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Your source for breaking news in the heating industry.
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N.J. considers offering energy efficiency loans instead of rebates to save ratepayers money

Over the last decade, more than 100,000 New Jerseyans got state help paying for home energy audits. Another 80,000 residents got state rebates to buy new washing machines, and 67,000 low-income individuals and families got freebies like improved thermostats, insulation upgrades and even efficient refrigerators. Those rebates and giveaways are funded by a line at the bottom of utility bills called the "societal benefits charge," and with other programs, efficiency incentives like rebates cost ratepayers more than $300 million a year. (more) Read More

Boston Pipefitters Local 537 celebrates its 100th anniversary

To which we say, Happy Anniversary! (more) Read More

Solar Company That Got Federal Loan Shuts Down

WASHINGTON (AP) — A California solar-panel manufacturer once touted by President Barack Obama as a beneficiary of his administration's economic policies — as well as a half-billion-dollar federal loan — is laying off 1,100 workers and filing for bankruptcy. Solyndra LLC of Fremont, Calif., had become the poster child for government investment in green technology. The president visited the company in May 2010 and noted that Solyndra expected to hire 1,000 workers to manufacture solar panels. Other state and federal officials such as former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Energy Secretary Steven Chu also visited the company's facilities. But hard times have hit the nation's solar industry. Solyndra is the third solar company to seek bankruptcy protection this month. Officials said Wednesday that the global economy as well as unfavorable conditions in the solar industry combined to force the company to suspend its manufacturing operations. (more) Read More

Plumber fined for gas leak. Propane cloud led to evacuations

LITCHFIELD — A Massachusetts plumber who improperly installed safety upgrades and left a propane system at Mintec Specialty Minerals to release a potentially explosive vapor cloud over Canaan has been ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and penalties.Michael Pluta, 41, a plumbing contractor and owner of Advanced Plumbing and Heating in Barre, Mass., was also sentenced to a suspended one year prison term and two years of probation when he appeared Wednesday before Judge Corinne L. Klatt in Bantam Superior Court. The fine will be used to train and educate plumbers and gas fitters. (more) Read More

EPA's Planned Phaseout of Harmful Refrigerant Hits Snag

Eighteen months after the Obama administration came out with new rules to stop refrigerants in air conditioners from thinning the Earth's protective ozone layer, an unexpected quirk has divided the industry and could have implications for the atmosphere. (more) Read More

Maine's largest city switches 18 buildings to natural gas

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's largest city is spending $9.5 million to convert 10 schools and eight other buildings to natural gas. Once it's completed, natural gas will represent 85 percent of the fuel load in Portland. Ian Houseal, Portland's sustainability coordinator, tells WCSH-TV (http://bit.ly/q5bwjQ ) that the city will save about $900,000 a year if heating oil remains at $3 a gallon. (more) Read More

Lawsuit against LEED dismissed

The United States District Court in New York City today dismissed in its entirety the lawsuit brought against the U.S. Green Building Council by Henry Gifford and others, holding that none of the plaintiffs in the action had alleged or could allege any legal interest to be protected by their lawsuit. (more) Read More

A. O. Smith and PHCC Educational Foundation Award College Scholarships

Falls Church, Va., Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today A. O. Smith (www.hotwater.com) announced the winners of two $2,500 scholarships for students pursuing plumbing-heating-cooling related studies. (more) Read More

Bangor Natural Gas expecting to take on 1,000 new customers this year

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- With winter not far off, more Mainers are looking to switch to natural gas to heat their homes. Officials with Bangor Natural Gas say that the company is expecting to take on about 1,000 new customers during this year. Crews have been working for the company hooking up new households in the Queen City and installing gas lines on two dozen more city streets. Company officials say that more consumers are looking to get away from unpredictable prices for heating oil. Right now it is averaging about $3.55 a gallon in the Bangor area. Natural gas costs about $1.35 a therm, which can produce about 70 percent of the same amount of heat. (more) Read More

Maine Passes Historic Law to Reduce Oil Use

Oil dependence is an issue that can bring together people from all over the political spectrum, as it touches on national security, economics and the environment. So it’s not terribly surprising – although it is encouraging -- that the nation’s first oil-savings bill was passed in a state led by a Tea Party governor and a Republican-dominated legislature. This summer, Maine passed a law requiring the state to reduce its overall oil consumption 30 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050, based on 2009 levels. (more) Read More
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