Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Report: addressing climate change can boost economy 5%

According to a new report, aggressive action on climate change can boost the world economy 5%. The renewable energy industry is already growing much faster than the economy, and many of those jobs are hard to outsource.

“Improving productivity and reducing inequalities need not come at the expense of locking the world into a high-emissions future. It is the quality of growth that matters."

http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/05/oecd-climate-action-can-boost-worlds-economy-5-percent/

Monday, May 29, 2017

How to get people to care about the planet

Here's an academic paper on what does and doesn't work regarding getting people to internalize climate change and care about the planet. One of the authors is Christie Manning, daughter of a local resident and professor of environmental psychology. It includes links to videos so this could be a helpful resource for educators.

Main take-away:

...developing an ecologically-consistent worldview may benefit from reconnecting with nature so that humans actually experience and develop a dynamic understanding of the world’s systems and human-environment interdependence.

Although worldwide trends toward accelerating urbanization have generally meant fewer opportunities to encounter and build a connection to nature, urban dwellers need access to nature in order to rediscover their interdependence with it and deepen their sense of place. This, in turn, fosters understanding of the natural environment (51) and inspires efforts to protect and preserve landscapes and their inhabitants (4).

Valuable nature experiences do not require trips to “wild” nature such as old growth forests, but can be found in urban areas as well (53). Fortunately, new trends in urban design may help heal the human-nature divide.

http://www.scienceintheclassroom.org/research-papers/can-eco-leadership-save-planet

Friday, May 26, 2017

Save the climate with one change: Beans, not beef

We know that we should eat more fruits and veggies. It's good for your health and climate. In a recent study they found if we traded beef for beans it would make this much of a difference:

Around 42% of cropland, or 400 million square miles, currently used for beef production, would be liberated for other uses. [Photo: Elenathewise/iStock] Before we get sidetracked by the myriad “one gas for another” jokes to be made, let’s first get through the science of it all. This one change, the researchers found, would lead to the United States immediately hitting 50 to 75% of its GHG reduction targets for the year 2020. Beef is the most emissions-intensive food to produce, but–despite the fact that we, as a nation, have collectively reduced our consumption of it by 19% since 2005–it’s among the most popular proteins of choice in the country. Beans and legumes don’t carry the same all-American cache as a burger, but the researchers found that their production results in one-fortieth of the emissions produced by the livestock industry. 
Eating Beans Could Be A Magical Solution To Climate Change - Fast Company
https://apple.news/AhwrxT9IXQz-ubLMe-_7fNA

If you don't want to go all the way to vegan or vegetarian, there's a movement that can include you: Reducitarian. http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/06/reducetarian-2017s-diet-trend-planetary-wellness/

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Worker owned business is bipartisan approach to building wealth

Most are aware that there is a huge gap between the highest and lowest incomes. This is largely a consequence of traditional capitalism where "capitalists" with the money own the company and workers are viewed as an expense to be minimized.

But change one element in that equation and suddenly things become more equitable. Make employees owners. Then the employees can grow wealth. The Mondragon Cooperatives in Spain are the most famous example. But Cleveland has been turning around their blighted inner city with the Evergreen Coops. Those employees, some of whom used to be in trouble with the cops, are putting away tens of thousands of dollars, a nest egg that could make a big difference. And the pride that comes with this is priceless.

One caution. Government tax incentives have driven some companies to rush into ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) but they kept their top down, paternalistic management style. Years ago I was consulting with United Airlines and I told them their effort would fail unless they shared real power, real decision authority with employees. They didn't and it did fail. Ownership won't make much of a difference if employees have no control over their workplace.

Anyway, there's a push in Congress to reenergize worker owned business. Check this out: Bernie Sanders and Ronald Reagan on the same side of on issue?

http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/why-bernie-sanders-is-pushing-for-more-employee-owners-in-the-workforce-20170523

"There are more than 10 million employee-owners in the United States today who work and own a stake in companies like Publix Supermarkets, Wawa Convenience Stores, or New Belgium Brewing. And while there are a wide range of social enterprise approaches being piloted in communities across the United States, none can match employee ownership for proven, scalable impact, with models that are nationally vetted and that have been successfully deployed for decades."

Is this the simple solution to poverty?

This TEDTalk reviews the research on a guaranteed basic income. What the speaker asserts is...

...the poor make poor decisions (e.g., worse health, eating habits, etc.) because of a scarcity mentality
...a basic income has been found to eliminate poverty but most people don't quit their jobs (although new moms and dads spent more time with baby, and students spent more time in school.)
...it would be dramatically less expensive to do this than pay for the effects of poverty estimated to be $500 billion in healthcare, crime, etc.

As technology and artificial intelligence gobble up jobs, this may be a solution that the currently affluent will want as well.

Watch this and tell us what you think...is this a giant welfare boondoggle or an obvious and effective solution to the problem?

Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash
https://www.ted.com/talks/rutger_bregman_poverty_isn_t_a_lack_of_character_it_s_a_lack_of_cash

The Conservative plan to fight climate change

This TEDTalk takes NASA's James Hansen's idea of cap and dividend (where you tax carbon and return that money to the people) and wraps it in a package that could appeal to the Republican-dominated Congress. It claims to produce larger greenhouse gas reductions while eliminating regulations. The plan has some big names behind it and appears to have some momentum. Listen and let us know what you think.

A climate solution where all sides can win
https://www.ted.com/talks/ted_halstead_a_climate_solution_where_all_sides_can_win

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Can you make a 100 year old house net zero?

Apparently the answer is yes. Windows that open themselves? Way cool.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40423011/this-super-efficient-renovation-is-a-model-for-lowering-a-houses-energy-footprint

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rainbow chart interesting way of showing global warming

In this article, you'll see a chart that looks like a rainbow. It shows how the planet has warmed since 1880. This is an interesting way to display the data.
El NiƱo May Be Over For Now, But Record-Breaking Heat Swelters On - HuffPost
https://apple.news/ALXvhb3q_QdiCBGKkc6hPiA

A credit card tracks climate impacts of purchases

Doing a home greenhouse gas inventory is not that hard if you only track energy use and transportation fuels. It's simple arithmetic.  But what about your purchases? These 'scope 3' emissions are a nightmare. But now there is an index linked to a credit card that can report greenhouse gases associated with your purchases. Pass this onto your local bank manager and ask if they can add it to your credit card. It probably won't happen right away, but if we don't ask, it won't ever happen.

http://sustainability.thomsonreuters.com/2017/05/19/executive-perspective-the-worlds-first-bank-index-that-computes-environmental-impact/

Isolated island, World Heritage Site, choked with plastic

This will make you sick to hear. A tiny island between New Zealand and Chile, in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Ocean, has the highest density of plastic trash. When are we going to stop this?
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-16/scientists-find-38-million-pieces-of-trash-on-pacific-island

Friday, May 19, 2017

DOE's Better Buildings Challenge saved us almost $2 billion

The Department of Energy has a habit of creating challenges to improve energy efficiency. Back in 1995 they offered up the Golden Carrot to improve refrigerators. More recently their Better Buildings Challenge (to improve energy efficiency in residential, public and commercial buildings) saved us all around $1.9 billion.

Here's a link to their report...
https://betterbuildingsinitiative.energy.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/Better_Buildings_Progress_Report_2017.pdf

Or if you prefer, an article about it...
http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/05/better-buildings-challenge-results-almost-2-billion-energy-savings/

10 strategies that add up to saving the planet

Paul Hawken has a new book that is likely to be as transformative as The Ecology of Commerce. Drawdown identifies 10 strategies to save our climate. And they aren't what you might think.

http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/05/paul-hawkens-big-plans-drawdown-atmospheric-carbon/
The top 10 solutions, in order of impact, are:  
  1. refrigerant management, 
  2. wind turbines (onshore), 
  3. reduced food waste, 
  4. plant-rich diets, 
  5. tropical forest protection, 
  6. educating girls, 
  7. family planning, 
  8. solar farms, 
  9. silvopasture, and 
  10. rooftop solar.

Toxic indoor air bad for business

Air quality inside buildings can be many times worse than outdoor air. Poor ventilation is partly to blame. But what you choose to furnish and clean your offices with has a huge impact. You might be shocked to learn about toxic chemicals in fabrics, formadehyde in cabinets, etc. Don't even get me started on the standard white board pens. Many of these chemicals accumulate in our bodies.

I dare you to google 'body burden.'

This research shows that these indoor pollutants aren't only bad for your employees (or students). It reduces their productivity. If you take this into account, you might be able to justify paying a little more for the greener interior products.

http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/02/indoor-air-quality-worker-productivity/

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What local kids said about Jean's classes


Image from Sedona Charter School Website
Jean Turocy with Sedona Recycles has been an important member of the Alliance. Many don't realize that she teaches in schools (for free). For a couple years, she's been teaching a popular weekly class for the Sedona Charter School (elementary charter school). Here's what some of her students said recently about what they had learned. Makes you have hope for the future...

"Thank you for teaching me that our trash never goes away and pollutes our environment. My parents are lazy and don't want to recycle but I pick everything out of the trash and make sure we recycle it." 
"I learned coconut water cartons aren't recyclable and told my mom to stop putting them into the recycling bin. Sometimes we get it in cans or we at least take the plastic caps off and recycle those."

"I learned we affect the earth. I get an hour computer time a day and now I use some of it to read about the problems and find out what else I can be doing to help."

"We used to buy bottled water and don't any more because of how bad plastic is. If we get a juice or something now we get it in a can because those are better to recycle."

"I found out that the 3 R's are more than just recycling so now we buy food that's not packaged as much and I tell my mom to make sure and get organic fruit and stuff."

Trippy video on history of the world in 20 min

This video goes from the Big Bang to the Internet. It could be an interesting resource for science teachers. Warning, there is some bad language.

Psychedelic Video Explains The History Of The Entire World In Under 20 Minutes - HuffPost
https://apple.news/AuEOFoGYjQBSecQQzr_aWHQ

Dam, another source of greenhouse gases

I'm not swearing (although I might feel like it!). Dams have been found to be yet another large contributor to climate change. Rotting nutrients captured by dams turns into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Hoover Dam may be as bad as a coal fired power plant. Cross big hydro off the list of renewable energy sources.

Dams Significantly Impact Global Carbon Cycle, New Study Finds - EcoWatch
https://apple.news/A17_GDDXRQyiQGoUkSdgwrg

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Electric buses 18% cheaper to own/operate


When you think of electric vehicles, usually think of Teslas and cute little neighborhood run-abouts. But electric buses are coming online fast, in part because over the lifetime of the vehicle they're cheaper to own and operate. They could also be an interesting storage option for excess electricity generated at night by wind power.


“Electric buses are already more cost effective to buy and operate today. There’s huge fuel savings and maintenance savings.” (Vehicles powered by internal combustion engines need regular oil changes, as well as routine service for transmission fluids, spark plugs and wires, exhaust systems, engine belts. Electric cars require none of that.) The total cost of ownership over the life cycle of the bus—including purchase, fuel, and maintenance—is 18 percent lower for electric buses than it is for diesel or compressed natural gas, according to stats Proterra has gathered from its customers.

http://www.good.is/posts/electric-bus-proterra-mass-transit

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Are you eating plastic when you eat fish?

If the fish came from the ocean, probably. You've heard about all the plastic floating in the seas. Well, it breaks down into tiny pieces that the smallest critters like to eat. Then it moves up the food chain. So don't assume you can just fish the bottle top out of your fillet. You'll never see it.
One in four fish has plastic in its gut, according a recent study. Plastic particles have also been found in oysters and mussels. If you eat a lot of shellfish, for example, you might be consuming 11,000 pieces of plastic a year. The health effects of this are unknown.
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/delicious-fish-with-a-side-of-plastic-mmmm_us_5914d736e4b0fe039b3369ee

You can invest in companies to be proud of

Sick of earning .001 percent in your money market or having your 401K in companies that give you the willies? Swell let's you invest in companies that are making the world better and the minimum investment is only $500.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40420947/swell-lets-you-invest-a-little-cash-in-solving-big-problems

Monday, May 15, 2017

Make your voice heard on the upcoming APS rate case

Write the Arizona Corporation Commission about the upcoming rate case to support the growth of solar in our state and not undermine the viability of residential rooftop solar.

Where to share your comments

Online comments: http://eservice.azcc.gov/Utilities/PublicComment
Docket# E-01345A-16-0036

or by mail:
Arizona Corporate Commission
1200 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2996
P: (602) 542-3477

What the Sustainability Alliance wants to see happen

Our new member, Marty Landa with Inspiration of Sedona, has brought us important insight on the upcoming Arizona Public Service rate case.  As a group, our members discussed the issues and what we believe is best for the future of Arizona.

Here are the four issues you should be concerned about, along with what we recommend you write the ACC to do as an alternative. Below these 4 bullet points, we have provided additional background information.

  1. DOES APS EVEN NEED A RATE INCREASE? According to the Arizona PRIG, APS may not need a rate increase. Prior to the rate case, the Arizona Corporate Commission staff and the Residential Utility Consumer office concluded that APS did not need to increase rates. What changed? 

    TELL THE ACC: The ACC should carefully examine whether APS truly needs to change the rates at all.
  2. THIS WILL UNDERMINE ROOFTOP SOLAR INVESTMENTS AND JOBS. The structure of the new rates and rate structure may impede our progress toward renewable energy and in particular, they undermine the economics of residential solar. Solar and battery technologies are advancing quickly and maintaining that market will help Arizona switch to renewable energy in the long run. It's also a good source of local, living wage jobs.
    TELL THE ACC: Reinstate net metering or build in other incentives to ensure that rooftop solar continues to have a reasonable rate of return. Solar customers should be allowed the same rate of return on their invested capital as the ACC allows APS and the value should be based on 20 years, not an artificially short time frame.
  3. THE PLAN OPTIONS ARE UNFAIR. The requirement to choose a time-of-use or demand-charge rate plan at the beginning of service is not reasonable. How can homeowners know which plan will be best until they have a little data? Why force them into one of these complicated plans and make them wait for 90 to opt into the flat rate plan most people are comfortable with? Does the average homeowner really want to become a sophisticated energy manager?

    TELL THE ACC: Instead, everyone should be able to choose a flat rate plan at the outset and change plans whenever they want to.
  4. THE LONG-TERM GOAL IS A JOKE. The Renewable Energy Standard is woefully inadequate to incentivize action. APS has virtually achieved the goal for 2035, a pitiful 15 percent. We can do a lot better.  Twenty-five cities have committed to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy and the US Conference of Mayors recently launched a new national initiative with that goal. The Solutions Project has shown a plan for each state to achieve 100 percent renewable by 2050; see their recommendation for AZ below. A number of major corporations are already getting 100 percent green power. With all our sun and other resources and with technological progress, this is an achievable goal. Imagine what the cost of climate change will be if we don't do this.

    TELL THE ACC: The Renewable Energy Standard should be increased to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

 

Why we believe these actions are important

1. APS MAY NOT NEED TO RAISE RATES


According to an AZ Central article:
"The rate increase APS is seeking is unjustified, the 87.5 percent increase to the monthly mandatory charge is unwarranted, and the right for APS — not new customers — to determine what rate plan is best for them for the first 90 days is unconscionable.

"Initially, both the Corporation Commission staff and Residential Utility Consumer Office concluded APS didn’t need to raise rates at all, so the commissioners need to ask them what changed.”  More...


2. THE NEW RATE STRUCTURE UNDERMINES THE ECONOMICS FOR RESIDENTIAL SOLAR.

Net metering, where a kWh a customer generates is considered equal to one they get from APS at night, has been eliminated as policy already by the ACC. They voted but this has not been finalized until the rate case. The plans are to drop significantly the amount solar customers will get for their energy and there is no predictability. The amount solar customers will be paid for their energy is only set for 18 months and expected to drop even more after that.

Many believe net metering has been key to making solar pencil out for customers. With Federal tax credits, solar usually has a 8-12 year payback period. Since people in the US move on average about 7 years, this is already a tough decision if made purely on financial grounds.

The main incentive for the utility to promote residential solar is mostly PR and the potential to avoid building another power plant. But utilities are paid an 'allowable return' on capital (ie, their plants and other infrastructure), particularly generous percentage in the case of APS. If they don't own the solar, they don't get the return. And large solar arrays are cheaper per kWh. In a nutshell, it's more advantageous to APS to build their own, large solar farms, and in the long run, perhaps cheaper for customers.

That said, the industry is changing rapidly. With developments like Tesla's roofs and battery packs, rooftop solar may end up being a large percentage of our future mix. If the rate structure is driving APS to want to own all the infrastructure, change the rate structure. If individuals are willing to put up a lot of the capital for Arizona to move toward 100 percent renewable energy, don't stand in their way.


3. RATE PLAN OPTIONS ARE UNREASONABLE

AZ Central says:
The tentatively agreed upon mandatory 90 day new rate choice that new customers will potentially have to choose before they are allowed to go to a flat basic rate structure is unreasonable, and new customers should be given their choice of whatever plan they want, including the flat basic rate plan, right from the beginning.More...

4. THE RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD IS INSUFFICIENT


Renewable Energy Standard should be increased substantially to spur investments toward 100% renewable energy. A Renewable Portfolio Standard (or Renewable Energy Standard as it is referred to in Arizona) is the percentage of renewable power a utility is supposed to supply. APS proudly states they're already in easy reach of the existing standard. According to the APS website:
Under the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard (RES), which the Arizona Corporation Commission (AAC) adopted in 2006, we’re required to supply an increasing percentage of retail electric energy sales from renewable resources. This percentage increases annually until it reaches 15% in 2015.

While The Solutions Project, which has developed a plan for each state to be 100% renewable using existing technologies, shows Arizona should set these as goals (below), which would add close to 70,000 jobs.


Note that rooftop solar is still a small percentage in their projections but large solar and concentrated solar projects would represent over 60% of our energy production. We believe that The Solutions Project energy mix targets for rooftop solar may be far too conservative. They have not kept abreast of new technologies (like Tesla's solar roof and batteries).

We recognize the need for the state to get the best 'carbon-return-on-investment', get the most renewable energy for our money. But the  economics of solar are changing rapidly. Killing the current industry will set us back, undermining investment by businesses and individuals alike. See the chart from the Earth Policy Institute/Bloomberg to the right. (Article Source)

Since the utility is allowed to get a specified rate of return on its capital investments, why not build solar rates so that homeowners get a similar return until the direction of the solar and storage industry becomes more clear.

Want to get into the 'weeds?'

These are notes provided by Inspiration of Sedona...


This excerpt from a ClimateNexus article gives a basic talking points summary of the current state of the APS Rate Case:


http://climatenexus.org/net-metering-fight-understanding-latest-issue-nation’s-rapidly-changing-electricity-market

In March 2017, after more than five years of attempts at compromise between Arizona Public Service (APS), one of the state’s largest utilities, and solar advocates, the parties settled on a rate design system that gives a set of compensation options to distributed solar customers. The compromise compensation mechanism came after the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted in December 2016 to eliminate retail net metering. The agreement sets the “export rate” for rooftop solar customers at $0.129 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for surplus energy that they send back onto the grid, starting in 2017. That rate would decline by 10 percent per year for new rooftop systems, and new customers can lock in their 10-year rate based on the year they sign up for the program. The agreement also creates an “offset rate” of around $0.105 that will be credited to solar customers’ utility bills for every kWh of self-generated solar power they consume.

The rates customers would receive under the new system—either for selling power back onto the grid or the “offset” rate for energy consumed onsite—are below the current rate for retail net metering. Existing solar customers can keep their original retail compensation rate for 20 years. If approved this summer by the ACC, the state energy regulator, Arizona will join a growing list of states where utilities and solar advocates have scrapped retail net metering for compromise deals based on a commonly agreed-to value of solar power.


http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2017/03/23/aps-rate-hike-has-critical-flaws-consumer-groups-say/99456358/



"The rate increase APS is seeking is unjustified, the 87.5 percent increase to the monthly mandatory charge is unwarranted, and the right for APS — not new customers — to determine what rate plan is best for them for the first 90 days is unconscionable," said Diane Brown, executive director of Arizona PIRG, a public interest group.

Brown noted that initially, both the Corporation Commission staff and Residential Utility Consumer Office concluded APS didn’t need to raise rates at all.

“Then as part of the settlement agreement, they signed off on that increase,” she said. “We are hoping the commissioners will ask them what changed.”


The deal will allow solar customers to avoid demand rates for 20 years from the date of their interconnection if they apply for solar before a decision in the case.

People who install solar after new rates take effect will see several changes that reduce the savings they see from their rooftop investment. Solar-industry representatives said the plan isn’t ideal, but it will allow solar installations to continue in APS territory, rather than shut them down, which is what happened in SRP territory after it made more dramatic changes in recent years.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2017/03/01/aps-settles-rate-hike-request-6-month-average/98586054/


Arizona Public Service Co. agreed to accept a rate-hike request of $6 a month on average instead of the $11 it was seeking.

The agreement between the state's biggest utility and a majority of parties in the case must be approved by utility regulators.



Thirty of the 40 parties in the case, including Corporation Commission staff and the Residential Utility Consumer Office, have agreed to the settlement, which covers all APS homes across all seasons.

The settlement also calls for optional "demand charges" rather than mandatory demand charges APS sought for most residential customers.

Demand rates would charge less for each kilowatt-hour of electricity a customer uses during the month. But they also single out the highest one-hour use of electricity during peak hours in a month and assess a fee based on how high that hourly demand reaches.

One additional issue people can contact the ACC about is the tentatively agreed upon mandatory 90 day new rate choice that new customers will potentially have to choose before they are allowed to go to a flat basic rate structure, which is outlined in the new insanely complicated rate design system, (http://docket.images.azcc.gov/0000177680.pdf): (Typos are from the original.)




Agreed-upon Rate Design Terms


l) Residentialratedesign.

a. R-XS: Available to customers without distributed generation using less than 600

kph per month on average. Basic Service Charge $10.

b. R-Basic: Basic Service Charge $15. Available to customers without distributed

generation using more than 600 kph but less than 1,000 kph per month on

average.

c. R-Basic Large: Basic Service Charge $20. Available to customers without

distributed generation using 1,000 kph per month or more on average.

d. TOU-E: Available to all customers. Basic Service Charge $13. Winter Super Off- peak from 10:00am - 3:00pm weekdays. Average off-set rate inclusive of the Grid Access Charge described in Paragraph 4. Customers currently on a Time Advantage rate plan will transition to this rate unless they select to voluntarily move

to another rate for which they are eligible.

R-2: Available to all customers. Basic Service Charge $13.

R-3: Available to all customers. Basic Service Charge $13. Customers currently

on the Combined Advantage rate plan will transition to this rate unless they select

to voluntarily move to another rate for which they are eligible.

g. R-Tech Pilot Rate Program:

i. An Optional R-Tech Pilot Rate Program shall be created that will initially serve up to 10.000 customers. Once 6,000 customers have signed up to take service under this program, and if such threshold has been reached prior to the Company's next general rate case filing, the Company shall provide notice and promptly convene a meeting of the interested parties to this Docket to discuss the future of the Pilot Program. If each of the parties to that discussion agree on a new customer participation level for the R-Tech Pilot Program that shall apply until the Commission determines the disposition of the R-Tech Pilot Program during the Companys next general rate case the Company shall file a notice in this Docket to that effect and the program shall continue to be ottered up to the new agreed upon customer participation level. However, if all parties cannot agree to a new customer participation level. then APS shall tile a report on the R-Tech Pilot Program and request that the Commission determine whether to continue, expand. or terminate the program in the Docket within 90 days of the date that 7,000 customers have begun taking service under this program. The Commission will then promptly review the program and determine if it should continue. terminate, or be adjusted.

ii. The Parties have agreed to a rate design for the R-Tech Pilot Rate Program as set thanh on Exhibit A attached hereto.

h. The TOU on peak period will be 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm. weekdays for TOU-E, R-2, R-3, R-Tech and XS General Service.

2) RateAvailabilitv.AllcustomersmayselectR-Basic,R-BasicLarge,TOU-E.R-2,orR-3. including R-Tech or R-XS if they qualify, until May l. 2018. except to the extent grandfathered under other sections of this Settlement Agreement. Distributed generation customers will not be eligible for R-XS, R-Basic or R-Basic Large. After May l, 2018, R- Basic Large will no longer be available to new customers or customers who are on another rate. New customers alter May 1, 2018 may choose TOU-E. R-2, R-3 or if they qualify R- XS or R-Tech for 90 days. Alter 90 days new customers may opt-out of their current rate and select R-Basic if they qualify. Customers transitioning to R-Basic must stay on that rate for at least 12 months.

Feds investing $23million in water reuse projects


These projects are in seven Western states but unfortunately not in Arizona. Were we not ready with good project ideas?

Secretary Zinke Announces $23.6 Million for Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects and Studies | Benzinga - www.benzinga.com
https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/17/05/p9455743/secretary-zinke-announces-23-6-million-for-water-reclamation-and-reuse-

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Climate: 164 nations, 1200 laws

Many nations are putting their laws where their mouth is. According to a recent study, the world now has 1200 laws on the books, up from only 60 a couple decades ago.

http://sustainability.thomsonreuters.com/2017/05/12/laws-to-tackle-climate-change-exceed-1200-worldwide-study/

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Infographic on the Circular Economy

The Circular Economy is like recycling on steroids. All products are designed to be recycled, all materials go back into other products or safely composted. Here's a nice infographic (and subtle ad) from NJ Institute of Technology that shows the concept is gaining traction in the US.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Why traditional economics is driving us toward destruction, a better model

Traditional economics leaves out important realities...like people aren't always rational, players aren't equal and environmental inputs+ waste aren't free. Here's an elegant model that builds on the Planetary Boundaries. This article points to a brief illustrated video and a TedTalk.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/why-a-just-and-sustainable-economy-looks-like-a-doughnut-20170503

Thursday, May 4, 2017

California's roadmap to climate neutrality

California often drives environmental policies because it's a huge chunk of the US economy. Take a look at SB 775 which lays out a replacement for their existing cap-and-trade system. If this passes, it could become a cookbook for other states.

California is about to revolutionize climate policy … again - Vox
https://apple.news/A-_6VilQjTSimw7w8zSI5HA

Collaboration transformed this school

I've been a fan of empowerment and collaboration in the workplace. Here's a school that transformed its performance using those involvement techniques.

Favorite quote:


“For 17 or 18 years, it was, ‘What am I going to tell the kids today?’ And now it’s, ‘What am I going to have the kids show me today?’” Good said of the new student-focused approach. “The person who is blown away by that is me.”

https://www.edutopia.org/article/want-improve-district-let-teachers-collaborate-holly-korbey

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A comfortable house with no heating or AC

Europe has been pursuing a building method called passivhaus or passive house. This is not the same as passive solar design but related. I've been in commercial buildings that required no furnace to heat them...in Germany and Switzerland! The structure is so energy efficient, just the heat from people and appliances was enough to make the space comfortable.

Imagine all the money you'd save! You take the money you would have spent on HVAC systems and put it into insulation and triple glazed windows. Then you never have to pay a heating or cooling bill, never have to have the units serviced.

Watch this 90 second video that explains the method.

https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/whats-passive-house-heres-good-simple-explanation.html

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Almost half of the Fortune 500 have climate/renewable goals

And its saving them money....
http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/04/almost-half-fortune-500-climate-change-clean-energy-goals/

Monday, May 1, 2017

Let them eat...bugs?

are you concerned about the environmental footprint of your diet but not ready to give up all animal protein? Then eat bugs. People all over the world relish insects. Why do we have such a yuck response? Some bugs are loaded with nutrients and can be easily "farmed" with a small footprint.

Part of the barrier is that people in the US aren't used to looking their food in the eye. How many people would give up meat if they had to look at the sweet cow's face? So insectivores are getting smart. They're mixing bugs into products that look familiar (energy bars, flour). This article showcases a number of tasty products. Try one and then let us know how it tasted.

http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/04/insect-protein-companies/