The World Cup Group Stage begins this week of November 21, 2022, and the United States is playing in Group B Accordingly, I will be out of the office with limited access to cell phone service and email on the following dates and times:
Monday, November 21st from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – USA v. Wales
Friday, November 25th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – England v. USA
Tuesday, November 29 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Iran v. USA
The New York Times reports the recently enacted “Inflation Reduction Act” offers several incentives for energy efficiency and conservation. If you are considering an upgrade, you should take them into account.
The European Union is adopting sweeping measures to respond to skyrocketing energy prices. The Wall Street Journal reports that today, ministers of the European Union asked the European Commission to draft plans to cap revenue earned by nuclear, renewable, and other non-gas electricity producers. They also adopted measures to help financially impaired utilities and reduce demand. One proposal being considered would request each member country to reduce its overall electricity consumption by 10% and peak consumption by 5%. Europeans could see their bills increase as much as 80% due to disruptions in energy markets caused by the war in Ukraine.
“If approved by the PSCSC, the total net impact of the proposed increase to residential customer bills is 14.7%. Commercial and industrial customers will see an average increase of around 7.8% (actual rates vary by customer class and size).
If approved, the charge for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity beginning April 1, 2023, will increase $14.36 per month, from $133.01 to $147.37. Starting April 1, 2024, the total monthly impact for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would increase an additional $4.40, for an average bill of $151.77 per month.” ….
“To ease the effects of these investments on its customers, the company’s rate request before the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) proposes phasing in the proposed rate increases over two years.”
Today’s New York Times reports that British energy regulator, Ofgem, is forecasting an 80% increase in household electricity and natural gas bills next year. A typical household would see its bills rise to £3,549 ($4,188) from £1,971 ($2,326). This comes on the heels of a 54% increase last April. According to the New York Times, the “main component in Ofgem’s calculations was a more than doubling of wholesale electricity and natural gas costs.” The United States has been somewhat sheltered from the effects of the war in Ukraine on world energy markets. But this story raises the question; “How would we handle such drastic increases?”
Attorney General Alan Wilson joined eleven of his counterparts in a brief opposing the Department of Energy’s 2022 energy efficiency standards ( “Energy Conservation Program: Product Classes for Residential Dishwashers, Residential Clothes Washers, and Consumer Clothes Dryers.”) for dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. The new rule would repeal a 2020 rule that relaxed stricter appliance standards previously in place. Critics contend that consumers did not save energy with the stricter standards because they often ran the appliances twice to get their clothes or dishes clean. Read more here.
The trial of a federal voting rights suit challenging the manner in which members of the Georgia Public Service Commission are elected has finished and the parties await a decision. The plaintiffs, who were later joined by the U.S. Department of Justice, claim that Georgia’s method of electing Public Service Commissioners discriminates against Black voters and violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Each Georgia Public Service Commissioner resides in and represents one of five regional districts, but all are elected statewide for six-year terms. The plaintiffs contend the at-large voting system dilutes minority representation and that Public Service Commissioners should be elected from single-member districts. Read more here.