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Colorado’s $68.7 million from VW emissions-cheating settlement will replace older vehicles, fund electric charging stations
Denver Post -
September 19, 2017
Colorado already shared how it plans to slice up the $68.7 million it’s getting in the Volkswagen emissions scandal settlement. On Monday, the public had its say.
Colorado News Coloradans Sound Off On How VW Settlement $$ Should Be Spent
KCNC CBS 4 -
September 18, 2017
An auditorium room was packed Monday as people told the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment how they feel millions of dollars from Volkswagen should be spent.
Energy Codes Are Life Safety Codes
Builder Online -
September 1, 2017
SWEEP's Christine Brinker explains why local governments should consider strong energy efficiency building codes as part of the life and safety codes, too. Efficiency buildings can, for example, endure harsh weather better than other structures, and are less apt to develop mold or mildew problems.
Colorado eyes greener-powered travel with Volkswagen settlement
Colorado Statesman/ Colorado Politics -
August 29, 2017
SWEEP's Will Toor explains why Colorado should use part of its VW emissions scandal settlement funds to encourage more use of electric vehicles. Among other benefits, electric cars will help metro Denver reduce air pollution. The state's Department of Public Health and Environment will hold a public hearing on its draft plan for the VW funds, including $18 million for transit buses, another $18 million for trucks and buses that run on alternative fuels, $10 million to electric vehicle charging stations plus administration and other clean-air spending.
Energy transparency ordinance will benefit our economy and health
Salt Lake Tribune -
August 27, 2017
By Robert Best and Jonathan Ruga Salt Lake City Municipal Corporation is rapidly emerging as a national and global leader in improving air quality, addressing climate change and promoting clean energy. As businesses with a global reach and local Salt Lake City offices, we believe the city’s leadership is vital to attracting business to our city and state in a competitive global marketplace. Innovative energy efficiency policy is a cornerstone of this success. To this end, we strongly support Salt Lake City’s proposed “energy transparency” ordinance designed to improve the energy efficiency of our city’s large commercial buildings.
APS electricity bills going up as rate increase is approved
Arizona Republic -
August 15, 2017
State utility regulators voted Tuesday for Arizona Public Service Co. to increase the average household bill by $6 a month starting Saturday. AARP and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project conservation group opposed the service-fee and time-of-use hour changes.
Utility regulators to vote on APS rate hike Tuesday
Arizona Republic -
August 12, 2017
Arizona's elected utility regulators plan to spend no more than one day Tuesday discussing and voting on a $6-a-month rate hike for more than 1 million Arizona Public Service Co. customers. The story describes why SWEEP, Arizona AARP and other partners opposed parts of the rate case.
Colorado Taxes and Fees Only Cover Half of What Colorado Spends on Roads -
July 28, 2017
When politicians argue for bike taxes or call transit a bad investment because it doesn’t pay for itself, the implicit assumption is that these modes are somehow different than roads, which purportedly “pay for themselves.” They couldn’t be more wrong....In Colorado, the General Assembly hasn’t raised the gas tax since 1993. When you factor in inflation, the state is receiving less from the gas tax now than it did 24 years ago, according to a report from the Southwestern Energy Efficiency Project
What will it take to reach the climate change goals set by Gov. Hickenlooper?
Colorado Independent -
July 20, 2017
Words of praise flowed from environmental groups last week after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order calling for Colorado to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent. The executive order aligns Colorado with 13 other states in the new Climate Alliance that have pledged to honor Paris climate agreement goals, bucking President Donald Trump’s announced exit. What exactly will it take to meet the goal the order spells out? “They’re demonstrating it can be done,” says Geller of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “We need to do that around the state.”
To Beat Congestion, Colorado Can’t Rely on the Same Bag of Road Expansion Tricks
Streets Blog Denver -
July 17, 2017
An additional 1.2 million people will call Colorado home by 2030, according to the State Demography Office, and they’ll have to get around somehow. No one wants to sit in traffic, but unless Colorado DOT changes its 1950s approach to congestion management, people will be spending more time behind the wheel. It doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of sticking with the same old road expansion strategies, Colorado should be converting highway lanes to high-occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes and putting that revenue toward better transit, according to a new report from the Southwestern Energy Efficient Project
Tolling on an existing I-25 lane is one way to stretch Colorado's transportation dollars
Colorado Politics/ Colorado Statesman -
July 17, 2017
A new report from the Boulder-based Southwest Energy Efficiency Project asserts tolling could help drive traffic remedies on Interstate 25 through Denver. The idea would be to take an existing lane and put on price on it. People who want to pay could use it, similar to the high-occupancy toll lane on U.S. 36 between north metro Denver and Boulder.
New Laws to Change Energy in Nevada
KTVN Ch. 2 News Reno, NV -
June 30, 2017
The future of Nevada's energy system was one of the major issues of the 2017 legislative session, and lawmakers passed a whole slew of changes. There were more than a dozen clean energy bills when the session started. The governor eventually signed nine of those into law, changing policies regarding rooftop solar to electric cars, but the main theme from both sides of the aisle was pushing Nevada toward a cleaner energy future. "Electricity is the cleanest fuel available to Nevadans," Southwest Energy Efficiency Project representative Tom Polikalas said. "It's also the cheapest. So every time somebody drives an electric vehicle that means we are displacing that equal amount of gasoline that would be imported to Nevada. We don't produce gasoline. We can produce electricity. So we are shifting from an import to something that we produce locally."
Changing how Coloradans pay for electricity: Hearings Wednesday on Xcel smart meters, revenue
Denver Business Journal -
June 20, 2017
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday will take up two cases that could change how customers monitor and pay for electricity from Xcel Energy Inc. The PUC will hold hearings, starting at 11 a.m., on two major cases: Whether Xcel (NYSE: XEL) should be allowed to upgrade meters in customers’ home and businesses, as well as other equipment to better control the flow of electricity to those customers. And whether the state should “decouple” Xcel’s revenues from the sale of electricity, which supporters say will give the company more incentive to push energy conservation and rooftop solar systems. The story extensively quotes SWEEP Executive Director Howard Geller. The two cases are part of Xcel’s “Our Energy Future” program it first floated in early 2016
Some businesses left in the dark by TEP
KVOA Ch. 4 Tucson -
June 13, 2017
A rebate program from Tucson Electric Power company's left some customers in the dark. It's the commercial program that offers incentives for businesses to convert to LED lights that will save them money. Some businesses are irate saying the program was suspended without proper notice.
Settlement Money Could Fund Electric School Buses in Nevada
KTVN Ch. 2 News Reno, NV -
May 31, 2017
Nevada is getting a big chunk of change from a settlement with Volkswagen, following the automaker's major emissions scandal. The company is paying a multi-billion dollar settlement, which is getting divided among the states. Nevada is getting nearly $25 million in the settlement, but there's a catch. That money has to be used for some sort of emissions reduction project, and some are hoping that will mean a new fleet of all-electric school buses. "To have another key point of our community's transportation-- electric buses, school buses, that just adds into the menu of what Nevada could be doing to improve our environment and our economy," Southwest Energy Efficiency Project representative Tom Polikalas said.
Tucson Electric Power halts energy-efficiency rebate for businesses
Tucson, Arizona Daily Star -
May 29, 2017
Tucson Electric Power Co. has for now stopped offering rebates to commercial customers under its state-mandated energy-efficiency programs, after running out of money for the incentive programs. “Customers who have been paying into the program for years are not able to get service now, so there’s a problem there,” said Jeff Schlegel, Arizona representative for SWEEP. SWEEP plans to file a request with the Corporation Commission, seeking additional funding for the TEP energy-efficiency programs, Schlegel said, saying TEP’s action has the effect of a 26 percent program cut.
Electric School Bus at Nevada Legislative May 22 and May 23
This Is Reno web news -
May 21, 2017
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and the Clean Energy Project (www.cepnv.org) are promoting zero-emission school transportation at the Nevada Legislature this upcoming Monday, May 22, and the morning of May 23. Funding for electric school bussess may be available through the settlement with VW.
How Hogle Zoo visitors can get discounts on electric vehicles and bikes
KUCW ABC4/ Good4Utah -
May 1, 2017
Utah's Hogle Zoo and Utah Clean Energy have launched a Zoo-m Go Electric Program through May 31, 2017. Zoo members, staff and visitors can get discounts on energy-saving, non-pollutant vehicles.
Electric Vehicles: Koch Group Opposed Clean Car Perk and Lost
Energy and Environment Climate Wire -
April 27, 2017
Climate Wire/ Energy & Environment News quoted SWEEP's transportation director Will Toor about defeating a bill that would have erased Colorado's tax credits for electric vehicles and other clean-powered cars.
Nevada Senate clears trio of energy bills on storage, efficiency, utility planning
Utility Dive -
April 26, 2017
Nevada state Senators have passed three clean energy bills aiming to support advanced technologies, including Senate Bill 150 which would require meeting 1.5% of sales with energy efficiency from 2021-2025. resources, directing utilities to consider economic and environmental benefits in their Integrated Resource Plans.
State energy-efficiency-program renewal faces main legislative hurdle Thursday
Colorado Statesman -
April 19, 2017
A bill that would renew a major state energy efficiency program will be heard Thursday afternoon in a Senate committee. The vote very likely will be make or break for the program, which supporters say has had significant positive job-creation and energy-saving effects in the state since it was unrolled in 2007. House Bill 1227, inelegantly but accurately entitled the “Electric Demand-Side Management Program Extension” bill, is being heard in the Republican-controlled Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee. If the bill passes, it will move on to the Senate floor where it is very likely to pass and then land quickly on the governor’s desk to be signed into law. The bill exited the House two weeks ago on a solid bipartisan 42-22 vote, winning over all of the Democrats and six Republicans.
Energy forum focuses on education, community engagement
March 23, 2017
Business owners and lawmakers are hosting an energy forum at the Innevation Center Thursday night. It will address all of the energy bills making their way through the legislative process so citizens can get a better idea of some of the renewable options on the table and learn about how to make their voices heard at the legislature. Assemblyman William McCurdy II (D-LV) is making progress with a bill that would create new energy efficiency programs and opportunities, especially for those that are spending higher percentages of their income on energy. Bill supporters hope this legislation will create jobs and help diversify the state's economy. "With energy efficiency we're saving money and we're helping to put people to work," said Tom Polikalas of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. "When they're insulating their homes and buildings or retrofitting the lighting or providing better technology for heating and cooling systems, that's creating jobs in a number of sectors that are hard hit. There's the opportunity to create thousands of jobs as we make Nevada more efficient."
APS rate hike has critical flaws, consumer groups say
Arizona Republic -
March 23, 2017
Arizona Public Service Co. has won over the state consumer advocate and the staff for utility regulators regarding its need for a rate increase, but the proposed hike still has a number of opponents, including AARP, energy conservation advocates and individual consumers. "We think it takes away choices from consumers,” said Steve Jennings, associate state director for AARP. “Forcing new customers on a time-of-use rate, that is a concern for us,” said Jeff Schlegel, the state representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), a conservation group.
Breaking Down What the State Transport Bill Does for Walking, Biking, and Transit
Streets Blog Denver -
March 10, 2017
Colorado lawmakers took a step closer to finalizing a transportation funding measure that would go before voters in November. The bipartisan bill consists of a small sales tax hike — .62 cents on the dollar — and a $3.5 billion bond package. Combined revenue would come to an estimated $627 million a year over the next 20 years. Advocates have called on the state to drastically increase investment in transit, biking, and walking, so to get a better understanding of whether this bill delivers, Streetsblog spoke to Will Toor of the Southwestern Energy Efficiency Project and Danny Katz of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, two organizations that have followed the process closely.
Colorado transportation bill gets criticism from conservatives, praise from business groups
Denver Business Journaln -
March 9, 2017
Transit advocates are pressing the Colorado Legislature to reserve significant funding for buses, bikes and other transportation modes that don’t involve expanding or fixing highways. Will Toor, director of the transportation program at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, said his organization and others would like to see roughly 30 percent of the revenue generated by any proposal that makes it onto the November statewide ballot put aside for mobility infrastructure and services that are not traditional roads and highways.
Push for public transit goes to rural towns
Cortez Journal -
March 1, 2017
Demand for public transit is growing in Southwest Colorado, but state funding to support it needs improvement, according to local agencies and a January report by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.
Face the State: Electric Vehicles in Nevada
February 11, 2017
SWEEP's Nevada representative Tom Polikalas explains the opportunities for investment and choices for consumers in Nevada.
Study: Public transit getting left by the roadside in Colorado
Colorado Politics -
February 3, 2017
More food for thought as state lawmakers gird for an epic push to forge a transportation-funding plan: A report released by the Boulder-based Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, or SWEEP, says Colorado is ranked 29th among states in per capita funding for public transit, investing just one-twentieth of the national average in the likes of buses and light rail.
Clean energy legislation to be discussed in next session
KOLO-Channel 8 -
January 20, 2017
Several bills relating to clean energy will be discussed in the upcoming Nevada legislative session. Those topics were discussed at an energy policy forum at the InNEVation Center in downtown Reno Friday. "We're here to help educate citizens and our legislators, to be a resource to them to make sure they understand why this is such a key facet in the governor's new economy vision and in his new Nevada vision," said Tom Polikalas, Nevada representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.
City Supports Clean Energy Initiatives
This is Reno -
January 15, 2017
The Reno City Council voted this week to support energy efficiency and clean energy and to join other public sector groups in the Sustainability Partners in Northern Nevada (SPINN) coalition.
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