The Cedar Bayou 4 natural gas plant, Dec. 21, 2011 in Baytown, TX. (Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle)

Mild summer discouraging new electricity generation

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Lower than expected summer temperatures in Texas have pushed down forward wholesale electricity prices, which may in turn dampen future generation construction, Tudor Pickering Holt wrote in a report.
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Texas-sized power bills dwarf electricity use in other states

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The average Texas household spends about $1,800 a year on electricity, one of the highest in the nation.

Capacity Markets for Texas Electricity: The Real Story

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The issue of further refining Texas’ electric markets to ensure adequate investment to meet peak electric demand has continued to receive increasing attention since the blistering summer of 2011.  Justifiable concern exists among power companies, policy makers and companies regarding the reliability of the state’s electricity supply given the economic growth of the state.  At […]
Categories: Electricity, General
electric bill

Power companies dangle free nights and weekends

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Electric bills have long been take-it-or-leave-it affairs: Pay one rate for all the power you used the month before, no matter when you used it.
(AP Photo/Xinhua, Liang Xiaopeng, File)

Green energy fees disappearing from utility bills

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Four years after raising customers’ bills to meet mandates to sell cleaner power, Michigan’s biggest utilities are eliminating the fees or slashing them significantly.
Categories: Electricity, Solar, Wind
Luminant's Big Brown coal power plant (AP photo)

EPA sues Luminant over Texas clean air violation claims

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Luminant Generation Co., the largest power generator in Texas, was sued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to meet air-pollution standards at two power plants, the Sierra Club said in a statement.
(Maddie McGarvey/San Francisco Chronicle)

Texas claims cheapest solar installations, as prices drop nationwide

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Texas has the lowest median price for a typical residential solar system at about $3.90 per watt of power generating capacity installed.
Categories: Electricity, featured, Solar
Members of a pro-Yucca Mountain group, Nevadans 4 Carbon Free Energy, rally on Thursday. April 21, 2011, outside President Barack Obama's town hall meeting in Reno, Nev. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Commentary: ‘No’ is really not an option on Yucca Mountain

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Plutonium is not political. It is governed by the laws of physics, not of nations.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 6.0 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 13, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit 6.0)

Solar, geothermal projects touted at Vegas summit

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But nuclear power nearly stole the show after a federal court in Washington, D.C., ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission violated federal law by failing to approve or reject a decision on whether to issue a license for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository some 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
In a Friday, Aug. 15, 2003 file photo, the Empire State Building towers over the skyline of a blackout-darkened New York City just before dawn.  Power lines from Jersey City, N.J., are in foreground. Ten years after a blackout cascading from Ohio affected 50 million people, utilities and analysts say changes made in the aftermath make a similar outage unlikely today, though shifts in where and how power is generated raise new reliability concerns for the U.S. electric grid system. (AP Photo/File, George Widman, File)

Post-2003 blackout rules lead to millions in fines

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Regulators have imposed millions of dollars in civil penalties against energy companies that risk the dependability of the U.S. electrical grid since new rules following the 2003 Northeast blackout made such fines possible, including a record $25 million fine for a power failure in Florida.