19 Stories

SCOTUS Rules for Obama Energy-Savings Program

Justices ruled 6-2 for federal program paying large customers to conserve energy

(Newser) - The Supreme Court has upheld a four-year-old federal program that pays large electric customers to save energy during times of peak demand. The justices ruled 6-2 on Monday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the authority to issue directives aimed at conserving energy and preventing blackouts. Writing for the... More »

Utility: Dad Who Died With 7 Kids Had Stolen Meter

He wasn't cut off for not paying bills, power company says

(Newser) - The utility that cut off power to a Maryland home days before Rodney Todd and his seven children were found dead says it didn't cut him off for not paying bills—because it never sent him any. Delmarva Power says it shut off power to the rented home in... More »

Florida City Cites Woman ... for Living Off-Grid

She won't hook up to water or electric, though she did use the sewer system

(Newser) - A Florida woman is in a legal fight with the city of Cape Coral for the right to live without municipal water or electricity—off the grid, as she puts it to WBBH-TV . The city just played a trump card, though: It capped the sewer at the house of 50-something... More »

Church Gets $93K Water Bill

Ohio city blames software glitch for five-figure bills

(Newser) - Residents and businesses in Girard, Ohio, got a rude surprise when they opened their water bills this month: insane five-figure bills. St. Rose Catholic Church, for example, got hit with a $93,000 charge, and the Tri-Changes hair salon got tagged for $12,000. After residents, business owners, and, yes,... More »

Utility Boss Quits Over Botched Sandy Response

Thousands of NY customers still without power

(Newser) - The chief operating officer of a utility company heavily criticized for its response to Superstorm Sandy is stepping down. The Long Island Power Authority says Michael Hervey had tendered his resignation, effective at the end of the year. LIPA has come under withering criticism since Sandy knocked out power to... More »

Your Electric Bill Is Going Up

Utilities have to pay for needed upgrades: Daily Beast

(Newser) - The Daily Beast delivers some bad news after looking at the regulatory filings of utilities across the country: Electric rates are going up, and they won't be coming back down for a while. The problem is that the utilities have to make badly needed repairs to the nation's... More »

Keep Cool in the Heat Wave

Experts offer tips for saving money on air-conditioning

(Newser) - Almost one-fifth of Americans' spending on utilities goes toward keeping cool, but the total doesn't have to be that high, reports USA Today . With most of the US in the grip of a heat wave , some pointers for becoming less reliant on less air-conditioning and lowering your electric bill:
  • Get
... More »

Arizona Candidate: Cut Off Illegals' Electricity

Barry Wong insists he's serious

(Newser) - If you thought Arizona couldn't get any less hospitable to Hispanic people—er, illegal immigrants—think again. Barry Wong, who's running for the state's Corporation Commission, is pushing a plan to cut off electricity to any building suspected of harboring illegal immigrants. He'd have the power to do that, he... More »

17 Most Corrupt Industries

Want to retain your honor? Don't get into these professions

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs got you convinced Wall Street is the most corrupt place to work? Not quite: The Daily Beast worked with an anti-corruption research organization to determine the 17 most corrupt industries in America. The top five, along with representative examples:
  1. Utilities: FirstEnergy allegedly covered up a reactor head that
... More »

Straighten Out Your Finances in 2010

Some simple moves can net $1K or more

(Newser) - On the eve of the first serious workday of the New Year, take a hard look at your finances and see where you can cut back in 2010. A relatively small investment in time can result in some serious savings, Kathy Kristof writes for the Los Angeles Times :
  • Save automatically:
... More »

Once-Profitable Services Are Killing Local Budgets

Utilities, transport, even gambling, are now $3.5B drains

(Newser) - Municipally owned businesses like utilities, public transportation, and betting parlors used to bring in much-needed cash flow, but the recession has done its predictable work. State and local governments nationwide will likely hemorrhage $3.5 billion this year running these concerns which brought in upwards of $120 billion during the... More »

Next Clunkers You Can Cash In On? Appliances

(Newser) - If you missed out on cashing in on that clunker in your driveway, your next chance may be no farther than the kitchen, USA Today reports. Stimulus funds that will give consumers rebates as high as $200 for replacing old, inefficient appliances with newer models are due to start flowing... More »

Recession Pulls Plug on Electricity Prices

(Newser) - Electricity prices across America have nosedived amid an almost unprecedented fall in demand, the Wall Street Journal reports. Market prices are down up to 40% from the historic highs of last year, and are on course to keep plummeting. The lower prices aren't always seen by consumers immediately because of... More »

Lobbyists Open War Chests to Battle Obama

(Newser) - In his address to Congress, President Obama made it clear certain industries are in his crosshairs, from agribusiness to defense to health care. But those industries aren’t taking it lying down, the Wall Street Journal reports. They’re spending big on lobbyists, hoping to derail—or at least reshape—... More »

Utilities' Green Plea: Best Your Neighbor

Rating households by energy savings jolts consumers into curbing power use

(Newser) - Utilities have discovered that tapping into consumers' competitive urges is the most effective way to jolt them into using less energy, the New York Times reports. Sacramento—in a program now copied in at least 10 other major cities—began awarding smiley faces to customers who did well compared to... More »

As Deadbeats Soar, Utilities Quick to Pull Plug

As the economy worsens, electric companies get tough on delinquent bills

(Newser) - Utilities are growing increasingly aggressive about shutting off the juice even as more customers struggle to pay their bills in a sinking economy, reports the Wall Street Journal. The trend has regulators and consumer advocates worried companies have become too focused on their bottom lines, but utilities say they’re... More »

For Some US Towns, Internet Access is DIY

As providers focus on big markets, locals take net into own hands

(Newser) - Around the world, firms and governments are ramping up the speed and availability of internet access. But in the US, telecoms are focusing mainly on big-city markets. To avoid professional brain drain, some smaller cities and towns are investing in more powerful infrastructure, the Wall Street Journal reports. But the... More »

EPA Ignores Advisers on Pollution Cap

Sets higher limit than own experts' recommendations

(Newser) - Ignoring the recommendations of its own scientists, the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday reset standards for pollution-forming ozone from cars and factories at a level critics say may cost thousands of lives. The new cap is lower than the old level but still far above the limit urged by EPA experts,... More »

Utilities May Profit From Ruling

Some corporations may profit off tighter greenhouse gas regulations

(Newser) - Some utility  companies may actually benefit financially from the Supreme Court ruling forcing the EPA to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions, the Wall Street Journal reports.  While it will cost them millions in the short-term to meet new requirements, utilities in government-regulated markets—mostly in the Southeast, Great... More »

19 Stories