WXXI AM News

Energy

RG&E has asked for permission to raise rates. That request goes through the New York State Public Service Commission, which will hold a public hearing in Rochester on August 6. A number of stakeholders plan on attending the hearing, offering their views on RG&E’s rates, but also on energy policy more generally. RG&E has provided a statement to WXXI News.

We discuss what the rates mean with our guests:

Is your home energy efficient? The goal of the Sustainable Homes Rochester campaign is to encourage community members to install clean heating and cooling systems to improve energy efficiency. What does that look like?

Our guests discuss the different technologies, how they work, and how homeowners can decide what might be the right fit for their energy goals. In studio:

WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that New York State is awarding $1 million each to the University of Rochester, RIT and Suffolk County Community College on Long Island.

The ‘Energy to Lead’ competition challenges colleges and universities across the state to develop plans for local clean energy projects on campus and in their communities as part of the effort to combat climate change.

Patrick O’Shei is Director of Market Development at NYSERDA, the  New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

A fresh look at LED lighting challenges ideas as to whether it’s better for the environment. A recent piece published by Gizmodo argues that the benefits of LED lighting – energy efficiency and reduced costs – could lead to more lighting overall. It’s called the rebound effect, and there’s disagreement over the impact it may have. Some scientists say that concerns about the rebound effect are overblown. They argue that more efficient technology reduces threats to the environment; so, even if the world is getting brighter, it’s become brighter using less energy.

We break down the facts, and look at common household items and their impact on climate. Our guests:

Quick question: how much power in New York State comes from carbon sources? How much comes from wind? How much from nuclear? And how vulnerable is our grid? There are massive questions about how to bring new sources of energy to New Yorkers, and how the grid can -- or can't -- accommodate it.

The New York Times recently published a story about this challenge, and the ways our power arrives at our homes. We explore it with the author and one of her primary sources for the piece:

  • Emily Rueb, New York Times reporter
  • Suzanne Hunt, Hunt Green LLC
  • Jim Gallagher, New York State Smart Grid Consortium

We keep hearing about the benefits of using solar energy; so why don't we see more solar panels on homes? That could soon change, thanks to a new campaign aiming to "Solarize the Flower City." We'll discuss the ways that costs have come down, possible benefits, and what the average home needs in order to get solarized. Our guests:

Nancy Johns-Price, City of Rochester
Lane Young, O'Connell Electric
Susan Spencer, ROCSPOT
Dan Courtney, owner of home with solar

Is solar power a viable energy source -- right now? How much does it cost to fit your house, or your workplace? How soon could it replace fossil fuels, if ever? We look at the business side, the policy side, and the environmental side with our panel:

Susan Spencer is finishing her Ph.D. at RIT, and some day soon, she could be part of a team that brings a scalable solar energy plan to Rochester. Last month, she was one of 500 people from around the world chosen to attend Al Gore's foundation retreat in Melbourne, Australia. The five-day event was focused on two things: 1) the true cost of carbon, and 2) how to better communicate climate change. It culminated with an eight-hour lecture from Al Gore himself. In this hour, she tells us what she learned, and how solar might be the energy source everyone has been looking for.

Governor Cuomo’s state of the state address saw a significant push for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the implementation of smart grid technology.

Speaking about the state’s need to be better prepared for disasters of the magnitude of Superstorm Sandy, Cuomo pointed more reliable power source as one of the major requirements.

License All rights reserved by DavezPicts / Creative Commons License

The commission set up by Governor Cuomo to examine the response of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA)  has recommended privatizing the entity to improve decision making, and provide better value to customers through investor-owned rate structures.

In its first presentation since it was convened, the Moreland Commission on Utility Storm Preparation and Response returned a scathing finding of failures by the leadership of LIPA, leading to the long delays in the restoration of utilities on Long Island NY following Superstorm Sandy.

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