coal


What’s Hiding in Your Electric Bill? How Utility Customers Finance Risky Investments

, Senior Energy Analyst

Utilities are expected to make investments that are prudent and in the public interest; in return, they get to recover those costs plus a profit. All the utility investments, operating costs, and profits get pooled together and are reflected in customer utility bills. Expenditures that aren’t “prudent” and “in the public interest” (two key terms in the industry) don’t get to be recovered. But many utilities have found a way to get around guidelines and force customers to finance fossil fuel infrastructure, lobbying, and power plants that aren’t even built yet. Read more >

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Photo: Tikilucas/Wikimedia Commons

Seasonal Shutdowns: How Coal Plants That Operate Less Can Save Customers Money

, Senior Energy Analyst

There is a growing trend amongst coal plant operators: save customers money by switching to seasonal operation and operating less. Operators can secure those savings for customers because other resources (like wind, solar and other resources) are often available at lower cost. Reduced operations also translate to reduced emissions.

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Photo: Tikilucas/Wikimedia Commons
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Will Cutting Carbon Emissions Increase MY Energy Bill? It doesn’t have to.

, Senior Energy Analyst

The assumption that cutting carbon will increase the costs of energy simply doesn’t hold true. Read more >

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Source: Florian64190/Wikimedia Commons

Which Parks and Rec Character is FirstEnergy?

, Senior Energy Analyst

FirstEnergy is a large, investor-owned, electric utility that operates in 13 different states. It operated a competitive generation subsidiary, First Energy Solutions (which is currently bankrupt). Recently it announced its intentions to retire two coal-fired power plants, observers believe this was just an attempt to garner support to get bailed out. Read more >

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More than 150 Lake County residents march to call on NRG Energy to set a retirement date for its coal-fired-power plant. Waukegan, near NRG coal plant, November 2015. Photo by Karen Long MacLeod for CPLC

Unmasking the Waukegan Coal Plant Reliability Myth

, lead Midwest energy analyst

Last week UCS released a new report entitled Soot to Solar: Illinois’ Clean Energy Transition. Among our key findings was that the coal-burning power plant owned by NRG in Waukegan, Illinois, can be retired with no impact on electric grid reliability. When asked about our report, NRG implied similar sentiments as the above in saying it hadn’t had the opportunity to review our study or our “assumptions on impact to grid reliability.” In this post, I highlight Soot to Solar’s analysis of electric reliability and retiring the Waukegan plant to further explain our process and what we found. Read more >

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