Dino Grandoni, The Washington Post Published 5:32 am PST, Thursday, January 31, 2019 As millions of residents in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic hunker down amid historically bitter temperatures, the cold is testing the very energy systems meant to keep their lights on and homes warm during the brutal winter weather. The polar vortex is poised to deliver a one-two punch to power systems across the eastern half of the United States. Not only are residents demanding more heat and electricity while staying indoors, the icy and windy weather is straining generating stations, power lines and other infrastructure that deliver that power. Already, thousands of Americans in the Midwest have experienced power outages amid the polar vortex. Dozens in one Minnesota city lost heat in the middle of the night as the mercury plunged to minus-26 degrees Fahrenheit there. Ahead of the historic lows this week, electric utilities and grid operators began taking precautions to brace for the … [Read more...] about The Energy 202: Polar vortex tests gas and electric systems in Midwest, Mid-Atlantic
Utility gas and electric
By Alix Martichoux, SFGATE Published 1:51 pm PST, Monday, January 14, 2019 The logo for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. PG&E lost half its value after the troubled California utility, which faces huge liabilities over the state's deadly wildfires, said it would file for bankruptcy protection. less The logo for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. PG&E lost half its value after the troubled California utility, ... more Photo: Richard Drew, AP Photo: Richard Drew, AP Image 1 of / 7 Caption Close Image 1 of 7 The logo for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. appears above a trading post on the … [Read more...] about Does PG&E have a monopoly on gas and electricity in Northern California?
By Thomas Peele | [email protected] | Bay Area News GroupPUBLISHED: December 13, 2018 at 12:31 pm | UPDATED: December 14, 2018 at 5:00 am SAN FRANCISCO — With wildfires ravaging California year after year, the state Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Thursday to begin strengthening rules that govern when utilities should turn off power lines in high winds to keep them from sparking blazes, and to improve the technology used to make those decisions. But commissioners warned it could be a long process , and that other safety precautions like vegetation management around power lines must remain a priority. “We can’t keep doing the same thing,” commission Chairman Michael Picker said. But he cautioned, “I don’t think we’ll have a perfect set of rules right away. We have to learn how to do this.” The commission’s action comes as investigators focus on whether a transmission tower failed in high winds last month and … [Read more...] about Power interrupted: State regulators tackle rules to guide when PG&E and other utilities should cut electricity to avoid sparking fires
By Osamu Tsukimori OSAKA, Japan (Reuters) - Retail power and gas heavyweights Kansai Electric Power <9503.T> and Osaka Gas <9532.T> are locked in a struggle for dominance in the Kansai region, whose economy is nearly the size of South Korea's and includes Osaka, the second-biggest city in Japan. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the country's power monopoly system - in place for nearly 70 years - was partially dismantled in 2016, followed by the liberalisation of the retail gas market a year later. Hundreds of new power sellers soon arrived on the scene, some with just a few dozen accounts. Since then, the Kansai region has seen the most gas customers, and the second-highest number of power customers, switch providers. Nowhere is that churn more evident than with Kansai Electric and Osaka Gas. Kansai Electric pulled about 580,000 retail gas customers from Osaka Gas, but lost about 680,000 power customers to it. Overall, Kansai Electric lost nearly 1.7 million power … [Read more...] about Japan’s Kansai region a major battleground for gas and electric utilities
A new report finds that electric, gas, and water rates have fallen across the country due to the tax cuts put in place by President Donald Trump and the GOP. The review of 102 utilities across the nation by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) finds that Trump’s tax cuts mean “lower utility bills for Americans.”“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the corporate rate from 35% to 21%. Utility companies are passing on the tax savings in the form of lower rates for customers,” ATR wrote on June 7. ATR went on to detail the rate reductions in states such as Florida, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, thirty-seven other states, and the District of Columbia. For instance, the low-tax advocacy group found that Tampa Electric in Tampa, Florida, announced the company would not raise rates to pay for its work to restore facilities due to the destruction Hurricane Irma caused because the tax cuts helped make up the difference. “Because of recent changes made to the federal … [Read more...] about Report: Electric, Gas, and Water Rates Falling Due to Trump Tax Cuts