Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Industry News

I was out last week and missed posting several stories of interest. Here's a recap:

TVA asked to pay for $1.9M PR campaign to repair image from ash spill

TVA is being asked to pay for a pricey public relations campaign to offset some of the bad press Roane County received from TVA's coal-ash spill at its Kingston Fossil Plant.

Tenn. Receives $99 Million To Lower Home Utilities

A Tennessee program that works to help homeowners lower their utility bills is expected to receive a tenfold increase over its current budget.

The Tennessean reports the federal government will inject $99 million into the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program this summer.

The program pays contractors for improvement projects such as laying insulation and caulking windows to make homes more energy-efficient and reduce homeowners’ utility bills.

The Department of Energy estimates every $1 spent on home weatherization saves $1.83 in energy costs.

Funds were so tight that weatherization assistance could help only people living at or below 125 percent of poverty, about $22,000 a year for a family of three, with highest priority going to the elderly, the disabled and families with young children. The Department of Human Services has asked the state Legislature to expand the eligibility requirements for the program to 200 percent of poverty, or a family of three living on $36,600 a year, to make weatherization assistance available to more people.

The 18 agencies that administer the program are appealing to Tennesseans to apply before the federal government takes back leftover funds in September 2010.

Senator Alexander pushes for nuclear power

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander will call this week on the federal government to allow construction of 100 nuclear power plants over the next 20 years in what will be a preview of the Republican game plan for developing a national energy policy.

Congress has been working for weeks on climate change legislation, but Senate Republicans argue that congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama are putting too much emphasis on renewable energy, such as wind and solar, and giving short shrift to nuclear power.

U.S. to announce billions for green jobs, training

Some of the $4 billion from President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan that was budgeted to renovate public housing will be spent to create so-called "green jobs" by making the dwellings more energy efficient.

'Green' homes sprout in Nashville market

In Nashville, local real estate agents have added a capability to their multiple listing service that will let agents search for homes by various green features, from tankless water heaters to certifications such as Energy Star, a Department of Energy program to inspect and certify homes that are 20 percent to 30 percent more energy efficient than average.

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