Dale Carnegie Training® presents its Highest Achievement Award to Stacey Steinmetz

first_imgMay 5, 2008 – Stacey Steinmetz, Supreme Dreamer and Schemer at Magic Hat Brewing Company, received the Highest Achievement Award upon graduation from the Dale Carnegie Course. The class voted Steinmetz the recipient of this award for demonstrating professional development, outstanding presentation skills and interpersonal competence. Dale Carnegie Training® offers public courses, seminars and workshops, as well as in-house customized training, and one-on-one coaching. For more information on what Dale Carnegie can do for you and your business, please visit www.vermont.dalecarnegie.com(link is external) or call 800-639-1012.last_img read more

Home Energy Improvement Loan Rate Drops One Percentage Point

first_imgHome Energy Improvement Loan Rate Drops One Percentage Point MONTPELIERIt just got a little more affordable for Vermont homeowners to prepare their homes for winter weather. The interest rate for the Warm and Weatherized Loan Program has dropped one percentage point since the program was first announced in September. The five-year fixed interest rate on program loans is now 2.75 percent. Earlier this fall, the State Treasurer’s Office partnered with TD Banknorth and Efficiency Vermont to make $2 million in unsecured loans available to homeowners who want to reduce their fuel costs by making their homes more energy efficient. Loans also are available to replace old, inefficient heating equipment. The interest rate for the loans is linked to the prime lending rate. As that rate has declined, so has the fixed interest rate for loans through the Warm and Weatherized Loan Program. The fixed interest rate is set at 1.25 percentage points below the prime lending rate. “The program gives Vermonters another opportunity to decrease their energy bills,” said State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding. “The lower interest rate makes this option even more affordable to homeowners.” Loans are available through any of TD Banknorth’s 35 Vermont locations. Loans range from $2,500 to $5,000. Improvements eligible under the Warm and Weatherized Loan Program include, but are not limited to:Comprehensive whole-house air sealing;Added attic insulation installed in conjunction with air sealing where current ceiling insulation is six inches or less;Dense-pack cellulose in wall cavities that have less than 1-½ inches of insulation present;Lighting efficiency upgrades; andAny health, safety or moisture control measures associated with the improvement package. As a limited time offer through March 31, 2009, Efficiency Vermont will pay 10 percent or up to $500 of the cost of comprehensive improvements. This offer does not cover improvements that only address upgrades to stand-alone furnaces and boilers. The loan program runs through June 30, 2009. For more information, contact the TD Banknorth branch closest to you.-end-last_img read more

Vermont’s minimum wage to increase to $8.15 per hour

first_imgThe Department of Labor announced today that the state minimum wage will be increasing to $8.15 per hour from $8.06 per hour on January 1, 2011. Vermont’s minimum wage increases at the same rate as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), as calculated in August, for the preceding year. This August, the CPI increased by one and one tenth percent (1.1%).Additionally, the basic wage rate for ‘service and tipped’ employees is tied to the CPI. As such, the basic wage for such employees will be increasing to $3.95 per hour from $3.91. Service or tipped employees are individuals working in hotels, motels, tourist places, and restaurants who customarily and regularly receive more than $120.00 a month in tips for direct and personal service.Tipped employees’, like other workers, total earnings during a pay period must equal or exceed $8.15 per hour. If a combination of tips and the basic wage do not meet that requirement, the employer must make up the difference.Vermont law requires all employers to post the minimum wage rates. Updated posters may be obtained from Labor’s website under the ‘News’ section found at www.labor.vermont.gov(link is external).In January 2011 the minimum wage in neighboring states range from a high of $8.00 in Massachusetts to a low of $7.25 in New York and New Hampshire. Vermont’s minimum wage is the highest in the region, but six states nationwide have higher minimum wage rates than Vermont.Anyone with a question about the minimum wage or other wage and hour regulations impacting Vermont’s workforce may visit the Department of Labor online at www.labor.vermont.gov(link is external) or contact the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour program at 802-828-0267.Source: Vermont DOL. 10.18.2010last_img read more

Renewable Energy Vermont announces new board chair, vice-chair and interim executive director

first_imgRenewable Energy Vermont,Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), the state’s leading trade association for the renewable energy industry, welcomes new Board Chair Martha Staskus and Board Vice-chair Jim Merriam. REV also welcomes Interim Executive Director, Scott Merriam.The REV Board of Directors has enthusiastically elected long-time REV board member Martha Staskus as Board Chair, replacing outgoing Board Chair, Lawrence Mott. Staskus brings over 15 years of experience in wind resource management and wind project development. Her extensive experience working with a broad spectrum of Vermont stakeholders will be a welcome asset to REV’s leadership.REV also welcomes Jim Merriam, the Director of nationally-recognized Efficiency Vermont, as the new REV Board Vice-Chair, replacing outgoing REV Board Vice-Chair Cheryl Jenkins. Merriam brings 18 years of experience in the renewable energy industry with Northern Power Systems and groSolar, and now the efficiency sector, an expanding area of partnership for REV.Scott Merriam, former REV Interim Director and REV Staffer has stepped in again as REV’s Interim Director, replacing outgoing Executive Director Susan Allen while the board begins its search for new leadership. Merriam brings extensive knowledge of the REV organization, its members, conferences, and legislative agenda, as well as a strong passion for REV’s mission.Counting over 300 members, REV is Vermont’s only trade organization dedicated solely to promoting the growth of the renewable energy industry in Vermont. REV promotes legislation, engages in public outreach and education and hosts the state’s largest annual renewable energy conference.With new staff and board leadership and a growing, active membership, REV is excited to welcome a new year of opportunity and collaboration with the renewable energy industry and efficiency sectors, and with Vermont businesses and consumers.About Renewable Energy Vermont, www.revermont.org(link is external).Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) is working to bring about an intelligent transformation from a foreign fossil fuel based economy to an economy increasingly based on our own renewable energy.REV Montpelier, VT, January 25, 2011 –last_img read more

On the Blogs: D.C. Pension Fund Is Latest to Divest From Fossil Fuels

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Zahra Hirji for InsideClimate News:The District of Columbia Retirement Board (DCRB) spent the last few years quietly selling off $6.5 million in oil, natural gas and coal investments, amounting to a mere one-tenth of 1 percent of the organization’s total holdings, but made the public announcement at a press conference on Monday.While other American cities including San Francisco have pledged to clear their pension funds of fossil fuels, Washington D.C. may be the largest fund in the nation to complete this step, though the amount divested was small. The DCRB joins more than 500 cities, philanthropies, universities and other organizations worldwide with assets totaling more than $3.4 trillion that have divested from at least some fossil fuels or pledged to do so.“This is a decision that is morally and ethically the right thing” from a climate perspective, said D.C. council member Charles Allen at a recent press conference. “It is also financially the right thing,” he added.Some of the companies culled from the D.C. pension fund include Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, which both filed for bankruptcy this year, as well as ExxonMobil Inc., an oil giant being investigated by several attorneys general for possibly misleading the public and shareholders on the business risks associated with climate change.Washington D.C. Pension Fund Announces Full Fossil Fuel Divestment On the Blogs: D.C. Pension Fund Is Latest to Divest From Fossil Fuelslast_img read more

Colorado City Contemplates Closing Coal-Fired Plant a Decade Ahead of Schedule

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Denver Post:One of the nation’s last coal-fired power plants in the middle of a city may shut down a decade sooner than planned as Colorado Springs leaders contemplate climate action and urban revitalization along a creek.This is happening as residents of Colorado Springs (pop. 465,000) increasingly raise concerns about sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other pollution. On Thursday, residents pressed state health officials to reject a proposal to declare the 80-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant “in attainment” of federal air quality standards for SO2, a toxic gas that mixes with other pollutants and hangs over the city against mountains, with the potential to cause asthma, heart disease and other lung problems after even brief exposure. Colorado Springs Utilities plant operators this year deployed “scrubbers” to clean emissions, and federal Environmental Protection Agency overseers this week said average monthly SO2 emissions decreased to 31 tons a month, down from 330 tons a month in 2015.But Colorado air quality control commissioners voted 8-1 against re-designating the 80-year-old Martin Drake Plant as a facility in compliance with federal air quality requirements, acknowledging public health concerns and calls for cleaner air.The air concerns coincide with brainstorming by the Colorado Springs council members and developers about using the site of the Drake plant, downtown along Fountain Creek, for green space and a museum celebrating the Olympics. For years, Colorado Springs has served as the home of the U.S. Olympic Committee and a training center for athletes.City council members have directed the municipal utility to analyze possibilities for ramping up the 2035 date for closing the plant to 2025, council president Richard Skorman told The Denver Post. And council members are mulling possibilities for shutting one of the two remaining generators in the plant sooner, by 2023, Skorman said.“Some of us would like to move it just because it is a huge blight on the downtown environment,” he said. “We have the ability to create a great green-way connection down there. … If we could move it out of downtown, we could use that site for urban redevelopment.”More: Colorado Springs still rolls coal in heart of city, but may shut Drake plant by 2025 as residents fume Colorado City Contemplates Closing Coal-Fired Plant a Decade Ahead of Schedulelast_img read more

More renewable energy records set in Europe

first_imgMore renewable energy records set in Europe FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Quartz:This week, two of the biggest economies in Europe set new records for clean energy.The U.K.’s electrical grid has not burned any coal for about 1,000 hours so far this year. Though it’s just a symbolic achievement, the pace at which the UK is reaching such figures shows the pace of the energy transition. In 2016 and 2017, the comparable figures for the full year stood at 210 hours and 624 hours, respectively.There are two reasons for the shift: a carbon tax on coal has made cleaner natural gas more attractive, and subsidies for solar and wind power have ensured wider deployment of new clean-energy technologies.Germany’s case has been slightly different. Though it began pushing for renewable energy much earlier than the U.K., its gains have been slower. The coal lobby in Germany is a lot stronger than in the U.K.But as the costs of renewable energy have come down, change is finally showing. In 2018 so far, coal generated about 35.1% of the country’s electricity. In comparison, renewable sources, such as solar, wind, and biomass, generated about 36.5%. At the half-year mark, it’s the first time in Germany’s history that renewables sources have generated more electricity than coal.The pace of change is expected to accelerate. The European Union is tightening its emissions-trading scheme, which is raising the price of carbon. Large producers of carbon dioxide are being incentivized to move away from fossil fuels. As well, the cost of energy storage is coming down, allowing countries to add more intermittent solar and wind power.More: Europe keeps setting clean-energy recordslast_img read more

Utility executives push transition from coal to cleaner energy sources

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:Patti Poppe used to drive around with an “I ‘heart’ COAL” bumper sticker, but now the CEO of Michigan-based CMS Energy Corp. is eager to talk about phasing out the fossil fuel. “There’s no room, in my opinion, for coal-fueled generation in a clean and lean future,” Poppe said.CEO Curt Morgan of Texas-based Vistra Energy Corp. loves coal-fired generation but sees economic and climate headwinds. He expects a rash of U.S. coal plant closures over the next two decades. “I think gas will be the companion technology along with renewables,” Morgan said.And CEO Mauricio Gutierrez of NRG Energy Inc., whose fossil fuel portfolio includes a stake in a carbon capture project, emphasizes a belief that the U.S. power industry is “going to be low carbon” even if some coal may remain on the grid as technology evolves.The three chief executives — as well as CEO Pedro Pizarro of California’s Edison International — recently spoke with E&E News while in Houston, where they attended CERAWeek by IHS Markit. In separate discussions, the executives described the economics, technology and trends driving the electricity sector in a greener direction.They illustrate how power companies aren’t waiting for Congress or the White House to deliver a new energy policy initiative or a federal Green New Deal. They’re preparing for a cleaner energy mix.“While they’re discussing it, thinking about it, arguing about it in Washington, D.C., I can speak for our team,” Poppe said. “In Michigan, we’re going to be doing what it takes.”More: As D.C. dawdles, CEOs shift power companies to green Utility executives push transition from coal to cleaner energy sourceslast_img read more

Australian batteries pushing coal out of frequency control market, saving customers money

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The growth in number of big batteries in Australia’s main grid is displacing coal generation as a provider of frequency control and ancillary services (FCAS) markets, and helping reduce overall costs, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator.In its latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics report, AEMO says batteries have increased their share of key FCAS markets from 10 per cent in the last quarter of 2018 to 17 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, thanks to the recent addition of the Dalrymple battery storage plant in South Australia and the Ballarat battery storage facility in Victoria. Another interesting development is the increased share in the FCAS market for demand response services, which has upped its share from just under 10 per cent a year ago to 15 per cent now.That gives a 35 per cent share to “new technologies” and has in turn eaten into the share of the traditional coal generators, which have fallen from near 45 per cent to around 28 per cent.This – along with increased supply from hydro generators, including the Wivenhoe pumped storage supply in Queensland – helped overall costs fall by around 33 per cent from the last quarter to $36.4 million. Most of the cost reductions occurred in the contingency raise section of the FCAS market.AEMO notes that both pumped hydro and batteries have increased the amount of charging and pumping during the middle of the day, especially during the solar noon, soaking up the sponge of high solar output.Interestingly, batteries have also found a profitable new market during the morning (meeting early morning demand around 06:00-07:00), with both pumped hydro and batteries increasing generation during the evening peak.More: Big batteries displace coal, and lower costs in frequency markets Australian batteries pushing coal out of frequency control market, saving customers moneylast_img read more

Temporary closing of Wisconsin coal plant likely saving money for Dairyland Power’s customers

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享La Crosse Tribune:Dairyland Power Cooperative took its coal-fired power plant in Genoa offline at the beginning of June to avoid fuel shortages caused by the lack of barges carrying coal up a flooded Mississippi River. Instead, the La Crosse-headquartered cooperative is purchasing electricity from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. market to make up for the power normally produced by the plant in Genoa, said Phil Moilien, Dairyland’s vice president.At face value, buying power from the grid could be cheaper for Dairyland than running its coal plant.Dairyland’s 345-megawatt coal-fired power plant is one of 17 coal plants in Wisconsin. At 50 years old, it’s the eighth oldest coal-burning power plant in the state.Since the Genoa plant, situated along the Mississippi River, gets its coal solely by barge, Moilien said, Dairyland made the decision to temporarily halt operations “not because we are out of coal, but to ensure we have enough coal for the summer months.”However, Dairyland reported to the U.S. Energy Information Administration that its fuel cost $27.28 per megawatt-hour in 2017. And it costs about $17 per megawatt-hour to run the power plant, based on EIA modeling. Altogether, that’s a combined cost of about $44 per megawatt-hour to produce electricity at a coal-fired power plant such as Dairyland’s.By comparison, it costs about $32 per megawatt-hour to buy power from the grid, according to MISO market figures from June 2018.More: Dairyland Power took its coal plant offline because of flooding, but it could be saving money buying power from the grid Temporary closing of Wisconsin coal plant likely saving money for Dairyland Power’s customerslast_img read more