(Photo: BFS Man)

Drones can combat power outages, expert says

Power companies could borrow an anti-terrorism tool to aid them in responding to outages after big storms. A nonprofit research group believes that drones could be used to gather information quickly about damage and speed up the ability of crews to restore electricity to customers.
A man walks in front of Duke Energy Corporate Headquarters in a Charlotte, N.C.  (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)

Duke Energy earnings helped by weather, rates

The largest U.S. utility posted earnings Friday of $634 million for the first quarter.
Categories: Electricity
(Steve Hockstein/Bloomberg)

April electricity demand hits three-year low

Power demand hit a three-year low in April, as temperatures were warmer than usual on the east and west coasts and below-average temperatures lingered in the Upper Midwest.
Power transmission lines stretch along Space Center Boulevard in Houston. (Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Energy Future reports $569 million first-quarter loss

Energy Future Holdings Corp., the Texas power company seeking to restructure at least $32 billion of debt, reported its ninth consecutive quarterly loss.
An ERCOT worker mans a desk in the Texas electric grid manager's Austin control room. (Photo: ERCOT/Tom Reel)

ERCOT: Hot summer likely to require power conservation

State electricity planners are preparing for another summer of withering heat, as they make their determinations on the sufficiency of electricity generation for peak heat conditions.
Categories: Electricity, Texas
Photo: Peter Kaminski, Flickr

Bill would force firms to remove wave-energy buoys

Oregon lawmakers don’t want the state to get stuck with the bill if a wave-energy company installs equipment off shore and then goes belly up.
Categories: Electricity, Environment
Mesquite wood chips are shown in a truck loaded about 40 miles from Corpus Christi. 

Europe finds energy source in South Texas mesquite

A Czech Republic company says it has found an abundant, long-term source of energy in South Texas to help European utilities produce electricity. But it has nothing to do with the Eagle Ford Shale.
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Wholesale power prices drop at most U.S. hubs amid mild weather

Spot electricity prices across most of the major U.S. hubs were lower today as moderate weather crimped demand.
Categories: Electricity
Greg Thiergart, a radio communication technician with CenterPoint Energy, works on a smart meter project in Houston. (Houston Chronicle file photo/Johnny Hanson)

Texas lawmakers give utilities a tax boost

The Texas Senate passed a bill on Tuesday afternoon that would remove the ability of state regulators to review tax payments in calculating future utility rates increases.
(Image: Fotolia)

Southern to take $333 million charge on coal-gas plant

Southern Co., the second-largest U.S. power company by market value, will take a $333 million charge in the first quarter because of rising costs at its Kemper County coal-gasification plant.