Grants and Award Opportunities for Winter 2019

Childhood Obesity Prevention Grants

More than $400,000 in grants will be awarded to cities that will support and expand childhood obesity prevention programs.

  • Sponsor: American Beverage Association
  • Award Categories: First place in small, medium and large city will be $100,000, $120,000, and $150,000, respectively. Second place awards of $25,000 will also be made in each category
  • Application Period: August 2018

USCM Contact: Crystal Swann (202) 861-6707 cswann@usmayors.org

Leadership in the Arts

Honors elected officials and artists that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts.
  • Sponsor: Americans for the Arts & The U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • Award Categories: One large city mayor & one small city mayor
  • Application Period: December 2018

USCM Contact: Tom McClimon (202) 861-6729 mcclimon@usmayors.org

DollarWise Innovation Grants

Through these grants, DollarWise seeks to recognize and fund local financial education efforts that are both innovative and replicable by other communities. For fiscal year 2017, DollarWise will award one Innovation Grant to a city that integrates financial education into an English as a Second Language (ESL) initiative; one grant to a city that incorporates financial education into its public housing program; and one grant to a prisoner re-entry program.
  • Sponsor: Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Award Categories: Three $10,000 awards
  • Application Period: December 2017

Contact: James Kirby (202) 861-6759 jkirby@usmayors.org

DollarWise Summer Youth Grants

Each year, through its Summer Youth Campaign, Dollarwise encourages mayors to incorporate a financial education component into their cities’ summer youth employment and year-round youth programs. Cities may use these grants to provide incentives for youth to develop responsible financial habits, to establish evaluation techniques for the financial education component of their summer programming, or other innovative ideas. DollarWise will provide two Youth Campaign Grants; one to a summer job program; the other to a year-round youth program.
  • Sponsor: Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Award Categories: Two $10,000 awards
  • Application Period: December 2017

Contact: James Kirby (202) 861-6759 jkirby@usmayors.org

Mayors and Business Leaders Center on Inclusive and Compassionate Cities

Conference of Mayors President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL.  The six-acre site includes 800 six-foot monuments that symbolize thousands of racial terror lynching victims in the United States.

About the Center

In the troubling days following the violent and deadly demonstrations in Charlottesville in August 2017, more than 325 mayors signed a Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry, a 10-point pledge to work toward inclusive and compassionate cities drafted by the Conference in conjunction with the Anti-Defamation League.

It was the mayors’ immediate and compelling call for action that quickly led the United States Conference of Mayors to commit to the establishment of a Center that would support mayors’ efforts to make cities across the nation more equitable, more inclusive, and more compassionate.  Conference of Mayors President Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia (SC), announced plans to establish the Center in his inaugural address in Columbia on May 7, 2018 and again on June 9 in his President’s Address at the organization’s 86th annual meeting in Boston.  The Center was formally launched by Mayor Benjamin in Montgomery (AL) in a November 13-14 Conference of Mayors event that included a discussion session with Brian Stevenson, the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative.

Early support from Walmart, followed by the Coca-Cola Company and Comcast, was critical to the establishment of the Center.  Their support sends a message to city leaders and business leaders that two of the world’s most successful and influential companies recognize the importance of direct action to confront bias and hate with compassion and inclusion.  The Conference of Mayors recognizes that the leadership of the business community will contribute to the success of individual mayors’ efforts, and to the overall success of the Center itself.

A Conference of Mayors delegation of mayors in Montgomery, AL for the launch of the Center for Inclusive and Compassionate Cities, with Bryan Stevenson (front row, center), founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which created the National Memorial for Peace and Justice as well as Montgomery’s Legacy Museum that displays the history of slavery and racism in America.

A joint effort by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

US Conference of  Mayors 87th  2019 Winter Meeting January 23 – 24  2019 Washington, D.C.

Mayor of Salt Lake City and Chair of the Alliance for a Sustainable Future Jackie Biskupski speaks in San Francisco surrounded by members of the Alliance.

The federal government’s leadership role in addressing climate change has greatly diminished, from the announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement to the example set by recent domestic actions to freeze vehicle standards and rollback power sector targets. This is unfortunate and has real consequences, coinciding with several years of increasing average global temperatures, record flooding, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires. The need for action is growing increasingly urgent as the impacts are felt in urban, suburban, and rural America.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) formed the Alliance for a Sustainable Future to provide a platform for the public and private sectors to accelerate carbon reduction programs and sustainable development, as well as strengthen partnerships toward mutual sustainability and climate goals.

Department of Energy FY 2019 Appropriations and Renewable Energy

This bill provides FY2019 appropriations for 3 of the 12 regular FY2019 appropriations bills,
this review focuses on the Department of Energy Appropriations Act, 2019.
Highlights:
• Congressional appropriations for the four renewables (geothermal, solar, water, wind) is
$527.5 million:
o An increase of 1.5% over FY2018
o 66% greater than the President’s 2019 Budget Request at $175 million, (Table 1).
Table 1:
• In general, the Congress gave a 14% increase to the Department of Energy’s Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Program for FY2019 $2.379 billion (Table 2),
compared to the actual spend in 2018 $2.04 billion.
Renewable
Power FY 2018
Annualized
FY 2019
President’s
Budget
Request
FY 2019
Enacted
$ mill $ mill $ mill
Solar 241.6 67.0 246.5
Wind 92.0 33.0 92.0
Water 105.0 45.0 105.0
Geothermal 80.9 30.0 84.0
Totals 519.5 175.0 527.5
2
FY2019 Appropriations
HR5895 Division A – Title III Department of Energy Programs
Table 2: FY2019 Appropriations (HR 5895 – Public Law 115-244 9/21/2018)
Departmental Programs $
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program (EERE) 2.379 billion
Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response 120 million
Electricity Delivery 156 million
Nuclear Energy 1.326 billion
Fossil Energy Research and Development 740 million
North-east Home Heating Oil Reserve 10 million
Energy Information Administration 125 million
Science 6.585 billion
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 369.9 million
Advance Technology Vehicles 5 million
Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program 33 million
Below is the relevant part of the public conference report from H.R. 5895 describing specific
directions from Congress to the Department of Energy programs

Renewable Energy Transition – Measuring Progress

By |December 3, 2018|Energy

Summary
The Conference of Mayors adopted clean air policies in 2017 and 2018 to support cities
transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy and success depends on developing enough
renewable power production capacity and renewable energy generation. The Energy Information
Administration (EIA) reports that renewables provided 17% of electricity generation in 2016: 20%
from nuclear and 63% from fossil. A review of trends in energy generation capacity and energy
generation suggests renewables are on the rise and fossil is fading, but in the fossil category natural
gas continues to rise. These trends have implications for cities transitioning to 100% renewable
energy.
Changes in Power Production Capacity – 2011 to 2018
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) data reported changes in utility scale power
production units measured in gigawatts (GW) from 2011 to 2018.
• The fossil fuels had a net loss of 37.8 GW of production capacity.
• Natural gas nameplate capacity grew by 53 GW
• Coal and oil declined a combined 90.8 GW
• For every I natural gas GW capacity increase there is a 1.7 reduction in coal and oil GW
capacity.
Power production capacity growth indicates preferential investment in renewables.
• Nameplate power production capacity for three renewables (geothermal, solar and wind)
grew a combined 82.9 GW from 2011 to 2018.
• For every 1 renewable GW capacity increase there is a 0.9 GW reduction in coal and oil
GW capacity.
• For every 1 natural gas GW capacity increase there is a 1.4 GW capacity increase in
renewables power production capacity.
Net Energy Generation by Source – 2006 to 2016
An analysis of EIA data on net energy generation (measured in megawatt hours MWh, etc.)1 from
2006 to 2016 indicates dynamic shifts are occurring.
• Fossil energy generation has declined by 8 percent from 2006 to 2016
o But natural gas increased energy generation by 561 TWh to 1,378 TWh in 2016.
• Wind and solar, the standout renewable energy generators, increased 235 TWh to 609
TWh of clean energy in 2016.
• Effective capacity limits like intermittency handicaps renewables. A 1 MW wind
generator, due to effective capacity factors, can generate only 62 percent of the net
energy generated by a 1 MW natural gas plant.
• Net energy generation by renewables is growing at 40 percent of the rate of growth of
natural gas energy generation
11 Watt-hour, kilowatt hour KWh, megawatt hour MWh, gigawatt hour GWh, terawatt hour TWh.
2
Renewable Energy Transition: Measuring Progress
The Conference of Mayors adopted policies in 2017 and 2018 to support city efforts to transition
to 100 percent renewable energy. Public benefits of such a transition include cleaner air and a
reduction in climate stressing carbon emissions. Local governments have been actively pursuing a
transition for practical reasons as well – it diversifies energy sources and rebalances production
capabilities geographically offering both redundancy and resiliency. Recent research by the
Conference of Mayors in partnership with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions indicates
a broad array of local renewable energy activity. This report examines two measures of progress
toward 100 percent renewable energy in our cities: growth in design capacity (how much power
production is installed), and net energy generation trends (how much electricity is produced).
These measurements signal positive progress – preferential investment in renewable technology
production capacity and growth in renewable energy generation share.
Many cities are participating in the renewables transition process directly and often indirectly as
they interface with a variety of energy technologies. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) reports 18 utility scale- wind and 118 solar in new build or expansion projects between
January and May of 2018. The comparable 2017 period included 43 wind and 216 solar projects.
Collectively, thousands of local projects initiated in the last 10 years have had an impact, and
renewables are gaining on conventional sources in design capacity and net electricity generation.
Electricity capacity and generation information published by FERC2 and the U.S. Energy
Information Administration (EIA)3 are reviewed to measure national trends in capacity additions
and net electricity generated by different fuels (coal, natural gas, petroleum) and different sources
(geothermal, wind, solar). Together, this information provides a snapshot assessment of the level
and trajectory of the transition to clean energy.
Installed Capacity by Energy Source Demonstrates Gains in Renewables Investing
Installed capacity (also referred to as design capacity or nameplate capacity) is the intended fullload sustained output of a power plant. Simply put, a 20 MW electric generating facility has a
‘design capacity’ to produce 20 MW of electricity on a continual 24/365 basis. Installed generating
capacity was reviewed using several time periods of FERC data and estimates published for 2016
by the EIA, (Table 1 and Table 2).
2 FERC releases information on installed capacity by energy source on a frequent basis, and the information is used
by the Commission in exercising its authority. Cities are interested in the same information and what the
Commission thinks about that information. 3 EIA releases estimates of installed capacity based on surveys and other reporting requirements of generators of 1
MW or more. EIA also publishes information on net generation by energy source. Cities are interested in these data
for the same reasons as interest in FERC information.

SEIA, HBCU Coalition Join in National Effort to Increase Diversity of Solar Industry’s Workforce

Published: Washinton Post: Wednesday, Sep 19 2018

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a goal of making the solar workforce and solar communities more diverse, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition (HBCU-CDAC) have begun a new effort to increase recruitment of African-American students into the industry.

SEIA and the HBCU-CDAC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin a comprehensive effort to help the solar industry recruit and employ more students from the nation’s 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This will include hosting a national jobs fair, individual jobs fairs at the HBCU schools and bringing solar companies to campuses for recruitment.

“Diversity and inclusion is one of our highest priorities and, while we’ve made progress, we still have a long way to go to make the solar industry more accurately reflect the diversity of the communities we serve,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “Those of us in solar joined this industry because we want to make the world better for all, which is why we’re excited to partner with CDAC, tap into the talent at HBCUs, and bring more of these students into our growing industry.”

As an outcome of the partnership, SEIA and CDAC will work with participating HBCUs to create a database of students pursuing clean energy degrees, or those interested in working in solar, that will be accessible by SEIA companies. Both organizations will work with campus representatives to foster resume exchanges and coordinate interviews among participating companies.

“As a national community economic development intermediary offering programs and activities that target HBCUs and their host communities, we are delighted to partner with SEIA in exposing HBCU students as well as their faculty and staff to opportunities in solar and clean energy,” said Ron Butler, CDAC’s CEO. “With an ultimate goal of community empowerment and economic relevancy, we see diversity and inclusion in this growing industry from all aspects including workforce and enterprise development.”

CDAC’s COO Henry Golatt commented that “clean energy both now and in the foreseeable future is integral to our national economy and security. CDAC’s goal in this regard is to ensure HBCUs are not only at the table but adequately engaged.”

The new recruitment effort is one of SEIA’s many efforts to foster diversity and inclusion. This includes a best practices guide for promoting diversity in the solar workforce, as well as its Women’s Empowerment Initiative, which provides networking, training and other development opportunities. In November, SEIA is hosting its latest summit, in Chicago, to discuss how to increase women’s leadership in the industry.

In addition, Hopper recently joined a group of 450 chief executives committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, signing the pledge for CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. The pledge contains three commitments: making the organization’s workplace a trusting place to have complex conversations around diversity and inclusion, implementing unconscious bias education, and sharing best practices and challenges with others.

SEIA’s work on diversity will continue at the industry’s biggest event of the year, Solar Power International (Sept. 24-26). There, the organization is convening 10 separate workshops to encourage diversity, including conversations to bring more capital into underserved communities, how to make solar more accessible to low-income and low-credit Americans, along with sessions focusing on community outreach, multiple women’s networking events and a job fair.

To see the complete schedule and register for the conference, go to https://www.solarpowerinternational.com.

###

About SEIA®: 

Celebrating its 44th anniversary in 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 260,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000-member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

About the HBCU Community Development Action Coalition: 

The HBCU Community Development Action Coalition promotes, supports, and advocates for historically black colleges and minority serving institutions (MSIs), community development corporations (CDCs), and the community economic development industry whose work creates wealth, builds healthy and sustainable communities, and achieves lasting economic viability. HBCU CDAC fulfills its mission of service to its members working in disinvested urban and rural communities through education, resource development, advocacy, networking, and training. To learn more about CDAC and the HBCU Clean Energy Initiative, www.hbcucoalition.org.

 

 

 

 

Guide to minority-owned credit unions

By Jill Everton  |  Published: January 13, 2019

minority-credit-unions

Credit unions are often the best banking and credit solution for low- to moderate-income families. Lower interest rates on lines of credit and higher earning potential for savings accounts make local credit unions an attractive option for many, but minorities in many communities can find even more value from working with a local credit union.

Credit options for minority communities

A credit union is a member-owned, non-profit financial institution where members can deposit money, take out loans, and open a new credit card. Twenty-eighteen has been the fastest growing year for credit unions since 1986, in part because of the value they can offer niche community groups and minorities.

Credit unions have the ability to cater to the specific needs of their communities, specifically low-income earners and minority groups. According to the National Credit Union Association, “minority-owned and managed credit unions play a critical role in providing financial services to communities that have been traditionally underserved or unbanked.”

By using a minority credit union, one can support a local business while getting services that address specific pain points that affect a certain audience or community.

Another banking option, minority depository institutions (MDIs) are often small community banks associated with an ethnic minority group. These institutions usually provide services to specifically benefit the minority community in which they serve.

While it may seem that these institutions, whether credit unions or MDIs, cater only to a specific minority population, they aim to serve any person, regardless of race or ethnicity. There are some great benefits to joining one of these banking options in your community, although you should consider all of your options before making a decision.

Community benefits of minority credit unions

Some advantages to using a minority-owned bank or credit union include reinvesting in your community and helping underserved members of your community build assets and credit, manage debt and build generational wealth. Doing this not only benefits those individuals and their families but adds value and stability to your entire neighborhood.

African American Credit Unions, for example, serve some of the most vulnerable communities in the U.S.

According to the 2017 FDIC Household Survey, “recent declines in unbanked rates have been particularly sharp for younger households, black households, and Hispanic households.” When banks don’t fit the bill, communities have taken initiative and created their own solutions, including minority-owned banks and credit unions.

The advantages and disadvantages of minority credit unions

Inclusiv.org states that credit unions are “the best choice for low-and-moderate-income earners. [Minority] credit unions help their members build assets and credit, manage debt, and lay the foundations for building generational wealth.”

While it’s no secret that minority-owned credit unions can offer benefits that larger banks or financial institutions cannot, they aren’t always the best fit for an individual’s needs. In some cases, a national or international bank may make more sense for you; it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages in order to make the best decision for you and your family.

Advantages:

  • Credit unions often offer more favorable terms: higher interest rates on savings accounts, lower minimum deposits, lower annual fees, lower APRs on credit cards and loans, and more.
  • They offer payday alternative loans. PALs allow members of some credit unions to borrow small amounts of money at a lower cost than traditional payday loans and allow you to repay them over a longer period.
  • They cater to your specific community. These are local people from a local institution that are serving your community specifically, not areas throughout the entire country. It is personal and personalized to you and for you.
  • You’re supporting your community. Utilizing these minority credit unions serves your community. Help these institutions become more mainstream for your neighborhood.

Disadvantages:

  • Your accounts are tied together. In a process called cross-collateralization, a credit union may link your financial products. For example, although you may not know it, your credit card may be tied to your checking account, meaning that if you default on the card, in theory, the credit union can pull the funds from your checking account. They can do this if they believe you will default, even before your payments are due.
  • Credit unions may want a little more from you and may hold you to more obligations than a larger bank. If you don’t have excellent credit, you may be asked to take financial education or money management classes, which a traditional bank likely wouldn’t do.
  • Credit unions are vulnerable to market swings. Because credit unions are local financial institutions, a severe economic downturn could damage the credit union. (However, even if your credit union falls on hard times, members are protected for up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration.)
  • Credit unions are limited by area. Credit unions serve specific areas and neighborhoods, and they rarely make up large chains. If you travel often or plan on moving communities in the near future, a local credit union may not be the best option.
  • Credit union credit cards are not likely to have the rewards of major rewards credit cards. It may be possible to find a credit union card with a sign-up bonus, as in the case of the PenFed Gold Visa $100 bonus after spending $1,500 in three months, but ongoing rewards may be hard to find. An alternative would be to use a zero interest credit card.

If you do decide that a local credit union is the best option for you, make sure to research what is available in your area. Here is a list of minority-owned credit unions in the U.S. to help jumpstart your search.

Minority-owned credit unions in the U.S.

Mayor Bowser Signs Historic Clean Energy Bill

 Author: mayor.bowser@public.govdelivery.com :Letter from the Mayor : Published : January 24, 2019 | Vol. 5, Issue 4

DOEE Bill Signing

Friday, January 18, 2019

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, codifying the District as the nation’s preeminent leader in clean energy and climate action by setting a mandate of 100% renewable electricity by the year 2032.

This historic piece of legislation will bolster Mayor Bowser’s Clean Energy DC plan, which includes 57 action items for how the District will reach this ambitious target. Additionally, the bill provides a roadmap to achieving our goals including, but not limited to:

  • Mandating 100 percent of the electricity sold in the District come from renewable sources.
  • Doubling the required amount of solar energy deployed in the District.
  • Making significant improvements to the energy efficiency of existing buildings in the District.
  • Providing energy bill assistance to support low- and moderate-income residents.
  • Requiring all public transportation and privately owned fleet vehicles to become emissions-free by the year 2045.
  • Funding the DC Green Bank to attract private investment in clean energy projects.

“By signing the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 into law, we solidify Washington, DC’s place as the national leader in the fight against climate change and proudly communicate to the world that ‘we are still in,’” said Mayor Bowser. “If we are going to make progress on addressing climate change and global warming in our country, it’s going to be cities and states leading the way. With this groundbreaking clean energy law, we have created a model for jurisdictions across the nation to follow.”

The bill was signed into law at the newly renovated headquarters of the American Geophysical Union, the first net-zero renovation of a building in the District which will serve as a national model of sustainability and green building design. Additionally, the bill will lead to a boost in clean energy investment in the District with the mandated increases in funding mechanisms such as the Renewable Energy Trust Fund (RETF) and Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP).

“Make no mistake about it, this is by far the most aggressive and impactful clean energy goal passed by any state to-date” said Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells. “As great as the commitments are from states leading the fight against climate change, our goal as the nation’s capital is to reach 100% renewable electricity despite Federal inaction in our own backyard.”

How the Shutdown Is Playing Out for Solar and Onshore Wind

Clean energy has had it relatively easy during the federal government shutdown.

Clean energy has had it relatively easy during the federal government shutdown. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Effects of the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history, now on its 27th day, are wide-reaching: Federal workers are missing pay, the Food and Drug Administration is only inspecting “high-risk” food and drug facilities, economic growth is at risk, and over 40,000 immigration hearings have been canceled.

Comparatively, the impact on clean energy projects has been minimal. The long development pipeline for these utility-scale projects on federal lands — ranging from nine months to two years, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables Senior Solar Analyst Colin Smith — means that, though some activities may be stalled, the impact has so far been minimal. That could change depending on how long the shutdown continues.

“Unless your project was at an inflection point where government action was needed…it’s not really slowing anything down yet,” said Sarah Fitts, a corporate and transactional lawyer at Schiff Hardin who focuses on energy and infrastructure. “For now, what I see is people are just reordering [how] they do things.”

Greentech Media has already covered how the shutdown has impacted offshore wind due to halted activities at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. But for federal land onshore, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management guides development of wind and solar projects. As of March 2018, the agency said it had approved 25 solar projects totaling 6,319 gigawatts and 35 wind projects totaling 3,284 megawatts.

There are several more in the queue, in states across the West — where the great majority of federal land is located — such as Nevada, Wyoming and Utah.

According to a BLM spokesperson reached this week, solar and wind work are treated as exempted activities under the agency’s shutdown plan. That plan notes that “exempt employees whose salaries are paid from permanent appropriations (receipts) and unobligated balances from prior years will continue to work as directed by their supervisors and subject to the continued availability of funds.”

That means that as long as the agency has money from outside the budget cycle, it can continue those functions. The agency did not clarify whether solar and wind permitting has actually continued, but its project database doesn’t show any rights-of-way permits granted in recent weeks.

“At this stage of the permitting process, we should be working with the BLM and other stakeholders in the preparation of an environmental impact report/environmental assessment,” said spokesperson Paul Copleman in an email. “We’re still busy working to permit the project, and we look forward to the BLM rejoining the process.”

While there are projects in line that are hundreds of megawatts in capacity, Smith at WoodMac noted that’s a relatively small chunk of the entire U.S. utility-scale pipeline. In contrast to other recent threats, like market uncertainty tied to solar tariffs, he said the shutdown impact is small.

“If you compare it to module tariffs, that was something where there was uncertainty and delay that affected the economics of the entire pipeline, and that was from April 2017 to January 2018,” Smith said. “Even then, the market has been OK.”Experts said that if the shutdown continues to drag on, it could tighten timelines or delay projects down the line.

She added that, even when the shutdown ends, the backlog it’s created is likely to cascade of delays. “It’s a big mess,” she said. “And it’s unnecessary.”

Florida Power & Light aims to install more solar panels than any regulated utility

 Jan.

The Supreme Court should reject requests for a do-over on state clean energy programs

The Utility Dive team on power trends to watch in 2019

At the beginning of 2019, the U.S. electric power sector is in the midst of fundamental change and uncertainty. Renewable energy is increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. The Trump administration continues to focus on saving coal and nuclear plants. Distributed resources are upending the economics of the grid. Utilities must deal with all that as climate change presents ever greater threats to their systems and regulators press them to provide more services to their customers.

As with any transition, the move to a cleaner and more distributed power system is a multi-faceted disruption, with events across the nation pulling the narrative in different directions. What will rise to the top? The Utility Dive team sat down early this month to lay it out.

“In 2019, I’m watching the growth of renewables and energy storage,” Editor Iulia Gheorghiu said on the latest episode of the Electric Power Show. “Perhaps that won’t surprise anyone because the year is already off to a bang — Hawaiian Electric kicked off announcements for 7 solar-plus-storage projects, adding more than 260 MW of solar and 1 GWh of energy storage capacity.”

Announcements like those dovetail with conversations in Washington about what to do with retiring coal and nuclear generators, as well as emerging discussions about a Green New Deal in Congress and state capitols.

Advocates of a Green New Deal are “advancing discussions that have not happened in Washington at least since the last administration,” I noted during our chat, but the policies being discussed are more ambitious than the market-based initiatives like the Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill pushed during the Obama era.

Even with growing public concern over climate change, Congress is unlikely to pass any meaningful clean energy or environmental policies this year. Action is more likely, however, in a handful of states that elected pro-renewable lawmakers last November.

“Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Maine — all those state governors have endorsed a 50% renewable energy target or higher,” Associate Editor Catherine Morehouse noted, “and within each of those states, there is single party Democratic rule which could make passing some of those clean energy initiatives more efficient.”

But the story on the state level isn’t all about clean energy, Morehouse cautioned. Dozens of states are also grappling with how to handle the persistent issue of coal ash as the White House attempts to roll back disposal regulations finalized under Obama.

“67 coal plants across 22 states have coal ash ponds in violation of federal groundwater standards,” Morehouse said, quoting a recent Earthjustice report. “That report is developing, so that’s just based on the data right now.”

The UD team also talked about FERC action, skipping the natural gas “bridge,” and the threat of a coal and nuclear bailout that still hangs over Washington.

 

Partnership for Southern Equity Just Energy Academy (JEA) Program

Our Mission

The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) advances policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South.

Since 2008, the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), an Atlanta-based nonprofit, has been advancing the cause of equity through a ecosystem-based model for multi-demographic engagement in the City of Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan region – a bustling area emblematic of many Southern communities riven by racial, economic and class disparities.

Using its strength in its ability to connect, educate, and empower diverse individuals and organizations to encourage just, sustainable practices for shared prosperity, PSE has stood at the forefront of promoting balanced growth and shared prosperity throughout metropolitan Atlanta and the American South.

Focusing on three key areas: energy, growth and opportunity, PSE has developed strong partnerships, which have resulted in a series of successful policy initiatives that helped elevate and enable the communities we serve.

Dear Equity Leader:  

We invite you and other residents across Georgia to apply to be a part of the first Just Energy Academy (JEA). This seven (7) month leadership development program was created to educate the next generation of equity leaders on energy equity and climate justice issues. JEA is a competitive program for youth and adults who aspire to be energy equity leaders in their communities.

What is Energy Equity?

Against the backdrop of global climate change, “energy equity” translates into the fair distribution of benefits and burdens from energy production and consumption. The Partnership for Southern Equity works with its partners to educate and engage low-income communities and communities of color about the benefits and burdens associated with power generation in Georgia and across the southeast. While unfamiliar to many, these policies significantly impact household utility bills and negatively impact the overall quality of air, water and other natural resources that affect our health and well-being.

Program Specifics:

  • Participants: 15-20 diverse residents of Georgia
  • Age 17 and older; community, non-profit and environmental leaders who are engaged    

and active in their communities and have a vested interest in improving the overall

quality of their community.

  • Time Commitment: 7 months
  • Meet once a month: Seven sessions that meet on Saturday Full-Day (6-8 Hours). The opening session in February will include Friday Evening.
  • Example Schedule:
      • Session One: Friday February 15th 6:00 to 8:00 PM and Saturday, February 16th 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Core curriculum: racial equity, energy policy and planning, advocacy and

environmental justice, community organizing

  • Participants will also work on community projects with their respective community

 

The main topics addressed in each module will include:

  • Racial Equity, History of Energy and Climate Justice and PSE Equity Ecosystem
  • Energy Policy, Energy Planning and Decision-making
  • Environmental Justice
  • Advocating For Your Community and Community Organizing
  • Partnering and Leveraging Resources
  • Energy Action Planning
  • Looking Ahead: Energy Equity in 10 Years  
  • Energy Action Presentations and Graduation

 

Program Goals:

  • Understand racial equity, as well as the history and background of Black and Brown
  • people’s contributions to the energy and climate justice movements
  • Highlight PSE’s work in Georgia and the American South
  • Gain a basic understanding of environmental justice principles, concepts, and history
  • Identify the intersection of energy and impacts on health and well-being through the use of tools and other resources
  • Develop community leaders’ understanding of renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro)

 

Application schedule:  

 

Date Action Item
January 18, 2019 Application Deadline (see submission instructions below)
Application Review by Staff (Note: All applicants will not be interviewed, but staff reserve the right to interview or send questions to applicants and their references to clarify information submitted through the application or to narrow the pool of applicants)
Candidate Interviews
Selected Fellows Announced and All Applicants Notified.
Program Start Date

 

Submission instructions:

 

Applications can be received in one of the following ways: 1) in person at PSE office or PSE community event, 2) by mail, or 3) electronically. Deadline for application is January 18, 2019.

In person or U.S. mail:

 

The Partnership for Southern Equity

Attn: Just Energy Portfolio

100 Peachtree Street NW

The Equitable Building

Suite 1960

Atlanta, Georgia 30303

 

Electronic Submittal: Application packets must be emailed to info@psequity.org with the subject line – Just Energy Academy or submitted through this google form (preferred).

 

Below are the descriptive questions and requirements for the application. The online form can’t be saved and resumed once it is started so it may be helpful to prepare these answers prior to opening the online form.

 

 

  • Describe your community involvement.
  • Please provide a one-paragraph description of your vision for equity in your community:
  • Please discuss your ability to commit to the Just Energy Academy and what might hinder your commitment to attend the sessions?
  • Provide us with a brief synopsis of your story and how it relates to your interest in the Academy.
  • Describe your special skills and talents that you intend to contribute to the program.

 

 

Provide contact information for two references that could speak to your leadership potential (references can be personal or professional):

 

Reference Name Phone Email Address Relationship

You may also submit a résumé, curriculum vitae, or additional information that you feel is important to note when considering your application. Please limit your attachments to no more than three pages.

 

Acknowledgment

 

The Just Energy Academy is a volunteer leadership development opportunity provided by the the Partnership for Southern Equity.  It is also a competitive program. This means that if you are accepted, it is expected that you will commit to fully taking advantage of the opportunity that has been entrusted to you and will be accountable to your peers in the group for your participation.  You will be expected to attend all required training sessions and activities, with only two excused absences allowed. The group will discuss any obstacles that individuals may have to participation, such as child care or transportation, and consider whether it is possible to address those.  You will be provided with training and leadership development, networking opportunities and an opportunity to positively impact your community.

 

Questions?  Please contact –

Yuri Owens, Just Energy Portfolio Coordinator

Partnership for Southern Equity

P: (404) 454-0785

About Solar United Neighbors of D.C.

How our first solar co-ops got started

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG3OMfHNJf4 Solar United Neighbors started as a neighborhood project in Washington, D.C. Formed as the Mt. Pleasant Solar Co-op, …

D.C. is our hometown and where Solar United Neighbors got started. Since 2007, we have been fighting to ensure solar is accessible and affordable to all District residents.

Our vision

We envision a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket.

Our mission

We’re a community of people building a new energy system and rooftop solar is the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.

Our partners

We work with amazing partners to spread the solar word. Our partner organizations range from nonprofits to municipal governments, universities to community organizations, and individual “super volunteers” to houses of worship.

Some of our awesome partners in D.C. over the last few years have included:

MONDAY JAN 21ST 2019 – 11:30AM

2500 MLK AVE SE WASHINGTON, DC
00MONTHS
04DAYS
13HOURS
23MINUTES
18SECONDS

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do… you have to keep moving forward.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We welcome all residents of the District of Columbia and surrounding areas to take part in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Walk and Parade.

A.C. advisory board

Our D.C. advisory board provides strategic guidance to our work. Members do not have fiduciary oversight but provide strategic direction to the program. They are members of successful solar co-ops, solar champions, and leaders in the community.

Sherrill Berger Born in Uvalde, Texas, but raised in Washington, D.C., Sherrill studied classical ballet at the Jones-Haywood School and later danced as a principle soloist and taught with the well-acclaimed Capitol Ballet Company (CBC). Later she joined the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History, served as an educational tour guide with the Smithsonian Associate International Study Tours in Asia, and Europe, worked for the Carnegie Institution for Science as a prospect researcher, and was instrumental in establishing the Capital Science Lecture Series. She also directed several non-profit organizations, including Saving the DC Public Libraries Renaissance Project, the Mount Pleasant, Brookland, and Bloomingdale neighborhood Main Streets. As a community activist she was a member of Neighbors Inc., Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, founding member of Mount Pleasant Solar Coop, Solar United Neighbors of D.C., PowerDC, Grid 2.0, and co-founder of the re-established DC Consumer Utility Board.
Sylvester Bush Sylvester Bush is a resident of Ward 7 and help form a new solar co-op in Wards 7 and 8, the East Of The River (EOTR) solar co-op. He ensured that residents of ward 7 and 8 were educated and engaged around solar. Sylvester is the owner of a local business, the MGS Group, Inc.
Guy Durant As leader of the first Brookland Solar Co-op, Guy has been instrumental in bringing solar to his community. A technology professional with over 18 years of technology management and SE & IT leadership, Guy currently works at Waterman Engineering and Consulting, LLC. He has a strong background in health IT project management and clinical trials research. He is also an active member of the Plymouth Congregational Church.
Jared Lang Jared Lang, Sustainable Development Manager at National Housing Trust is responsible for integrating sustainability and renewable energy into affordable
housing projects. Jared manages the energy and water components of housing development projects, finances large-scale solar installations, and secures public and foundation incentives for energy projects. Prior to working with NHT, Jared was Program Manager for the National Association of Counties Sustainability Programs, consulting to local officials on strategies for integrating sustainability into their building portfolios. He was also a Sustainability Consultant with Davis
Joelle Novey Joelle Novey directs Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA), which supports hundreds of congregations in the DC area to respond to climate change. She’s grateful for years of partnership with Solar United Neighbors of D.C., helping faith communities to get their facilities’ energy “from heaven” and helping members of area congregations to connect with solar co-ops in their neighborhoods. IPL-DMV’s has put together solar resources for congregations.
Robert Robinson Robert Robinson came to D.C. after 18 months organizing elections in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio for the Jimmy Carter Presidential campaign. He hired onto the Marion Barry for Mayor campaign in 1977 and worked as an administrator for the Executive Office of the Mayor agencies. He managed successful Council campaigns and a councilmember’s staff. He and his wife Sherrill went solar with the Mt. Pleasant Solar Coop and were founding members of Solar United Neighbors of D.C.

Contact the D.C. team

The Keystone State may have found the key to the next wave of transportation electrification

Pennsylvania’s combination of guiding principles, legislation and collaboration among a broad array of stakeholders may show how to move the EV market into its next phase of development.

Pennsylvania’s breakthrough collaboration of private sector, utility, legislative and regulatory leaders may be the template for a national transportation electrification program that can drive the next wave of market expansion.

Supportive policies in California, New York and Washington have led to market-leading EV sales. But policymakers in states like Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are working on laws, regulations and guidance to drive the next stage of growth. Some say Pennsylvania has put together the right mix.

Pennsylvania has already taken three big steps. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)-led Drive Electric coalition drafted an EV Roadmap. A November Public Utility Commission (PUC) ruling clarified private sector charger providers’ rights to set their own prices. And a utility’s pilot charger deployment proposal was endorsed by a major private provider because of the principles it embodies.

ChargePoint, the global charging station leader, supports the six Guiding Principles in the Duquesne Light Company proposal to own and operate charging stations, Director of Policy Kevin Miller told Utility Dive. Among current state policy efforts, these principles “are a landmark in utility program design because they allow utilities to complement the competitive market and increase customer choice,” he said.

Growing EV markets

The PUC ruling, the Drive Electric Pennsylvania coalition’s collaboration and the Duquesne Light proposal’s principles are the kinds of things that grow EV markets, Miller said. The Duquesne principles are particularly important because they “preserve site host control over charging stations” and, therefore, “fit with the many kinds of programs needed for the many different kinds of utility service territories.”

A further element in the mix, and a prime focus of the collaboration, has been House Bill (HB) 1446. It would accelerate electric vehicle (EV) adoption, charging station deployment and supporting policies. It did not get out of committee in 2018, but Republican Senators Bob Mensch and Robert Tomlinson have announced a new push is coming in 2019, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Transportation Policy Analyst Noah Garcia told Utility Dive.

HB 1446 could “help Pennsylvania stake out a leadership position in electric vehicle policy nationally,” Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) Market Development VP Matt Stanberry emailed Utility Dive. By making clear the state’s commitment, “it would provide an important welcoming signal for new investments.”

Though still in its early stages, the national transition to electricity-powered transportation is accelerating, with more EVs sold and charging stations deployed every year. The U.S. now has more than 1 million EVs on its roads, with California in the lead, followed by New York, according to the Edison Electric Institute.

“We’re at a tipping point toward mass adoption of transportation electrification and states are working on the many ways utility programs can be structured to complement the private market.”

Kevin Miller

Director of Policy, ChargePoint

But it is Pennsylvania, 12th in 2017 EV sales, where the combination of guiding principles, legislation and collaboration among utilities, private providers, policymakers and regulators may add up to a template for how to move the market into its next phase of development.

SCANA deliberately misled regulators overseeing nuclear project, South Carolina PSC concludes

Dive Brief:

  • South Carolina regulators on Monday concluded SCANA executives acted “imprudently” by deliberately misleading the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), the public and investors about the financial condition of the V.C. Summer nuclear project.
  • The vote came as the PSC rejected appeals to their December decision, allowing Dominion Energy to acquire SCANA and its subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G). The new finding will not impact the acquisition or a planned rate decrease, but could signal greater scrutiny down the line.
  • Dominion stepped in to acquire SCANA as controversy swirled over who would pay for the failed V.C. Summer project, which went billions over budget and was scrapped in 2017. Now, regulators say the company intentionally kept them in the dark

Dive Insight:

The PSC had previously declined to make a finding of imprudence, but local media reported pressure from state House Speaker Jay Lucas, R, may have played a role in the “surprising reversal.”

Earlier this month Lucas filed comments with the PSC, arguing “the record in this case is replete with evidence that supports the Commission making a finding of imprudence.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission in 2017 launched an investigation, following allegations in a shareholder class action lawsuit that SCANA executives made “false and misleading statements” on the Summer project. A 2015 analysis of the project by construction giant Bechtel concluded the project timeline was too ambitious and costs were skyrocketing, but those warnings were removed from the final version presented to state officials.

Lucas’ office did not respond to requests for comment on the PSC’s decision, but his filing with the commission was made in support of a petition by ORS for a specific ruling on SCE&G’s imprudence.

ORS Executive Director Nanette Edwards issued a statement applauding the decision, which concluded SCANA executives acted imprudently beginning March 12, 2015.

“We believe it is of vital importance that a legal finding of imprudence on the part of the utility be issued not just to satisfy the law but to send a message to all utilities regulated by the PSC that statutory compliance, transparency and accountability are requirements that cannot be violated without penalty,” Edwards said.

A spokesman for ORS said there would be “no discernable impact,” from the PSC’s decision, calling it “just a legal requirement that was oddly not met previously.”

Electricity Rates in Your State 2019

https://www.chooseenergy.com/electricity-rates-by-state/ :(last updated Jan. 8, 2019)

Electricity Rates in Your State

Here we’ve compiled data to show you just how much energy costs can vary, including historical electricity prices from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Information on recent rates and fluctuations may help you understand your bill or decide to change your energy plan.

Familiar with energy choice and want to sign up for a new plan? Enter your ZIP code above for rates you can secure today.

States with Lowest Rates | Residential Rates by State | Commercial Rates by State |

Where you live affects your electricity rate

October 2018 data, the latest available, show that the average U.S. price – 12.87 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) – rose 0.5% compared with a year ago. If you live in Louisiana, you paid the lowest average residential electricity rates of any state in the country – 9.11 cents per kWh. The next lowest rate is in Arkansas, where residents pay an average of 9.34 cents per kWh.

Below are the cheapest 10 states to live in based on residential electricity rates:

Rank State October 2018 Electric Rate
1 Louisiana 9.11
2 Arkansas 9.34
3 Washington 9.68
4 Utah 10.32
5 Idaho 10.33
6 Tennessee 10.70
7 Missouri 10.71
8 Kentucky 10.77
9 North Dakota 10.83
10 Georgia 10.96

 

Also once again, Hawaii residents pay the highest electricity rates in the country. Below are the 10 most expensive states to live in based on residential electricity rates.

Rank State October 2018 Electric Rate
1 Hawaii 32.46
2 Alaska 22.51
3 Connecticut 21.87
4 Rhode Island 21.46
5 Massachusetts 21.30
6 New Hampshire 20.23
7 New York 19.29
8 Vermont 18.42
9 Maine 16.47
10 California 15.73

 

Looking deeper: Residential electric rates through the year

The average home in the U.S. consumes 897 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per month. Bills vary by state and region, as cost per kWh differs. To estimate average monthly energy bills, multiply the average home’s electricity usage (897 kWh) by the cost per kWh in your state for that month. For example, the average cost per kWh in October for Iowa homes was 12.82 cents, which amounts to an average bill of about $115 (12.82 cents x 897 kWh) that month. Find your state on the interactive map below to see the latest average rate, its rank among other states and the percentage change from the previous month.

 

 

Residential Electricity Rates by State

(cents per kWh for latest month available)

State Average Electric Rate:

October 2018

Average Electric Rate:

October 2017

% up/down Choose Energy Price Index

(see below)

Index rank
Alabama 12.42 12.66 1.9 130.3 48
Alaska 22.51 21.78 3.4 114.8 41
Arizona 13.26 12.78 3.8 118.0 44
Arkansas 9.34 10.17 8.2 87.4 12
California 15.73 15.70 0.2 74.4 4
Colorado 21.87 21.29 2.7 73.6 3
Connecticut 22.05 21.26 3.7 134.4 49
DC 13.60 13.44 1.2 94.5
Delaware 13.89 14.20 2.7 113.7 39
Florida 11.67 11.85 1.5 113.3 37
Georgia 10.96 11.52 4.9 107.8 34
Hawaii 32.46 29.30 10.8 141.7 50
Idaho 10.33 10.26 0.7 85.1 10
Illinois 13.23 13.12 0.8 83.8 9
Indiana 12.39 12.75 2.8 104.4 30
Iowa 12.82 11.77 8.9 95.7 19
Kansas 13.32 13.38 0.4 103.5 27
Kentucky 10.77 11.17 3.6 104.3 29
Louisiana 9.11 9.93 8.3 97.6 23
Maine 16.47 16.05 2.6 77.7 5
Maryland 14.19 14.37 1.3 122.0 46
Massachusetts 21.30 20.45 4.2 110.3 36
Michigan 15.42 15.12 2.0 89.0 15
Minnesota 13.72 13.36 2.7 90.6 17
Mississippi 11.22 11.10 1.1 116.7 43
Missouri 10.71 11.15 3.9 96.4 21
Montana 11.48 11.23 2.2 80.7 7
Nebraska 11.23 10.89 3.1 94.4 18
Nevada 12.16 12.79 4.9 97.2 22
New Hampshire 20.23 19.87 1.8 105.6 32
New Jersey 14.96 14.66 2.0 89.3 16
New Mexico 12.97 12.96 0.1 70.7 2
New York 19.29 18.74 2.9 99.2 25
North Carolina 11.94 11.45 4.3 113.6 38
North Dakota 10.83 10.94 1.0 97.9 24
Ohio 12.48 12.81 2.6 96.1 20
Oklahoma 11.00 11.17 1.5 103.9 28
Oregon 11.24 10.89 3.2 88.5 13
Pennsylvania 14.10 14.60 3.4 102.5 26
Rhode Island 21.46 19.55 9.8 108.7 35
South Carolina 12.43 13.01 4.5 124.1 47
South Dakota 12.35 12.48 1.0 104.7 31
Tennessee 10.70 10.61 0.8 114.5 40
Texas 11.69 11.09 5.4 116.8 44
Utah 10.32 10.51 1.8 66.9 1
Vermont 18.42 17.97 2.5 87.4 11
Virginia 11.90 11.79 0.9 115.2 42
Washington 9.68 9.76 0.8 79.9 6
West Virginia 11.27 11.97 5.8 107.3 33
Wisconsin 14.94 14.71 1.6 88.2 14
Wyoming 11.08 11.56 4.2 81.4 8

 

The Choose Energy Price Index

In 2018, we kicked off the Choose Energy Price Index, a proprietary tool that combines the average electricity rate by state with a state’s average monthly usage to produce a number that reflects average monthly bills for a state. The index is a ratio of that state’s average monthly bill compared with the average U.S. bill.

Other measures alone don’t accurately reflect monthly residential bills. Take the following case:

  • Residents of Virginia paid an average of 11.90 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for their electricity in October, the 20th-lowest rates in the country and well below the U.S. average of 12.87 cents/kWh. However, they use an average of 1,120 kWh per month, well above the U.S. average of 897. That leaves the state with a Choose Energy Price Index score of 115.2, which places it 42nd nationally.

In other words, prices and bills aren’t directly correlated. Choose Energy will track changes using the index on a monthly basis.

Commercial electricity rates through the year

In states with energy choice, the open market is not only for residents. Businesses also can take advantage of pricing and plans available through an energy supplier. In some states, only business customers have energy choice. Across the United States, the average business consumes 6,278 kWh of electricity per month and receives a bill of nearly $655.

Electric rates for companies vary greatly by industry and function. Although homes come in all shapes and sizes, businesses have larger variations with diverse needs – from industrial buildings to mom-and-pop businesses. In October, for example, the average business in Florida paid 12.40 cents per kWh. With this number, we can deduce that on average companies in the state paid about $585 that month for electricity.

See the Choose Energy Business Energy Index for a more in-depth look at commercial and industrial electricity rates.

Commercial Electricity Rates by State

(cents per kWh for latest month available)

State Average rate: October 2018 Average rate: October 2017 % increase/ decrease % of U.S. average Rate rank
Alabama 11.24 11.61 -3.2% 104.7 39
Alaska 19.85 18.6 6.7% 184.8 50
Arizona 10.85 10.89 -0.4% 101.0 36
Arkansas 7.05 8.38 -15.9% 65.6 1
California 17.28 16.9 2.2% 160.9 49
Colorado 10.62 10.16 4.5% 98.9 35
Connecticut 16.8 16.73 0.4% 156.4 46
Delaware 10.21 9.89 3.2% 95.1 28
DC 12.18 11.98 1.7% 113.4 41
Florida 9.32 9.58 -2.7% 86.8 19
Georgia 9.5 10.01 -5.1% 88.5 21
Hawaii 29.85 26.67 11.9% 277.9 51
Idaho 7.82 8.12 -3.7% 72.8 2
Illinois 9.26 9.16 1.1% 86.2 18
Indiana 10.4 10.56 -1.5% 96.8 30
Iowa 9.32 8.56 8.9% 86.8 20
Kansas 10.61 10.68 -0.7% 98.8 34
Kentucky 9.54 9.8 -2.7% 88.8 22
Louisiana 8.19 8.94 -8.4% 76.3 6
Maine 12.34 12.02 2.7% 114.9 42
Maryland 10.6 10.63 -0.3% 98.7 33
Massachusetts 16.92 16.07 5.3% 157.5 47
Michigan 11.21 10.79 3.9% 104.4 38
Minnesota 10.45 10.64 -1.8% 97.3 32
Mississippi 10.4 10.14 2.6% 96.8 31
Missouri 8.54 8.92 -4.3% 79.5 9
Montana 10.28 10.22 0.6% 95.7 29
Nebraska 8.76 8.45 3.7% 81.6 10
Nevada 7.85 8.67 -9.5% 73.1 3
New Hampshire 16.08 15.2 5.8% 149.7 45
New Jersey 11.77 11.35 3.7% 109.6 40
New Mexico 10.15 9.97 1.8% 94.5 26
New York 14.98 15.02 -0.3% 139.5 43
North Carolina 9.06 8.65 4.7% 84.4 14
North Dakota 9.18 9.19 -0.1% 85.5 16
Ohio 10.12 10.27 -1.5% 94.2 25
Oklahoma 8.02 8.24 -2.7% 74.7 5
Oregon 9.03 9.04 -0.1% 84.1 13
Pennsylvania 8.79 8.86 -0.8% 81.8 11
Rhode Island 16.93 15.4 9.9% 157.6 48
South Carolina 9.83 10.22 -3.8% 91.5 23
South Dakota 9.88 9.88 0.0% 92.0 24
Tennessee 10.19 10.32 -1.3% 94.9 27
Texas 7.93 8.14 -2.6% 73.8 4
Utah 8.41 8.67 -3.0% 78.3 8
Vermont 15.31 14.71 4.1% 142.6 44
Virginia 8.31 8.26 0.6% 77.4 7
Washington 8.84 8.78 0.7% 82.3 12
West Virginia 9.07 9.68 -6.3% 84.5 15
Wisconsin 10.91 10.47 4.2% 101.6 37
Wyoming 9.21 9.95 -7.4% 85.8 17

 

Need more information?

Are you a journalist or researcher writing about this topic who needs to know more about historical rates? Send us details about what you need and we’ll get back to you with an answer and a relevant quote from one of our rate experts. You should also check out the Choose Energy Data Center for more statistics and analysis centering on energy in the U.S.

Topics in the Data Center include the following:

Understand the energy market

Due to the volatility of the energy market, energy supply prices may fluctuate throughout the year. From October 2017 to October 2018, Hawaii experienced the biggest fluctuation in Residential Energy Rate electric prices, while New Mexico had the most consistent prices.

Fluctuations in electricity prices may seem random, but there are a few primary factors that determine how much you pay. These factors are:

  • What time you use energy: Some energy suppliers offer plans with time-of-use discounts, such as free energy supply from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • What month you use it: In warmer states, summer rates can be higher than winter rates due to higher energy demand for cooling.
  • Where you live: Energy supply rates change from state to state and even among utility areas in the same state, regardless of whether the state has energy choice.
If you are confused about any of the terms used, check out the Choose Energy glossary to learn more.

The Future of Energy

Energy comes from many sources, including coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables. As nonrenewable sources such as coal diminish, the need for renewable energy sources grows. Some states satisfy the country’s growing renewable energy needs with their production of wind, solar and hydropower.

Check out real-time energy rates in these locations

The following states and the District of Columbia have deregulated electricity markets, meaning customers can choose the company that provides their electricity from competitive suppliers. Click on the state below to see what’s available in your state.

 

California Connecticut Georgia
Illinois Maine Maryland
Massachusetts New Hampshire New Jersey
New York Ohio Pennsylvania
Texas Washington, D.C.

Page last updated: 1/8/2019)

Floating solar PV could power 10% of nation but O&M questions remain, NREL says

Dive Brief:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers announced last week that the United States has the technical potential to install 2,116 GW of floating photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States.
  • By the end of 2017, the United States had only seven floating solar projects representing a small fraction of the total 198 MW installed internationally, largely in Japan. The biggest barrier to increasing floating PV development in the nation remains the amount of risk associated with the technology’s operation and manufacturing, NREL researchers told Utility Dive.
  • The high-level analysis references the potential benefits and impacts from developing in about 24,400 man-made bodies of water. NREL researchers are pursuing data-collection studies, estimated to begin as soon as spring of 2019, to conduct a more technical analysis of the operational and maintenance costs of a floating solar project in the longer term.

Dive Insight:

As states move to decarbonize the power sector, the nascent technology offers an alternative to expansive, land-based solar arrays.

NREL published the first top-level analysis on the developmental potential of floating solar panels in December, in the Environmental Science & Technology journal, as the researchers pursue funding for further analysis. Researchers plotted utility prices by state and the amount of availability in man-made bodies of water that had restricted use and were within 50 miles of transmission lines, to see the where the development potential was greatest.

The technical potential of installing floating solar systems in 27% of the water bodies deemed eligible by NREL would yield annually about 9.6% of the U.S. electricity production in 2016, or about 786 TWh per year.

The potential annual generation of floating PV systems covering 27% of feasible U.S. water bodies (top) compared to how much that annual generation would cover the electricity production in 2016, (bottom) by state.
Credit: NREL study

But the study is only a starting point to a robust assessment to quantify the impacts and the benefits of the system to the man-made body of water.

“I think knowing the potential provides motivation to even start answering those questions,” Robert Spencer, co-author of the paper, told Utility Dive.

Based on the existing examples, the technology works, but Spencer noted the need for further analysis to test how the systems hold up in the long-term, to give prospective investors something to hang their hat on that’s more than an anecdote.

In that regard, NREL has some proposals on floating solar power pending with the Department of Energy.

“There are some very basic questions that still need to be answered that many private companies don’t have the infrastructure … to evaluate,” Jordan Macknick, an additional co-author on the paper, told Utility Dive.

Pending negotiations of a funding agreement with an unnamed client, NREL will also partner with the French floating PV developer Ciel & Terre International to install instrumentation equipment at a new 75 kW floating solar facility in Walden, Colo., close to NREL’s location outside Denver, that came online in 2018.

Floating solar systems can be set up very quickly and could be a useful carbon-free solution for a state with land-use restrictions, such as Connecticut, according to Macknick. The study targeted man-made water bodies for floating PV development because, like rooftop-sited solar, their presence might indicate “higher populations, higher land-use constraints,” and a need for a different option of resource to site renewable energy, Spencer said.

Additional technical and environmental benefits need to be further tested, Macknick said, to bring “field-based validation” to the potential benefits of floating solar systems, such as curbing the growth of algae blooms around the equipment by lowering the amount of air that reaches the water. Another potential effect is reducing the amount of water that evaporates, as the systems would absorb the heat from solar radiation that would otherwise be absorbed by the water, according to the study.

“It has been certainly an area of interest from hydropower operators because the water is their fuel,” Macknick said, noting one operational floating PV system in Portugal has been paired with a hydropower facility. The results have not been fully quantified.

Getting to 100% zero emissions in California: Beyond CAISO’s eight-solution menu

The state’s IOUs are on track for 50% renewables by 2020, but the goal is 100% clean energy by 2045 and there are still unanswered questions on how to reach it.

The path to 100% emissions-free energy by 2045 in California is not completely carved, and answers are still forthcoming.

Most of the state’s load serving entities (LSEs) required to meet the SB 100 mandate of 60% renewables by 2030 have met their 2017 interim requirement of 27%, according to the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) latest annual RPS report. California’s three dominant investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have reached 33% renewables and are on track for 50% by 2020.

But reaching the 2045 zero emissions goal — also part of SB 100 — will require a wide range of changes, including reducing reliance on natural gas in the power sector and on gasoline-fueled vehicles in the transportation sector.

California’s grid operator has not taken on the 100% emissions-free goal yet because the CPUC’s integrated resource planning (IRP) process “has not reviewed the implementation of SB 100,” California Independent System Operator (CAISO) spokesperson Anne Gonzales told Utility Dive. A “preferred system plan” is expected some time in the first quarter of 2019.

The CPUC’s IRP process has not addressed technical needs for 60% renewables, but has studied “amounts near 57%, which gets us close,” Gonzales said. CAISO has an eight-solution menu for meeting the “current and future renewable energy goals” that includes more distributed energy resources (DER) and demand response, time-of-use rates, transportation electrification and a regional grid. “Simulations show up to 90% of California’s power can come from a combination of wind, solar, batteries and geothermal.”

Zero emission ambitions

One set of potential answers for moving toward California’s zero-emission ambitions can be found in ten scenarios described in an Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) paper prepared for the California Energy Commission (CEC). The scenarios include high levels of energy efficiency, renewables and transportation electrification, but vary on biofuels and building electrification.

The E3 paper was commissioned by the CEC before SB 100 was passed. Its scenarios represent initial and not complete or final assessments of what may be needed for a 100% zero emissions economy.

“Simulations show up to 90% of California’s power can come from a combination of wind, solar, batteries and geothermal,” E3 Senior Partner Arne Olsen told Utility Dive. “Beyond 90%, it gets difficult and expensive.”

The E3 paper’s “four pillars” of deep, economy-wide decarbonization provide some, though incomplete, clarity on what will be needed. Echoing and expanding on items in CAISO’s menu of solutions, they call for economy-wide electrification with renewable generation and energy efficiency, moving to low-carbon — eventually zero-carbon — fuels, and eliminating non-combustion emissions from soils and forests, manufacturing, and livestock agriculture.

There is widespread agreement that all these elements must be addressed to achieve the 100% zero emissions economy foreseen by SB 100.  And power system consultant Lorenzo Kristov, who has led efforts at CAISO, the CEC and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to integrate higher levels of renewables and distributed generation, said there is another facet few others have considered: how system architecture can optimize coordination of the transmission and distribution systems.

The big picture

CAISO has been studying management of high renewables penetration for a decade and implementing solutions to cope with overgeneration, according to a 2017 presentation by Renewables Integration VP Mark Rothleder.

California’s power industry is being transformed by its renewables objectives, according to Rothleder. The state has an installed wind capacity of 6,087 MW, an installed utility-scale solar capacity of almost 10,000 MW and an estimated 5,000-plus MW of behind-the-meter solar capacity.

CAISO expects an estimated 4,000 MW of new grid-connected renewables by 2020 along with potentially 4,000 MW of behind-the-meter solar. Another 10,000 MW to 15,000 MW of renewables is likely by 2030, Rothleder reported. This growth in zero-emission resources could make achieving the SB 100 goals easier if CAISO can maintain a reliable system.

But the impact of the Duck Curve, caused by midday solar overgeneration that fades just as peak electricity demand rises, is worsening. The size and speed of today’s ramp are what was originally expected in the early 2020s. But the fossil fuel peaker plants used now to cope with this must be eliminated to reach SB 100 goals.

CAISO sees the challenge as an opportunity to integrate zero-emission resources through advanced grid management solutions, according to Rothleder. Price signals and rate design can minimize overgeneration, and demand response and battery storage can flatten the peak. Better operational tools, better forecasting and a regional market can use zero-emissions generation more efficiently.

The E3 study confirms the importance of the CAISO solutions to reaching the 100% zero-emissions by 2045 goal, but offers a higher-level view. Its broad emissions mitigation scenarios model combinations of emissions reduction strategies and assess key technologies, including ‘reach’ technologies, like advanced biofuels and electric heavy duty vehicles, which are “not widely commercialized” but could mitigate emissions “currently difficult to address.”

Getting to the needed deep and economy-wide decarbonization will require scaling up technologies now in the market like energy efficiency and renewables, and aggressively pursuing “at least one ‘reach’ technology,” according to E3.

E3’s most important contribution to the discussion of reaching 100% zero emissions may be its questions about costs and risks. Market transformation will come from higher carbon prices in California’s cap and trade and low-carbon fuel standard programs that increase costs to customers. Incentives and policy can lower those costs, but if the prices are too low, they may fail to spur the needed transformations.

The report focuses on a “High Electrification” scenario that is “lower-cost, lower-risk” than other scenarios but still includes the needed high levels of energy efficiency, renewables-generated power for building and transportation electrification as well as some biomethane delivered through existing natural gas pipelines. But it faces “implementation challenges” due to costs that could compromise consumer acceptance, E3 said.

Consumers face “significant” upfront costs from adopting new technologies that could challenge the appeal of long-term or societal savings, the report adds. This makes individual decisions, like whether to buy solar panels or an EV, the “pivotal” factor in California’s effort.

Electrification of the rest

“There are many ways to get California to 60% renewables and deep decarbonization, but the first one is a more diverse energy mix with something besides more solar,” PaulosAnalysis Principal Ben Paulos told Utility Dive.

Geothermal, biopower and out-of-state wind are suitable because they have different generation profiles and will not add to renewables overgeneration, he said. Their costs are higher than the utility-scale solar and wind now dominating least-cost, best-fit renewables solicitations, “but integration will cost less because batteries to integrate low-cost solar are still expensive.”

“Regulators and policymakers should allow interchangeable technologies to compete to produce the cheapest, cleanest, most reliable resource mix.”

Ben Paulos

Principal, PaulosAnalysis

Targeted energy efficiency is an under-recognized solution, Paulos added. “It is already the least-cost option and targeting it to reduce the evening demand peak would make it even more valuable.”

The goal of energy policy is “to create competition between technologies on as level a playing field as possible and to be open to solutions,” he said. “Regulators and policymakers should allow interchangeable technologies to compete to produce the cheapest, cleanest, most reliable resource mix.”

Transportation electrification will also be essential to meeting SB 100’s 2045 goal because a zero-emissions grid will replace fossil fuel emissions-generating gasoline-powered vehicles, Hewlett Foundation Environmental Program Officer Anand Gopal told Utility Dive. Doing so will require “something like 10 million ZEVs on the road by 2030,” said Gopal, who coauthored a report on the future of EVs in California. Currently, the state has a 1.5 million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025 and 5 million by 2030 goal.

The rapidly falling price of batteries is driving adequate market growth, but any policy that targets 10 million ZEVs “means more significant new loads on the grid,” which “would likely cluster at certain times of the day.”

To accommodate the EV charging spikes, more storage would be needed and upgrades to the distribution system would be necessary as well, he said.

Gopal expects EV driver response to smart charging programs and rates to eliminate “only 10% to 15% of the stationary storage needed.”

The current 1.3 GW California storage mandate could support the 60% renewables by 2030 mandate, but adding 5 million ZEVs would require another 200 MW of storage, Gopal estimated. The load from 10 million ZEVs would, according to his rough estimate, more than double that to about 450 MW.

That said, the biggest barrier to transportation electrification is getting the charging infrastructure in place and the most critical step is upgrading the distribution system, he added.

The system piece

Only a rethinking of California’s grid architecture will allow a 100% zero-emissions power system, independent consultant on electric system policy, structure and market design​ Kristov told Utility Dive.

There is a complementarity between the bottom up development of DER on the distribution system and the bulk system that moves renewable energy over large areas, he said.

“The missing piece in California’s [renewables integration] policy is a structured partnership between state level policymakers and local governments,” he said. This is needed because the building and transportation electrification that will replace natural gas-powered heating and cooling with power from a 100% zero emissions grid will largely come through urban planning for “massive DER growth” at the distribution system level.

The state should support funding and coordination of community-level best practices that align city and county actions with state renewable and emission reduction goals, Kristov said.

To integrate all the pieces needed to achieve the SB 100 zero emissions by 2045 goal, communities and Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) can partner with IOU distribution companies working at the wider service territory level, he said.

“The power system should be re-envisioned as a layered architecture,” Kristov said. The question to be answered by California’s work to decarbonize is whether there should be central optimization of all DER by CAISO or coordination of DER at the transmission-distribution interface by a distribution system operator (DSO).

“With a DSO coordinating DER, the bulk system does not need control over the local activity and the loss of top down control does not mean chaos,” he added.

“The traditional central control approach is not sustainable in the long term because grid defection will get cheaper, and constrained local communities will have no choice but to municipalize or go off-grid.”

Lorenzo Kristov

Electric System Policy, Structure and Market Design Consultant

There is a predisposition toward top-down planning and control, Kristov said. But to achieve the system integration of distributed and central station renewables needed to eliminate emissions from all sectors of its economy, California needs “a statewide vision” of resilient communities. This includes recognition of CCAs and municipal and cooperative utilities, as the energy arms of local governments, and recognition of IOUs as the providers of distribution services.

A state policy framework that targets SB 100’s 2045 goal can reinforce those relationships through incentives and directives that align local interests with state policies, he said. “The traditional central control approach is not sustainable in the long term because grid defection will get cheaper, and constrained local communities will have no choice but to municipalize or go off-grid.”

That would likely leave in place some reliance on natural gas in the power sector and fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the transportation sector, delaying the economy-wide integration of zero-emissions efforts needed to reach SB 100’s 2045 goal.

The only way to avoid “massive stranded investments” and preserve a “coherent” system is to “integrate from the bottom up and from the top down and allow local communities a substantive role,” Kristov said. “But local communities’ perspectives can be too narrow, which is why state objectives and local perspectives must be aligned.”

California AG: PG&E could be prosecuted for murder

Dive Brief:

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told a federal judge last week that Pacific Gas & Electric could be tried for murder or manslaughter if the utility is found to have operated its equipment in a “reckless” manner that helped to spark the state’s deadly wildfires in the last two years.
  • Becerra filed the opinion with a federal judge overseeing the criminal case associated with the 2010 pipeline explosion on PG&E’s gas system in San Bruno, Calif., The Sacramento Bee reported.
  • PG&E’s possible role in sparking the state’s wildfires, including the most-recent and deadly Camp Fire, has thrown the utility’s future into uncertainty. Along with a possible murder charge, last month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced it will consider splitting apart the company’s ​natural gas and electric delivery businesses.​
Dive Insight:The New Year is off to an inauspicious start for PG&E. The utility needs to respond to the Attorney General’s opinion by today, according to local media. However, the state’s brief is only intended to inform the court of possible outcomes — any charges would need to be filed by local officials rather than state law enforcement. Responding to Becerra’s brief, PG&E issued a statement reinforcing its commitment to public and workforce safety, along with reducing the risk of wildfire.

In 2010, a gas pipeline explosion on PG&E’s system killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. In 2015, the CPUC hit PG&E with a $1.6 billion fine in three investigations related to the explosion — the largest penalty ever levied against a public utility in U.S. history. Since then, focus has turned to California’s wildfires and the potential liability faced by utilities. The state’s “inverse condemnation” rules can put the regulated energy companies in extreme jeopardy, even if they are found to have followed all rules and regulations. California regulators and lawmakers have said they want to shield PG&E from bankruptcy, but that could still include significant structural changes for the large investor-owned utility.

The CPUC in December said it is considering a wide range of possibilities to improve the safety of energy delivery, including: replacing the utility’s board of directors; conditioning PG&E’s return on equity on safety performance; reorganizing PG&E’s corporate structure to include regional subsidiaries; and splitting apart its gas and electric delivery services.