NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, Oct. 14: THE UTILITY-SOLAR DEBATE OVER WHO PAYS; TECHNICIANS WANTED – APPLY TO WIND; MAKING MULTIFAMILY BLDGS MORE EFFICIENT

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    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    QUICK NEWS, Oct. 14: THE UTILITY-SOLAR DEBATE OVER WHO PAYS; TECHNICIANS WANTED – APPLY TO WIND; MAKING MULTIFAMILY BLDGS MORE EFFICIENT

    THE UTILITY-SOLAR DEBATE OVER WHO PAYS Solar firms, power companies battle over 'net metering'

    Javier E. David, Oct. 13, 2014 (CNBC)

    “…[N]et-metering—a process where consumers use renewable energy to generate their own electricity, then cut their bills by sending excess power back to the grid at retail rates…saves consumers money on utility bills, [and] is gaining popularity yet remains the subject of fierce debate. At least 43 states have laws making it easy for residents to save via the sun; still, utilities are pushing back against solar's rapid encroachment on the retail market…The Energy Information Administration notes that retail electricity is up nearly 3 percent per kilowatt hour in 2014 versus a year ago, with costs rising for 20 consecutive months…Power companies acknowledge that rooftop panels are forcing them to modernize the grid and rethink their business models. Additionally, residential units can help reduce strains on power systems during peak times and seasons…[But] net-metering was creating a classic ‘free-rider’ economic conundrum, where non-rooftop clients are ultimately paying more for electricity than net-metering clients. Certain costs, such as infrastructure and grid usage, are not being captured in what net-metering customers are charged…[U]tilities are waging a ground war in multiple states to get governments to reconsider subsidies and pass more costs on to net-metering clients…” click here for more

    TECHNICIANS WANTED – APPLY TO WIND Entire class of wind technicians at Oklahoma's Canadian Valley Technology Center receive job offers in one day; Wind industry is looking for workers.

    Jay F. Marks, Oct. 10, 2014 (The Oklahoman)

    “A Texas-based wind developer recently offered jobs to an entire class of wind technicians from Canadian Valley Technology Center in one day…A lot of wind farms are being built in Oklahoma, west Texas and Colorado…The most recent recipients of the wind industry’s growth were students in Canadian Valley’s wind energy technician certification program. Seven were hired by Abilene-based Run Energy, while another opted to take a job in Lawton because of family commitments…[All got job offers of at least $17 per hour, plus benefits and other perks…[like] a daily meal allowance, free lodging and a round-trip plane ticket home…Run Energy likely would have hired 30 or 40 more wind technicians if Canadian Valley had them…Canadian Valley established its wind technician program in October 2010…300 students have completed the program in the past four years. About 90 percent of them were placed in wind industry jobs…[only because some] didn’t want to leave town…One technician typically is responsible for maintaining about 10 wind turbines…” click here for more

    MAKING MULTIFAMILY BLDGS MORE EFFICIENT Better information will transform energy use in multifamily buildings

    Lauren Ross, September 30, 2014 (ACEEE)

    “…[Fannie Mae’s just released] Multifamily Energy and Water Market Research Survey provides an insight into multifamily buildings’ annual spending on energy and water as well as other important trends and metrics. The report also responds to the lack of information on energy use in submarkets in the multifamily sector by providing separate breakdowns for affordable and market-rate units, tenant and owner-paid utility bills, and by building size and other important building features…[It] reinforces what many have speculated in recent years – the multifamily sector remains an untapped opportunity for energy efficiency. According to the survey results, the least efficient buildings might be spending upwards of $165,000 more per building in annual energy costs than comparable buildings operating at a much higher efficiency…[T]he survey also serves as the basis for the long-anticipated EPA ENERGY STAR® score for multifamily buildings…[which] is a simple way for multifamily building owners to understand their property’s energy performance…” click here for more

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