The Economics of Electric Power Utility Companies

16 September 2013, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

In the United States of America public utility companies such as water, electric power and telephony firms are subject to public control and/or regulation. This is so because society believes that the scale of infrastructure investment required to develop a public utility is too great for privately owned organizations to bear alone. Where society demands a stabilized market, public utility companies are granted “natural monopoly” status. As such, they are subject to a degree of public control and regulation in exchange for full dominance over the market for their service.

Traditional electric power companies, such as make their money by generating electricity at power plants and transmitting it to subscribers on the consumer level over a vast network of distribution lines. Utility subscribers are billed monthly for the electric power that they actually use. In this way, we can say that electric power is a metered service. Electricity is not a “product” that can be stored. It must be consumed immediately or redirected to a different regional market on the grid. The complexity and unpredictable nature of the business means that prices for electricity are subject to hourly changes. Utility ratemaking is the process by which power companies set their prices or “rates” that they charge their customers. In some markets electricity ratemaking occurs under the supervision of the public utilities commission.

The profitability of any electric power company depends upon its capital structure, the cost of fuel, interest rates and state law. In certain states electric power companies are allowed to charge a spread (the allowable rate of return) over debt service and fuel costs. That spread could be as little as five percent. For many electric power companies their largest expense is the cost of fuel which can be 40 percent of total expenses. Most public utility companies are big borrowers of money. For electric companies that issue bonds, interest on debt is commonly their second largest expense. Private power utility companies, also known as investor-owned utilities, are owned and managed by corporations. Although their revenue and earnings comes from the sale of electricity, they may not do the work of generating it themselves. Instead they operate as wholesalers buying electricity from power producers and reselling it to the grid.

Electric power companies earn their money through the ratemaking process or by profitably managing the complex business of selling electric power to consumers and the wholesale trade. Investors and stockholders in private electric power companies tend to value dividends over growth and appreciate the stable nature of the economics driving the supply and demand for electricity. The domestic economy relies upon a market-based system as a means to allocate resources, capital and profits. With respect to the electric energy industry, the public good is sometimes better served when the government plays a role in decisions that influence major infrastructure projects and how electricity rates are established.

Leeds Points Ratings Defined For The Average Joe’s Understanding

9 July 2013, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

In 2009, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, introduced a points system to rate the environmental credentials of designs and building projects. A LEED rating of certified, silver, gold or platinum could then be given depending on the number of points awarded.

Points are allocated based on the sustainability of the site, how efficiently it uses water and the materials used in construction. LEED points are also earned for the indoor environmental quality and energy and atmosphere. Bonus points can be granted for innovative design and regional [Read more...]

The Tax Advantages Of Leeds Certification In Construction Operations

20 May 2013, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

When you are planning to do major renovations or construction to your home, you need to get a permit for it. Many people automatically assume that it is their home and they can build outside of it whenever they want. They might put on a deck or add a large addition that takes away space from the property. This can actually cause you to be fined and taxed if you do not have a permit that says that you are [Read more...]

Ethanol Production From Switch Grass Makes Good Cash Crop

24 March 2013, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Switch grass has significant potential for use as a cash crop since it can be used for producing ethanol. The plant has a high cellulose content, making it well suited for use as a raw material for ethanol production. The plant itself, native to North America and not invasive, is highly competitive. It has an extensive root system and it is estimated that it can have a productive live from somewhere between ten and twenty years. Furthermore, it is estimated that from switch grass, which [Read more...]

Switch Grass’s Intricate Root System And Soil Erosion Control

10 June 2012, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Switchgrass has gained popularity lately because of it’s potential use as a bio fuel and it’s potential to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Switchgrass is easy to plant and maintain, has a very high yield and is resistant to drought. This amazing grass has other uses as well, including soil conservation, forage production, as a residential and commercial ornamental grass, and of course it’s production as a biomass crop for ethanol and butanol, Mature Switchgrass provides a natural habitat and nesting place for many types of wildlife.

In the United States it’s [Read more...]

Importance Of Switch Grass To Carbon Dioxide In Air Purification

16 July 2011, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Air Purification
Over the past three decades, air purification technology has enjoyed numerous advancements. These air purification advancements proves the importance of switch grass to carbon dioxide reduction. In many R&D facilities, testing was performed to purify air using various natural forms of biodegradable media. One of the forms was switch grass. Testing air quality in and around heavily industrialized sites is a requirement of federal environmental agencies.

This spurred growth of more cost-effective ways of filtering particulate in air streams. For many years, industrial scrubbers managed this with reasonably [Read more...]

Recycled Steel: American Steel Production’s New Back Bone

24 April 2011, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Many people have considered the steel industry to be dying, or dead. In fact the industry has just changed a lot and is not the same industry that we use to imagine. What is happening is that recycled steel is becoming the American Steel production’s new back bone. This has had some very positive effects on the steel industry itself, as well as the environment.

Steel is actually North America’s most recycled material in terms of amount; not plastic, aluminum, glass and [Read more...]

Zebra Mussels Weren’t Here When I Was A Boy

10 April 2011, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Zebra mussels are very diligent and rapidly appearing to expand their regions, inadvertently causing problems. A Zebra mussel can, in fact, change the environment around them, as stated by the North Texas Municipal’s Water District (NTMWD) on problems in Lake Texoma pump system troubles. They attach themselves to any hard surface, and that includes propellers, boat bottoms, pipes, rocks, and any other hard surface in the water.

These mussels are named for their striped design [Read more...]

How To Save Energy and Money

22 March 2011, 00:00 admin posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Learning how to save energy can be as difficult as breaking old habits die-hard. Saving energy has a double benefit that impacts both the planet and the person saving the energy. Saving energy reduces the amount of carbon emissions emitted during the production of electricity it also saves the consumer money by not spending money on resources that they do not use.

One of the very best ways to begin reducing energy is to evaluate appliances and replacing existing appliances with Energy Star products which are energy-efficient. There is always the old adage to reduce, reuse and recycle too. Reduce energy use by turning off lights when they are not needed. Weatherize your home by having air conditioning ducts sealed, blanket the water heater, and add insulation to homes are three ways to significantly reduce energy use. Use heavier curtains to block head and keep cold in or explore having energy-efficient windows installed in your home. Also consider deregulated energy companies such as, Just energy some you don’t spend a fortune each year paying for energy. Evaluate how you use energy to discover how much money you waste each year paying for energy that you used bud did not need.

Think Spring

17 January 2011, 00:00 posted in Ways to go Green | Comments Off

I know it’s winter as many of you are reading this, but to me there’s no better time to plan for the future than the present. And in this case, the future that I’m planning is spring gardening. Right now (as it’s freezing and icy outside) all I can think about is my home-grown tomatoes that will greet me on the vine soon enough. Last year I used an “upside down” planter to wonderful results, and I want to use the same method this year.What I didn’t like about last year’s method was that the upside down planter that I bought lasted only one season and then it landed in the trash (nope, it was not made of recyclable materials). Plus, it retails for anywhere from 7.50 – 24.99 which impacts the efficacy of the bottom-line tomato costs.So, I’ve been doing a little research during these snowy days and I read about a nifty idea that will save my having to buy a new planter, plus be “green” in concept at the same time — use an empty 2-liter plastic bottle wrapped in duct tape (to protect the roots from the sun). Keep the cap on the bottle and cut out a small hole (about two inches) into the side where you will fill the bottle with soil and ultimately plant your starter plant.Fortunately, these liter bottles are [Read more...]