Power Lines Blog

Electricity Is More than the Bill, Let’s Tell Our Customers


When I started my career in public power in 1979 at the Intermountain Consumer Power Association, I didn’t know the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour — let alone what public power was. Fortunately, I had several mentors who not only helped me advance in my career but also nurtured in me a passion for all that is public power, and the wonderful American spirit of community.

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Public power benefits from the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency


Recently, the APPA energy services community engaged in a lively listserv discussion on a new research paper by a team of economists from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley. The paper, “Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program,” asserts that projected savings from certain residential energy efficiency investments may be overestimated.

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America’s Electric Grid: Why Is Our Thinking in the Dark?


I remember working in Washington, DC in the fall of 1999 as the U.S. was bracing for the “big one.” The end of the world. Armageddon. A scare known as Y2K. The electric industry was put under a microscope to ensure that the electric grid would survive the stroke of midnight on the evening of December 31, 1999.

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Remembering Nikola Tesla, an Engineer’s Engineer

Nikola Tesla Day

July 10 is the birthday of Nikola Tesla, one of the most famous, yet underappreciated, electrical engineering minds of all time. He died in 1943 alone, broke, and quite possibly insane in New York City. Today a Google search for ‘Tesla’ brings up a bunch of car dealerships before the Wikipedia entry for the great inventor himself. But for many electrical engineers like me who chose to go into power engineering, Tesla is a hero.

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