electricity

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New Problem in Puerto Rico: Energy Firm Puts Its Foot Down

Whitefish Energy says it won't fulfill remainder of work unless it gets the $83M it's owed

(Newser) - The Montana energy company that set up a controversial, since-canceled contract to help restore Puerto Rico's power after Hurricane Maria had agreed to work through Nov. 30 before heading out. But now it's stopping work altogether, claiming the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority owes it upward of $83... More »

Report: Energy Company in Puerto Rico Jacking Up the Tab

Contractors for Whitefish Energy making up to $100 an hour, but Whitefish is billing $319

(Newser) - Called an "unusual" arrangement right from the start, a Montana energy company working in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria is now raising eyebrows even higher. The New York Times reports Florida linemen hired as contractors by Whitefish Energy are making up to $100 an hour with double time, which,... More »

Tesla Restores Power at Puerto Rico Children's Hospital

Company builds massive solar array in parking lot

(Newser) - Puerto Rico is still struggling weeks after two powerful hurricanes last month—the territory's Electric Power Authority said Wednesday morning that power service was at 25%—but, thanks to Tesla, electricity has been restored at a San Juan children's hospital. The company used its solar panels and batteries... More »

As Puerto Rico Cries Out, Trump Brings Up Its Debt

'We need more help,' says governor

(Newser) - President Trump plans to visit Puerto Rico next Tuesday to see for himself the devastation of Hurricane Maria. At an afternoon news conference, Trump promised that the federal government is "doing everything we can" to help, reports CNN . "All available federal resources, including the military, are being marshaled... More »

Wind, Solar Power Just Hit a US Milestone

For first time, nation draws 10% of electricity from wind and solar

(Newser) - Double digits: A new report from the US Energy Information Administration reveals a milestone for alternative energy sources. For the first time, the nation as a whole drew 10% of its electricity from wind and solar farms in a single month, reports Climate Central . It happened in March, with wind... More »

Conn. Pastor Accused of Not-So-Holy Crime

William Marshall allegedly stole electricity

(Newser) - The man upstairs was apparently unwilling to send down a lightning bolt to help a pastor in Connecticut, who's accused of stealing more than $8,000 in electricity. William Marshall of Life Worship and Deliverance Center in Bridgeport also runs a tattoo parlor/barbershop that had its power cut in... More »

Town-Wide Power Surge Fries Gadgets, Bulbs, Even Siding

Brookville, Pa., started getting a lot of calls about things on fire, smoking

(Newser) - The 911 calls started pouring in just after noon in the tiny Pennsylvania town of Brookville. The electrical meter is on fire. The house siding is burning. My power strip is smoking. The computer is fried. The carpeting is singed. Our light bulb exploded. A power company says a failed... More »

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 »

Our Xmas Lights Use More Power Than Some Countries

And they only account for 0.2% of US consumption

(Newser) - America's Christmas lights, even those that don't rival the Griswolds' , guzzle a staggering amount of electricity when compared to power use overall in other countries, according to researchers at the Center for Global Development . The festive lights use around 6.6 billion kilowatt-hours a year, according to the... More »

Detroit Goes After Wrong Church for $170K Electric Bill

City turned off water at Bishop Daryl Harris' house, too

(Newser) - Detroit has had ongoing money issues , but the city may have been overzealous in trying to fill its coffers. Officials issued a mea culpa to Bishop Daryl Harris and his Total Life Christian Ministries church after slapping it with a lawsuit for a $170,000 electric bill, the Detroit ... More »

Short Circuit at Ukraine Nuclear Plant Cuts Power

Country is quick to emphasize that there's no danger

(Newser) - A short circuit at a nuclear plant in Ukraine zapped electricity production, but the country was quick to emphasize that the glitch posed no danger, the AP reports. New energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn insisted today, per Reuters , that he's doing what he can to speed things up so Ukrainians... More »

2012 Solar Blast Nearly Sent Earth to Stone Age

We almost lost electricity, GPS, running water, at least for a while

(Newser) - Imagine life without electricity or running water, and you'll understand what nearly befell our planet two years ago. Scientists say that on July 23, 2012, the sun belched its biggest solar flare in more than 150 years and barely missed us, CBS News reports. A week earlier and the... More »

70% of Venezuela Goes Dark

President Nicolas Maduro blames saboteurs

(Newser) - Activity in Venezuela effectively ground to a halt yesterday, as a blackout plunged 70% of the country into darkness just after noon. Parts of the capital, which the AP reports normally escapes such outages, were affected, rendering traffic lights dark and forcing companies to send thousands of workers home. The... More »

iPhone Uses More Power Than a Fridge

While ICT takes 10% of global electricity: report

(Newser) - Is your iPhone running? Better shut it off, because that device is using more energy than your refrigerator. A new report says that a fridge uses just 322 kWh per year, compared with the 361 kWh for an iPhone, if you include its wireless connections, data usage, and battery charges,... More »

Why Pakistan Made Workers Stop Wearing Socks

Because it's hot, and the electricity grid is a hopeless mess

(Newser) - Just how bad are Pakistan's power grid problems? This bad: The government has ordered civil servants to stop wearing socks, reports Reuters . The weird order goes hand in hand with another edict that forbids government offices from turning on their air-conditioners. That makes things so unbearably hot that the... More »

Kenya Plunged Into Darkness

Entire nation loses power

(Newser) - The entire nation of Kenya is experiencing a blackout, Reuters reports. The power grid failed today after two transmission lines went down, causing a ripple effect. Kenya Power, the country's only power distributor, says it's attempting "to restore power as quickly as possible." It's not... More »

Tree Falls, 35% of Vietnam Loses Power

Clumsy crane operator plunges country into darkness

(Newser) - One mistake by a clumsy crane operator caused a 10-hour blackout over about a third of Vietnam, exposing the fragility of the nation's power grid. State electricity company EVN said in a statement today that the blackout occurred yesterday after the crane operator knocked a tree down onto the... More »

Why Tonight's Earth Hour Is Misguided

Bjorn Lomborg: It's just 'vain symbolism' that sends the wrong message

(Newser) - The annual Earth Hour celebration in which locales and individuals across the world turn off lights at 8:30pm local time is under way once again today. You will not catch Bjorn Lomborg in the dark, however. This gimmicky stunt sends the message that beating global warming is easy and... More »

Flowers Use Electricity to Talk With Bees

By changing charge, flowers keep away bees until nectar refilled, says study

(Newser) - "Say it with flowers," went the old advertising slogan, but who knew flowers were this talkative? It turns out flowers give off electrical signals that bees can pick up on, telling potential pollinators whether a flower has plenty of nectar or has recently been tapped, reports NPR . According... More »

Super Bowl Blackout Explained at Last

Power company takes responsibility

(Newser) - Power company officials revealed today the cause of the infamous Super Bowl blackout , and took full responsibility for it. A faulty relay device designed to prevent a failure in the Superdome's electric cables was apparently to blame, the AP reports. Entergy New Orleans officials said they were replacing the... More »

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