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Your source for breaking news in the heating industry.
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NatGrid halts rebates for efficiency in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A National Grid program that provides rebates to residential customers installing high efficiency heating equipment has run out of money and will be suspended, the company said Monday. The utility said it suspended its Residential High Efficiency Heating, Water Heating Equipment, Thermostat, and Controls Program in Rhode Island as of April 19. However, National Grid said that it will process and pay customer-completed rebate applications received by the program’s rebate processing vendor by midnight April 30. (more) Read More

Fine print in National Grid rebates

Replacing the 20-year-old heating and cooling systems in their Slingerlands home had been on their minds for a while, but it was a National Grid rebate program that gave Chris and John Kindschi the push they needed to move forward. "We started thinking about it a year ago, but we never did anything about it," said John, a 63-year-old retired city firefighter for Austin, Texas. "Then, we saw the rebates and tax credits and we decided 'Now's the time.'"They arranged to buy a new high-efficiency gas furnace and a central air conditioning unit from Rotterdam Heating and Air Conditioning. They scheduled the installation for late last month, just under the wire for a March 31 deadline Chris had noted in some of the rebate information documents. "We didn't have to do it right then, but we decided to do it because of the rebates," she said.The Kindschis spent about $6,000 ... Read More

National Grid asks state to approve major rate hike for natural gas customers

WALTHAM —National Grid customers in Massachusetts would see their gas bills rise by an average of $5 to $15 a month under a new rate plan that the British utility company has filed with state regulators.If the company’s proposal is approved by the state Department of Public Utilities, the typical residential heating bill would rise by $64 to $175 a year or, on average, roughly $5 to $15 per month, the company said. National Grid residential customers typically pay between $1,400 to $1,600 a year for natural gas, or an average of $116 to $133 per month. (more) Read More

AG will oppose National Grid bid to hike gas rates

Calling it “excessive and ill-timed,” Attorney General Martha Coakley served notice yesterday that she plans to oppose National Grid’s proposal to raise natural-gas rates by 4.3 percent to 11.2 percent for its 850,000 customers in Massachusetts. The rate increases - which would average $64 to $175 a year for customers, depending on where they live - are needed to help pay for ongoing maintenance of the region’s gas-line infrastructure, said National Grid. (more) Read More

U.S. announces tighter scrutiny for Energy Star products

The U.S. government, criticized for lax scrutiny of Energy Star products, has announced it will further tighten its certification rules. Prior to using the Energy Star label, the U.S. stamp of approval for energy efficiency, companies will now have to submit complete lab reports and results about their products to the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the announcement Wednesday. EPA will no longer rely on an automated approval process. (more) Read More

Manufacturer A.O. Smith signs solar water deal

MILWAUKEE — Manufacturer A.O. Smith Corp. said Tuesday that it has signed an agreement to market solar water heating equipment made by an Israeli company.A manufacturer of water heaters and electric motors, A.O. Smith has exclusive marketing and distribution rights in the United States and Canada for solar collectors made by Chromagen.Chromagen makes solar products for household use at two factories in Israel.The companies will also work on the development of new solar products.Shares of A.O. Smith rose 65 cents to $56.38 in late trading.(source) Read More

VT college to begin biomass heating

POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) - Green Mountain College in Poultney is going to inaugurate a new biomass generating facility that will produce 20 percent of the electricity used by the Vermont school and 85 percent of its heat. The $5.8 million facility is expected to burn 4,400 tons of wood chips a year, displacing 200,000 gallons of heating oil. (more) Read More

Chinese Turbines Spun by Texas Winds Spur ‘Buy American’ Push

April 13 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese turbines powered by west Texas winds are sparking a debate over whether “Buy American” rules should be imposed on renewable-energy investments backed by the U.S. government. A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd., based in Shenyang, China, will supply turbines to a joint venture planning to build a $1.5 billion wind farm using equipment made in China. The group, which includes two U.S. partners, says it may seek financial aid from the Obama administration because the project will create at least 1,000 American jobs. Lawmakers led by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, say such assistance amounts to subsidizing green jobs outside the country. They want to slap made-in-America requirements on renewable-energy initiatives aided by the U.S., like those already faced by highway and water-treatment projects helped by President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan. (more) Read More

10 Million Solar Roofs and 10 Million Gallons of Solar Water Heating

Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont introduced a bill to, respectively, the US House (HR 4597) and the Senate (S 2993) in February, 2010, that seeks a new program of rebates for small-scale solar systems. Based on Cailfornia’s 2006 “Million Solar Roofs” initiative, the proposed 10 Million Solar Roofs and 10 Million Gallons of Solar Water Heating Act would seek millions of solar systems to be installed on rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade. (more) Read More

Maine putting its energy behind efficiency project

AUGUSTA - Maine is preparing to spend $180 million over the next three years on a far-reaching plan to help residents and businesses use less energy. The plan would greatly expand efficiency programs, in line with meeting a 20-year legislative goal of weatherizing every home and half of the businesses in the state. That law also aims to cut consumption of electricity and natural gas by nearly one-third over the next decade, and use of heating oil by 20 percent. Officials are calling it the most ambitious energy-saving goal in the nation. (more) Read More
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