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The Energy Issue

Philly runs on uncertain energy. It’s hard to imagine, but our electricity actually costs less than it could. Currently, our bills are lowered through rate caps applied by the state. On December 31, 2010, those caps expire, prices are expected to spike and no legislation is in place to protect us.

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1 min read
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Waste Not!

Biogas technology will save Philly some serious money 
by Matt Jakubowski
Biogas isn’t sexy. There are no sleek silver solar panels, no turbines on a windswept hill. It’s a part of your regular routine, but we’re only beginning to tap into its explosive potential. Biogas generation, the unmentionable alternative, uses methane, a potent greenhouse gas that

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2 mins read
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Conserving Our Future

Liz Robinson talks about Philly’s energy problems and a different path forward
Liz Robinson has been helping Philadelphia conserve energy since 1979. As Executive Director of the Energy Coordinating Agency, an energy nonprofit that services low-income residents, Liz has worked on the EnergyEfficiency Resource Standard, which instituted early efficiency measures for Philly’s affordable housing. She also

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3 mins read
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Ask Mark

Q:  [What is] your vision for residential solar power in Philadelphia’s energy future? Many Philadelphians, like me, have homes with flat roofs that receive plenty of direct sunlight. Is the city considering any programs that would help us tap into that potential power, like California’s “Million Solar Roofs” project?—Tom Schrand, Director of the Environmental Sustainability

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2 mins read
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Starting Up: Greensteps

Laura Blau taught energy savings to her six year old son, Nandor, using the green cloth dragon that hangs from his bedroom door. Every night, if Nandor’s clothes are still clean, he puts them inside the dragon’s pouches and wears them the next day. Overtime, Laura does less laundry and when she does, she uses

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1 min read
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State Support

New legislation could mean Pennsylvania is finally turning around its energy policy
by Will DeanPennsylvania has long lagged behind other parts of the country in terms of supporting alternative energy and energy conservation. Perhaps because of our massive coal resources, the Keystone State has kept its thinking about energy production firmly in the past. In 2008,

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4 mins read
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Sun City

Alternative energy entrepreneur Mike McKinley talks about what solar can do for Philly
by Dana Henry
Mike Mckinley was a cognitive neuroscientist working for Pfizer in southern California when the lights went out. Utility spikes caused by the deregulations of Enron and Reliant Energy (the same will happen with PECO in 2010) had led to a series

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5 mins read
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Warm Your Home, Keep Your Cash

Efficiency tips save energy and dollars
According to the Energy Coordinating Agency, most of Philly’s aging housing could use around 40 to 60 percent less energy, but it will require more than just changing light bulbs. Many solutions are simple DIY projects, but larger projects carry some risk. Insulation, for example, can cause moisture build-up (and

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2 mins read
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This Old, Audited House

Audits uncover energy leaks in a Philly rowhome.
by Will Dean

On a brisk December morning, a white van pulls up outside a quaint, stone-fronted, two-story duplex rowhome in Mount Airy. There are a few people inside, myself included, and some ghostbuster-esque equipment, including fans, various detectors, meters and a big fan. The only invisible thing we’re

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2 mins read
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