Category: Electricity

LED bulbs hit 100 watts as federal ban on incandescents looms

Lighting makers compete for $10 million “L Prize” for energy-efficient replacements of old-school bulbs. The technology is promising but so far the prices aren’t consumer-friendly at about $40 apiece.  More »

No shock here: Houston’s electric bills are going up

In addition to the usual rise in summer power bills as it takes more juice to keep cool, a rate hike by the company that delivers the electricity likely will add about 1 percent more to customers’ monthly bill.  More »

Exelon to buy north Texas power plant

The Chicago energy company said it will buy the eight-year-old Wolf Hollow plant near Granbury, Texas. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.  More »

300 remain without power after Houston outages

The brief rains that rolled through parts of the Houston area Wednesday didn’t put much of a dent in local drought conditions but it was enough to knock out power for thousands of CenterPoint Energy customers, hundreds of whom remained without power this morning.  More »

Conoco’s Sweeny refinery flares following power outage

A temporary power outage Tuesday knocked some units offline at Brazoria County refinery.  More »

Dynegy reports net loss for fourth consecutive quarter

The Houston-based power producer reported a first-quarter net loss of $77 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with net income of $145 million, or $1.20, a year ago. The company was expected to lose 70 cents a share, according to one analyst’s estimate.  More »

Dynegy’s Williamson lands a new CEO gig

Bruce Williamson, whose severance pay at Houston-based Dynegy became a roadblock to a private equity buyout, has landed a new job as chief executive of Cleco Corp., a power company based in Pineville, La., Loren Steffy writes.  More »

Al-Qaeda, Oil and Summer Air Conditioning

May 1, 2011 marks the death of Osama Bin Laden and hopefully the continued demise of Al-Qaeda and its attacks on innocent Muslims and Americans alike. Since oil is one of the major resources of the Arab world, it is not surprising that oil did not escape the attention of Bin Laden, who was born […]  More »

BP, Valero restart Texas City refineries after power problems

Drought-related power problems from earlier this week have subsided, allowing the large refineries to resume operations.  More »

Calpine’s first-quarter loss widens sharply on charges

The Houston-based operator of natural gas and geothermal power plants reported a net loss of $297 million, or 61 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31 compared with a net loss of $47 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.  More »

BP, Valero refineries await return of reliable grid power

Some Texas City refineries and chemical plants continued to limit operations Thursday while the electric utility serving the area worked to resolve drought-related problems on transmission lines. The massive BP refinery may not have all the outside power it needs until sometime today.  More »

‘Buffett’s favorite banker,’ ex-Murphy CEO invest in Tudor Pickering Holt

BDT Capital Partners and former Murphy CEO Claiborne Deming have put $110 million into Houston’s Tudor Pickering Holt.  More »

Texas City power fix could take weeks *update*

There were no new power problems in Texas City in the past day, but the full restoration of power to refineries like BP’s could take another day.  More »

How should electric rates be set now?

That’s the question that lurks behind a bill currently winding its way through the Legislature, Loren Steffy writes. If the bill becomes law, companies like CenterPoint could adjust their rates with just a cursory review by the Public Utility Commission as many as four times before they had to submit to a full-scale rate review.  More »

Exelon to buy Constellation in $7.9 billion deal

Exelon CEO John Rowe has tried and failed three times since 2003 to acquire a smaller rival. Maybe the fourth time will be a charm.  More »