“On Thursday, the governing board of Sonoma’s new public power agency plans to set rates for its electricity service, which will begin in May. Most customers will save money, compared to what they currently pay Pacific Gas and Electric Co.”
“The Yuba County Water Agency is filing to renew its operating license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the first time since the agency’s creation almost 50 years ago, and it will dictate how the YCWA will run the Yuba River Development Project for the next 50 years.”
“While some groups are excited about the what the Yuba County Water Agency’s FERC relicensing applications contains, other groups are lamenting what is missing — namely, provisions that address removing barriers to native spawning habitat for endangered fish.”
“As a dry December accentuates the stress on California’s limited water supplies, the success of the state’s energy sector in implementing efficiency programs offers valuable lessons to the water sector. A new report from the Pacific Institute examines the rules, regulations, and policies that promote energy efficiency and finds models for water management in drivers like the energy sector’s appliance standards, building codes, pricing policies, and utility-sponsored efficiency programs.
“Whether area electricity customers could face higher rates in 2014 was called into question at Tuesday’s Modesto Irrigation District board meeting, with no clear answer. …
“Also Tuesday, staff presented potential reactions to drought, and the board continued taking steps to correct mistakes in expanding a water treatment plant that will cost taxpayers an extra $24 million.”
“A different legal interpretation could make it easier for the Modesto Irrigation District to raise electricity prices, the utility’s lawyer told leaders Monday in their first gathering since three men were elected to the five-member board. …
“MID leaders last year declined to raise power rates, a departure from sharp increases every year since 2000, noting that prices had stabilized for natural gas used to produce energy.
“The boom in oil from shale formations in recent years has generated a lot of discussion that the United States could eventually return to energy self-sufficiency, but according to a report released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency, production of such oil in the United States and worldwide will provide only a temporary respite from reliance on the Middle East.”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“A new informational report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency details just how important water is to the U.S. economy.
“Synthesizing recent studies on the topic, ‘The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy’ report released this week finds that energy production, water supply and food production together account for over 94% of water withdrawals from the nation’s groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes.
“Recent changes to the Imperial Irrigation District’s Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates program has an IID representative going to all the city councils in the Imperial Valley to make presentations on the changes.”
“In honor of the 27th annual anniversary of Public Power Week, Imperial Irrigation District officials began rolling out a new energy safety campaign to reach seventh- and eighth-grade students in the Imperial and Coachella valleys on the importance of indoor and outdoor electrical safety.
“A newsletter, the ‘Safety Surge,’ has been distributed to junior high schools, according to a press release from the district.”
Even as California has scaled back education, law enforcement and assistance to the disabled in this era of financial stress, the energy program has continued unrestrained and is expected to grow significantly in coming years.
“State agencies have invested in milk trucks that run on cow manure, power plants fueled by ocean tides and artificial photosynthesis for powering vehicles and buildings.
“A U.S.-Canada treaty that governs operations of the fourth-largest river in North America — affecting everything from power prices and water supplies to grain shipments and recreation in the Pacific Northwest — should be renegotiated to make the system more flexible amid climate change and to aid threatened and endangered species that weren’t considered when the treaty was created decades ago, federal regulators recommended in a draft document released to The Associated Press.”