org, click on “Live Wire”
ELPC, CUB and other consumer advocates were instrumental in creating and designing these programs, which are projected to save Illinois consumers more than $200 million each year in lower energy bills. The incentives range from a $10 rebate on a smart power strip to a $300 rebate on a heat pump water heater.