Topic: Energy
News
Nov. 1, 2017

Bitcoin's incredible price run to break over $7,000 this year has sent its overall electricity consumption soaring, as people worldwide bring more energy-hungry computers online to mine the digital currency.

News
Oct. 31, 2017

California drivers normally catch a bit of a break this time of year when gas stations switch over to winter blends, which usually run about 12 cents a gallon less than summer-blended fuel.

But this year, the switch will coincide with the rollout of a state law to increase the price of gasoline by 12 cents a gallon.

In essence, the hike in the gas tax will nullify the reduction in price associated with the transition to winter fuel.

News
Oct. 23, 2017

It takes a lot of juice to grow pot indoors, so Sacramento’s major electric utility is gearing up for the heavy demands of recreational marijuana growers come January.

That’s when growing cannabis for non-medical purposes becomes legal in California, though cities and counties retain some control.

Sacramento city officials have moved quickly to welcome the new industry by accepting dozens of applications and issuing permits for pot farms in warehouses citywide.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is getting ready, too, by doing research it hopes will conserve energy and reduce the load on aging infrastructure. SMUD researchers are testing LED lighting and air-conditioning systems in cooperation with the city’s current crop of legal, medical pot producers.

News
Oct. 16, 2017

ven now, after Scott Pruitt’s EPA move to unravel President Obama’s marquee domestic green initiative, the Clean Power Plan, American energy-related emissions are projected to drop in 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). So what’s at work here? If the Trump Administration is so skeptical of climate policy, why aren’t the projections matching the doomsday rhetoric? In large part, what’s happened to U.S. emissions since their recent peak in 2007 has occurred despite—not because—of federal policy.

The Clean Power Plan was never put into place, as it was still working its way through legal challenges before Pruitt announced his intention to dismantle it. Therefore, we can’t give President Obama’s green aspirations credit for this recent drop in emissions.

Instead, the drop occurred due to market forces, specifically the displacement of coal-fired power generation by cheap, plentiful natural gas provided by the shale boom. Fracking’s flourishing has made our dirtiest form of electricity production less economical, and because natural gas plants emits half as much carbon as their coal counterparts, this shift has also made our energy mix more climate friendly.

News
Oct. 7, 2017

San Diego Gas & Electric filed a request with state regulators late Friday afternoon, asking for an 11 percent rate increase in 2019 and running through 2022.

The utility estimates a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month would see an increase of $6.13 and a typical customer using 25 therms of natural gas would spend $7.57 more on a monthly bill.

If granted in full, the proposal represents a $218 million increase over 2018 rates.

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