Category: energy costs

July 12, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

Google invests in residential solar projects

by Rich Wilson

For a few years now, clean energy and sustainable business practices have been driving large-scale efforts inside companies of all sizes. Whether the end goal was cheap energy, response to impending government regulation or even a little positive media exposure, evidence of the new green corporate landscape is everywhere. The green movement is gaining a substantial amount of momentum with little evidence of slowing down, due to large-scale implementation of energy efficiency projects. I recently stumbled on an article that discussed how Google has invested $280 million through a partnership with SolarCity, a California-based solar design and installation company. continue

May 31, 2011 • Current Events, Perspectives, Travel & Leisure

Fun with gas prices

by Wyatt Taylor

With summer upon us, Americans are once again engaged in a grand old tradition: griping about high gas prices. Our pain at the pump has been acute for the last few months, and it doesn’t seem likely to get better any time soon. Over the holiday weekend, as gas prices spiked, I ran a little demand response program of my own – spending the long weekend in the comfort of my home instead of burning gas on a road trip. In times like these, our political leaders are quick to sell the public on convenient villains, from evil OPEC to those dastardly oil companies. Still, we all know that those who are the first to assign blame usually deserve a bit of it themselves. continue

March 7, 2011 • Electricity, Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Perspectives

What are Smart Meters?

by Brandon Dickerson

With the recent event on Jeopardy in which Watson the computer decimated its human competitors, I thought it would be fun to start today’s post with a Jeopardy question:

Answer: This rhyming term refers to a utility employee who looks at electric, gas, or water consumption and records the volume used. continue

January 11, 2011 • Current Events, Energy's Lighter Side, Natural Gas, Perspectives

Food for Thought: How Energy Markets Determine How Much Your Dinner Costs

by Eric Bickel

Markets are everywhere. For instance, I’m currently petitioning my cell phone service provider to let me start a market for unused rollover minutes (I’m fairly confident that I have the length of my lifespan in unused minutes at this point). Much more interesting than the markets themselves is how they impact our everyday lives. In today’s world of increased interactions, a small movement in something as discrete as the price of rubber in China can translate into a jump in the price of a basketball at the Wal-Mart down the street.

These relationships aren’t always observed, but are felt in everyday life. Some are complex, but most can be pretty straightforward once you break them down. As the title implies, I’m going to take a look at a couple of those relationships in the energy markets. More specifically, how a rising (or falling) energy market can push the bill you pay at dinner higher (or lower). More often than not, we discuss how energy prices affect a business. However, more often than not, it is the individual consumer who is overlooked in this industry. Hopefully this will shed some light on how individuals are truly impacted by this market and stir some interest in more examination of the energy market by the reader. continue

December 8, 2010 • Current Events, Energy's Lighter Side

It’s The Economy! Well … Sort Of

by Eric Bickel

Here at Summit, we spend a great deal of time perfecting our knowledge of the energy markets, both in the U.S. and globally. As a result, we begin to grow sensitive to the economic climate. While there are probably dozens of reasons for this, I will focus on two in particular: continue

December 7, 2010 • Perspectives

UK Energy Costs – Now and In the Future

by Noreen Guy

The early onslaught of winter in the UK prompted a major escalation in prices for gas and power. Compared to just a month ago, day-ahead gas increased by 37%, first quarter gas for 2011 increased by 14%, and summer gas for 2011 increased by 11%. As usual, power moved in similar fashion continue

November 19, 2010 • Emerging Technology, Energy Generation, Natural Gas

Gasland: A Necessary Evil?

by Eric Bickel

HBO has recently released a documentary of the natural gas industry titled “Gasland”. The filmmaker, Josh Fox, visits different destinations across the U.S. where hydraulic fracturing has been used for production in multiple shale plays. Fracking, as it is now referred to, is the practice of using pressurized fluids to break away rock formations and release hydrocarbons to be produced (this is grossly simplified, but you get the point).

The filmmaker’s point of concern in the expose is a lack of oversight into the production industry in regards to the effects on the environment from fracking practices. This concern is well documented through various stories that you can review on the official website. It’s worth checking out the story of a man in Colorado whose home faucet is now a flamethrower. continue

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