energy efficiency

Apartments in the Renaissance Place neighborhood in North St. Louis, which includes subsidized and market-rate housing.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

There’s no shortage of incentive programs to install energy-efficient appliances and fixtures in Missouri, but a new report shows that affordable, affordable, multi-family housing units are often left out of the mix.

According to the paper from the National Resources Defense Council, only 30 percent of households in those buildings within Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois' service areas are participating in energy efficiency programs. Energy costs can disproportionately impact low-income families, who spend nearly 14 percent of their annual income on utilities, according to the Missouri Department of Energy.

utility wires, Ameren
(Flickr, sciondriver)

Ameren Missouri officials say the utility will invest $135 million in a three-year energy efficiency plan to begin in 2016.  

Ameren filed the plan with the Missouri Public Service Commission Monday. The utility said it's expected to provide more than $260 million in customer benefits over 20 years.

Ameren’s director of energy efficiency, Dan Laurent, said the plan also is expected to save about 426,000 megawatt hours.

(via Flickr / National Museum of American History)

Up until now, a 2007 federal law tightening energy efficiency standards in the country has stayed mostly under the radar. But on New Year’s Day it became illegal to manufacture or import the most popular light bulbs in the country — the 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs perfected more than a century ago by Thomas Edison.

When stores sell out of their current stock of incandescent light bulbs, consumers will be forced to make the switch to LED, CFL or halogen.  A previous phase in the law already put a halt to the manufacture or importation of the 75 and 100 watt models.

(Courtesy of the St. Louis Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals are highlighted in a new report that features environmental initiatives by the professional sports industry.

The report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council describes efforts by sports leagues, teams, and venues to save energy and water, and reduce waste.

(via Flickr/spacepleb)

Missouri utility regulators have given approval for what Ameren Missouri calls the most aggressive energy efficiency plan ever in the state.

Under the plan approved Wednesday by the Missouri Public Service Commission, Ameren will invest $147 million over three years in several programs that seek to reduce electricity use by 800 million megawatt-hours.

The plan was part of a negotiated settlement among Ameren, PSC staff, consumer advocates and environmental groups.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Public Service Commission heard details Monday on Ameren Missouri’s proposed efficiency plan.

The proposal is designed to promote energy efficiency while still allowing the St. Louis-based utility to earn a profit.  It has an estimated price tag of $145 million and it would be paid by the utility’s customers, whose residential bills on average would be about $3 a month higher.  But Ameren Missouri’s Warren Wood says if approved, customers would save money in the long run.

(Joe Angeles/WUSTL)

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill was in St. Louis Monday as part of her state-wide energy tour.

The Democratic senator participated in a roundtable discussion at Washington University about the nation's energy future. At the table were some of Missouri's energy industry leaders, along with university administrators and researchers.

McCaskill says their feedback reinforced for her the need to keep all energy options on the table.

(Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says exploring natural gas supplies in Illinois and making tax credits for renewable energy permanent could be ways to lower soaring gas prices.

Kirk told reporters Monday that federal officials need to research possibilities for harnessing natural gas from New Albany shale in the Illinois basin.

The Republican also says he'd like to see permits granted more quickly for off shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and reduce so-called small gasoline monopolies.

(via Flickr/yomanimus)

Missouri is lagging in its use of federal stimulus money intended to make homes more energy efficient for low-income residents.

Missouri received nearly $129 million in home weatherization funds for low-income residents under the 2009 federal stimulus bill. As of the end of January, just $47 million of that had been spent. That amounts to 37 percent of the total.