Energy Efficiency

Climate & Energy

Critical List: U.S. nuclear plants leak radioactive materials; Big Oil is the bad guy in Cars 2

Three quarters of nuclear power plants in the U.S. have leaked radioactive tritium. The White House promised to put solar panels on its roof by the end of spring but didn't. Come on -- the environmental community can’t even get …

Energy Efficiency

Breaking news: Energy-efficiency programs work, save us millions

Since 2004, 26 states have put efficiency standards into place to reduce demand and help customers save energy. Nineteen of those programs have been in place for over two years. And guess what? Thus far, the programs are working.

Business & Technology

GM’s CEO says a gas tax hike would help the auto industry

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson doesn't want tougher fuel efficiency standards. That's no surprise. Here's the surprise: What he wants instead is a $1-per-gallon gas tax increase. If given a choice between a gas surcharge and the increasing fuel efficiency …

Climate & Energy

Japanese workers wear Hawaiian shirts to save energy

To prevent rolling blackouts as a result of the failure of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Japanese government is mandating that all offices set their thermostats at 82 degrees F this summer. Combined with the usual salaryman armor — a …

Climate & Energy

Record carbon emissions show world has not been listening to a thing we’ve said

Despite a global recession, high oil prices, a growing awareness of the seriousness of carbon emissions, those reusable grocery bags you bought, and constant scolding from Grist et al., the world managed to put out a record amount of greenhouse …

Renewable Energy

How to get to a fully renewable power system

How can we scale up the clean and phase out the dirty?What’s it going to take to substantially ramp up the amount of renewables in the electricity system? There are many nerdy discussions of that question on the interwebs, but …

Climate & Energy

Critical List: U.S. imported less than 50 percent of its oil in 2010

We're off foreign oil! More or less. One price we'll pay for that: ads with blue skies and green fields and a man with a reassuring voice saying that natural gas is totally, totally safe. The price of renewable energy …

Smart Cities

Great places: dense, wired, and sustainable

This is part three in a series on “great places.” Read parts one, two, four, and five. Part of what makes great places great is ecological sustainability. So what’s the best way to reduce our per-capita resource footprint? Typically you …

Energy Efficiency

Behavioral nudges on electric bills could save three coal plants worth of emissions

Smarter electric bills make smarter consumers.Over the years, I’ve written quite a bit about social psychology, behavioral research, and how they can be used to encourage energy efficiency and conservation. I’ve also written quite a bit about Opower, a company …