Post tagged with "natural gas"

Our Thinking

Oil prices are plunging. 3 charts explain why it won’t impact power companies or the value of energy efficiency.

  • By Barry Fischer
  • December 18, 2014


The price of crude oil has plummeted in recent weeks, hitting its lowest point since 2009. Driven by a perfect storm of increased oil supply and weakened oil demand, the price drop has rattled financial markets and provoked uncertainty about where oil prices are headed in 2015.

When oil prices tumble, there are winners and losers. Among the winners are car drivers and airlines, who find it cheaper to fill their fuel tanks. Among the losers are oil-producing companies, who get fewer dollars for every barrel of crude they sell.

What about power companies? It’s tempting to think that utilities, insofar as they are key players in the energy world, might also be adversely affected by convulsions in the oil market. But that would be incorrect.

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Our Thinking

12 things utilities need to know about one of the year’s biggest energy polls

  • By Casey Davis-Van Atta
  • August 21, 2014

From weighing an ox to predicting the future, it’s often said that there’s wisdom in crowds.

A new report from the global consulting firm Black & Veatch aims to tap into that wisdom by polling 576 top minds in the energy industry. What forces are pushing utilities to change? How are power providers responding to flattening load growth? With coal and nuclear plants slated for retirement, what will take their place?

Black & Veatch asked, and utility decisionmakers answered. Here are 12 key things we learned from the report.

1. Reliability is still king. With distributed generation, smart meters, and regulatory reform sweeping across the country, it’s easy to feel like there are no more knowns in the energy world. But for American utilities, one thing’s the same as it ever was: the paramount importance of delivering power on time, all the time. Black & Veatch found that reliability is still the number one concern in the industry.

top 10 issues

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Our Thinking

Congress asked a leading expert about the benefits of energy efficiency. He made these 5 powerful arguments.

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • August 4, 2014

The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that worldwide annual spending on energy efficiency will quadruple between now and 2035.

Why? Because energy efficiency is a cost-effective, low-risk investment that can yield huge returns.

Recently, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Executive Director Steven Nadel testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power to highlight the vast economic benefits of energy efficiency investmentsHere are 5 key takeaways from his information-packed testimony.

1. Efficiency investments pay huge dividends

Energy efficiency typically yields a 25% return on investment — much higher than conventional forms of investment. The figure below reveals that — when compared to stocks, bonds, and other forms of investment — energy efficiency generally carries the lowest risk and the highest return.

Compared to other types of investments, energy efficiency represents the lowest risk and highest return (Source: ACEEE)

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