Smart meters: Truly a cure for energy blindness?

By Elisa Wood July 1, 2010 And now for a dose of reality. No doubt smart meters are a good thing, but even their most ardent fans must admit that a degree of hoopla surrounds these little digital boxes. We hear that if consumers can just see how much power they use in real time, and what it costs, our energy woes will be no more. Smart meters … [Read more...]

Energy efficiency service companies missed the memo

By Elisa Wood June 24, 2010 The folks who install insulated windows, efficient factory motors and energy saving lights apparently missed the memo about the economic meltdown. As US gross domestic product slipped to under 1% in 2008, the $4.1 billion energy service industry grew 7%.  Jealous?  Just wait. That was nothing compared to the expansion … [Read more...]

How risky are energy efficiency investments?

By Elisa Wood February 25, 2010 Last week’s announcement of $8.3 billion – and possibly as much as $54.5 billion – in US federal loan guarantees for nuclear power plants sparked debate about risk of default on loans. What are the chances the plants will be built? Critics unearthed a Congressional Budget Office report citing a 50% risk the … [Read more...]

How many negawatts do I need before I retire?

By Elisa Wood December 3, 2009 A candy shop owner on Cape Cod offers a new approach to build a retirement portfolio: put solar panels on your roof. “We looked at the stock market last year and it didn’t look too good so we decided to invest in electricity,” said Ray Hebert, owner of Stage Stop Candy in Dennisport, in an article on … [Read more...]