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Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Vehicle Limitations

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/vehicle-limitations/

New Jersey was first state in the country to ban large tractor-trailers from its state roads and highways. The restriction, went into effect in July 1999, confined large trucks (more than 102 inches wide) that were not doing business in the state to interstate highways and a system of major highways and connector roads. Other cities have begun charging increased fees for vehicles that have larger environmental impacts. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Solar Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/solar-energy/

As climate change initiatives and renewable energy standards are adopted at both the local and state level across the country, solar energy technologies are getting more focused attention by policymakers. Below are a selection of rules that target efforts to enhance solar energy development – both thermal and electric (photovoltaics). Solar power is likely to become the “fuel” for our transportation sector as we move toward a future with electric vehicles. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Renewable Fuels Standard

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/renewable-fuels-standard/

Minimum blends of biodiesel and ethanol in petroleum-based fuels are required in order to be sold within the city and requirements that city-owned vehicles maximize use of renewable fuels. Cities that may copy this approach should consider broadening the definition of renewable fuels to include renewable electricity used for electric vehicles. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Renewable Portfolio Standards

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/renewable-portfolio-standards/

A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) ensures that a minimum amount of renewable energy is included in the portfolio of electricity resources serving a state or country, and — by increasing the required amount over time — the RPS can put the electricity industry on a path toward increasing sustainability. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Plug-in Electric Vehicles

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/plug-in-electric-vehicles/

With the adoption of smart policies, the revolution in our transportation sector can generate an equally profound revolution in our electricity sector. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Net Metering

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/net-metering/

Net metering is a practice that encourages consumer investment in on-site electric generators – typically small-scale, renewable energy technologies. When electricity is being generated and none is being consumed, net metering typically allows customer/generators to spin their meter backwards, in effect paying the customer/generator the retail rate for the electricity they generate but don’t immediately consume. If a customer generates more electricity than they consume over a period of time, they are typically paid for that net excess generation (NEG) at the utility’s avoided cost, or the wholesale rate. Two states, Minnesota and Wisconsin, stand out from the crowd because their net metering rules allow participants to be paid the going retail rate for the net excess electricity they generate for each billing cycle. Some states like New Jersey and Colorado allow projects up to 2 MW to use net metering. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Municipal Financing for Renewables and Efficiency

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/municipal-financing-for-renewables-and-efficiency/

With state enabling legislation, cities and counties are being given the authority to establish municipal financing programs for clean energy and energy efficiency investments in their communities. Commonly referred to as property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, it allows homeowners and businesses to implement dramatic improvements in efficiency and/or renewable energy and repay those investments over a long-term via a special property tax assessment or via a utility bill. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Mercury Pollution

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/mercury-pollution/

Mercury is a neurotoxin that accumulates in the food chain and can damage the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver. It has been linked to attention deficit disorder in children, and is particularly hazardous to developing fetuses and young children. Poison control centers and emergency rooms took 18,000 calls in 1998 because of broken mercury fever thermometers. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Distributed Generation in Local Plans

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/distributed-generation-in-local-plans/

If a proliferation of small-scale power plants serves the interests of the general community, cities and counties should include this concept as an element in their general plans and zoning ordinances. Continue reading

Article, Rule filed under Energy | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Decoupling Energy Profits from Sales

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/decoupling-energy-profits-from-sales/

Electric utilities are in the business of selling electricity. And even though most utility sponsored energy conservation programs reward the utility handsomely for saving electricity, the lure of selling more and more is overpowering. The problem only gets worse in the era of electric competition since the regulatory incentives for utilities to help their customers save energy and use energy more efficiently are removed. To solve this inherent problem regulators have normally required divestiture of generation assets as a precursor to full retail competition – so former integrated utilities now become separate generation, distribution or transmission utilities. But this does not do enough to remove utility preferences to discourage distributed generation and energy efficiency. Continue reading