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April 5, 2009 | Jim Tankersley
Asa Foss spends his days fielding calls from construction workers who were bulldozed along with Maryland's home-building market and now want to be part of a booming side-industry: making houses more energy-efficient. The callers tell Foss that they're desperate for work and that the classes he teaches can help them get it. He tells them there's a two-year waiting list. Foss runs Maryland Home Performance, a state-sponsored program based in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Md.
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BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
 Much if not all of the electric power once provided by the San Onofre nuclear power plant could be replaced with energy from non-fossil-fuel sources, says a proposed decision pending at the California Public Utilities Commission. The procurement plan written by an administrative law judge is expected to be debated and possibly voted upon next month by the five-member commission. Two principal partners in the shuttered plant, Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co., would be required to procure at least 600 megawatts of power from so-called preferred resources, which include wind and solar power, energy efficiency programs, electricity storage systems and locally generation from roof-top panels.
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OPINION
February 26, 2008
Re "PUC ruling aided donors," Feb. 20 On Jan. 14, the California Public Utilities Commission cosponsored a summit designed to increase green-collar energy jobs, especially those most vulnerable in this economy. The major energy utilities are hurting for trained staff. Several utilities and community organizations contributed to the expenses of the summit. In a leap of conjecture, this article tied the utilities' contribution to a commission decision made two weeks later advancing energy-efficiency policies.
NEWS
January 28, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee and Evan Halper
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's discussion of energy and environmental issues in his State of the Union address was notable not just for what he said, but for what he didn't say. The president largely stuck to issues he had discussed before, such as how a good portion of the country's economic recovery, including the limited revival of manufacturing jobs, stems from the domestic fossil fuel boom, especially in natural gas. But he remained silent...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 1991
John E. Bryson's column ("Change Is in the Wind--and the Sun," Commentary, May 19) stating that Southern California can meet its electric power needs primarily through energy efficiency, conservation and the development of renewable energy technologies is especially welcome, since it comes from the chairman and CEO of the region's largest public utility. The League of Women Voters has advocated such an energy policy since 1978. Currently, we are urging that no new fossil fuel power plant be permitted until all conservation opportunities have been fully exploited and that to meet any shortfall in electric power generation first consideration be given to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California's energy efficiency regulators are are setting their sights on a new batch of products. After decades of requiring that appliances, furnaces, air conditioners and big-screen televisions use ever less power, officials are now looking at more devices: video game consoles, set-top cable boxes, computers, various types of lighting and pool and spa pumps and motors. “The simple fact is energy efficiency saves consumers money,” said Andrew McAllister, a member of the California Energy Commission.
OPINION
July 18, 2011
Refrigerators and cars have become more energy-efficient. Water heaters and windows have too. So it's strange that so many politicians cling to old-style incandescent light bulbs. Contrary to what congressional critics have been saying, a law passed during the George W. Bush administration does not ban incandescent bulbs. Rather, it phases in higher requirements for energy efficiency that the old incandescents — in use for more than 100 years since they were developed by Thomas Edison — do not meet because much of their energy creates heat rather than light.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2011 | By Kenneth R. Harney
When you apply for a mortgage to buy a house, how often does the lender ask detailed questions about monthly energy costs or tell the appraiser to factor in the energy-efficiency features of the house when coming up with a value? Hardly ever. That's because the big three mortgage players — Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration, which together account for more than 90% of all loan volume — typically don't consider energy costs in underwriting. Yet utility bills can be larger annual cash drains than property taxes or insurance — key factors in standard underwriting — and can seriously affect a family's ability to afford a house.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2009 | Roger Vincent
Los Angeles commercial property landlords are going green on a bigger scale than their counterparts in other cities, the federal Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. The EPA awarded the most Energy Star ratings in the country last year to Los Angeles, where 262 buildings earned the agency's conservation designation. Energy Star buildings use at least 35% less energy than average buildings and emit 35% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2012 | By Lew Sichelman
In the 1970s, clothing shoppers were advised in a popular advertising jingle from the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union to "look for the union label. " In that same spirit, anyone shopping for an energy-efficient home today would be well-advised to look for the sky-blue Energy Star label. No disrespect toward LEED, Energy Performance and GreenPoint, all of which are fine rating systems in their own right, but Energy Star seems to have become most popular among home builders looking to differentiate themselves from the competition.
SCIENCE
January 13, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's energy sector rose about 2% in 2013 after declining for several years, federal energy officials reported Monday. The reversal came because power plants last year burned more coal to generate electricity, after years in which natural gas accounted for an increasing share of the nation's electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the analytical branch of the Department of Energy. Though the 2013 figures are not final, once all the data are in, analysts expect a roughly 2% increase in carbon emissions over 2012 because of a small rise in coal consumption, the agency said in a report posted online on Monday.
BUSINESS
December 30, 2013 | Marc Lifsher
Environmental advocates, government regulators and the cable and satellite television industry have reached a landmark agreement to save an estimated $1 billion a year in energy costs by making TV set-top boxes more efficient. The voluntary agreement aims to make an estimated 90 million boxes in homes as much as 45% more energy-efficient by 2017. The boxes are considered energy hogs because they always are on, even when the television is turned off. The upgraded boxes could save enough power to run 700,000 homes, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the deal brokers.
BUSINESS
November 24, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - For the growing numbers of home purchasers who care about energy efficiency, it's the ultimate "green" goal: Lenders should recognize the net savings that energy improvements provide to property owners and take them into account when they underwrite and set the fees for mortgages. Appraisers should also recognize the added value. The rationale: Owners of homes that reduce energy consumption pay lower utility bills than owners of energy guzzlers, so why not factor these out-of-pocket savings into calculations of household debt-to-income ratios and appraised valuations?
OPINION
June 2, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Approved by voters in November, Proposition 39 is expected to raise close to $1 billion a year by eliminating a tax break enjoyed by some multistate businesses. The money, however, comes with a significant string attached: For the first five years, half of it must be spent on projects that improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse emissions. Gov. Jerry Brown wants to direct next year's allotment exclusively to public schools and community colleges, which isn't a bad idea. But he's doing it in a way that violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the initiative.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - Tom Steyer, the Bay Area investor who bankrolled last year's successful campaign to raise more money from corporate taxes, criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to spend the cash in a letter Friday. The letter was also signed by state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who have been working on alternative proposals. The governor's current plan to use the money "does not live up to the promise of Proposition 39 to focus investment in energy savings and job creation," they wrote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- California lawmakers are pushing an alternative to Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to use new revenue generated by Proposition 39, which changed the corporate tax code when voters approved it in November. Brown and Democrats in the Legislature are at odds over how to distribute $450 million to schools and community colleges for energy efficiency projects. The governor has insisted on allocating the money based on student population, but that hasn't satisfied lawmakers who fear the funding won't get to where it's most needed.
BUSINESS
January 3, 2009 | Marc Lifsher
That 52-inch, flat-screen television on the family room wall may have a terrific picture, but there's a big drawback: It's an energy hog. State regulators are getting ready to curb the growing power gluttony of TV sets by drafting the nation's first rules requiring retailers to sell only the most energy-efficient models, starting in 2011.
BUSINESS
November 24, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - For the growing numbers of home purchasers who care about energy efficiency, it's the ultimate "green" goal: Lenders should recognize the net savings that energy improvements provide to property owners and take them into account when they underwrite and set the fees for mortgages. Appraisers should also recognize the added value. The rationale: Owners of homes that reduce energy consumption pay lower utility bills than owners of energy guzzlers, so why not factor these out-of-pocket savings into calculations of household debt-to-income ratios and appraised valuations?
SCIENCE
May 21, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The march of the penguins seems to mock evolution. If Emperor penguins just got up and flew 40 miles, they could get to their mates in no time flat. Why would evolution abide a tedious waddle across the ice? It turns out there's method in the seeming madness of these blubbery short-winged pedestrian birds. Penguins long ago faced a steep trade-off between the high calorie costs of flight and low energy expenditure of using their wings to swim. They dived into an "adaptive fitness valley" of evolution that fly-and-dive ocean birds such as murres and cormorants still straddle, according to a team of Canadian and American zoologists.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Six months after voters approved new taxes to fund clean energy projects, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers remain at odds over how to spend the money on improving energy efficiency at public schools and community colleges. Brown, who is scheduled to release his revised budget on Tuesday, is expected to tweak his original plan to distribute the money based on how many students are in each school district. But Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) believes the governor isn't doing enough to ensure the new taxes are spent wisely.
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