Inaccurate Energy Saving Tags Still Guide Consumers to Good Choices

According to Tracee Carrasco of CBS2 News in New York, the yellow energy-savings tags on appliances do not accurately represent the dollar savings consumers will enjoy when purchasing new appliances.

Carrasco reports that professor of economics Lucas Davis simply says that, “The labels are wrong.”

Davis explains that the dollar figures given on the labels are national averages of electricity costs, and in New York, where electricity is much more expensive, the amount saved will most likely not be the same amount as what is written on the tags.

“They show information based on national average electricity prices,” Davis said. “The problem is, people have no idea how much they spend for electricity so they have no idea how to make that conversion.”

Nevertheless, even with the inaccurate numbers on the tags, they still help consumers decide which appliance to buy based on the comparison of amount saved with the other appliances on display. In other words the tags still help people save money and energy.

“We found people who saw better labels, made better decisions and they saved money—a lot of money,” Davis said.

As RPS Expires Four Clean Energy Projects Awarded Funding

Photo by Chuck Coker

Photo by Chuck Coker

In mid-November the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Public Service Commission awarded a total of $206 million to several clean energy projects.  Announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the funding was made available through the auspices of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program.

The executive director of Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Anne Reynolds reacted to the news:

“The Alliance for Clean Energy New York applauds this exciting news and commends the Administration’s ongoing commitment to clean energy investment. By all accounts this was a highly competitive solicitation, with some strong projects selected and some strong projects not selected. There is still a vast untapped pool of renewable energy in New York, and we urge the state to continue its leadership role in clean energy by designing a next-generation RPS to be implemented starting in 2016.”

Ms. Reynolds added the following:

“The RPS continues to be a win for New York’s environment and economy.  This latest procurement underscores the great success of the program, which is currently set to expire at the end of 2015. With that deadline looming, the state needs to take action and develop an aggressive plan for investment in clean energy beyond 2015. With a new, next-generation RPS, New York can continue to meet an increasing portion of its electricity needs with clean and carbon-free power while promoting economic development and building a diverse energy supply. We look forward to working with the PSC, NYSERDA, and other stakeholders on the design and implementation of a new and improved RPS.”

Efficient Lighting Leads to Lower Emissions

Begin with Lighting to Reduce Emissions and Improve Energy Efficiency

Begin with Lighting to Reduce Emissions and Improve Energy Efficiency

One of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprints of households and businesses is to concentrate on improving the efficiency of energy usage. And one of the best places to begin efficiency improvements is with lighting.

Richard Yancy, Executive Director of Green Light New York explains why starting with lighting to improve energy efficiency: “Because it’s the cheapest efficiency improvement you can make, and also because people can see it.”

Yancy explains that Project Green Light New York is trying to be a “living room for energy efficiency.” The project combines education with interactive models, while also creating a space for learning and discussion. The location for the GLNY resource center exemplifies the goals of the project: the juxtaposition of cutting-edge lighting in one of New York City’s oldest and most historic buildings, on Chambers Street near City Hall and the federal courthouse, shows that efficiency can easily begin with lighting, even in the oldest of buildings.

Improving consumer’s energy efficiency and lowering their carbon footprint is a goal of IDT Energy.

Cut Back on Heating Costs

As winter rages on and another polar vortex threatens the United States, families can benefit greatly from learning a bit about heating and ways to conserve energy at home. Home Energy Saver recently shared this infographic in an effort to boost awareness and support energy conservation:


Geoff Rochwarger on Creating Value

IDT Energy CEO Geoffrey Rochwarger recently shared some advice for businesses, explaining that creating value is essential in any industry.

“Managers must evolve their business plans to meet customers’ changing needs. Every business, if it wants to grow, needs to identify how customers’ behaviors change and how this creates new markets—large and niche—that are as yet untapped. This goes for companies large and small,” he said. ““It is crucial for businesses to understand how they can leverage their customer’s additional needs to produce new revenue streams. This can be done in many ways. It may mean offering more services, tailoring existing services to further serve customers’ needs, or adjusting pricing tiers in a way that makes the product or service better for customers while augmenting the business’ earnings potential.”


Genie Energy Releases 2nd Quarter Results

Genie Energy released its second quarter 2013 results this week.

Claude Pupkin, Genie Energy’s CEO, said, “IDT Energy achieved strong revenue growth year over year even as gross margin, EBITDA and income from operations came in lower than we had anticipated. At Genie Oil and Gas, we continue to make progress in our projects. At Afek, our oil and gas project in the Golan Heights, we plan to begin a series of geophysical tests to evaluate the resource during the third quarter, and undertake an exploratory drilling program beginning in mid-2014. In Colorado, AMSO, LLC has embarked on an intensive program to identify, design, evaluate and test an alternative heating system after the down-hole electric heater failed earlier this year during pilot test operations. The alternative heater development process will be thorough and deliberate. This is an essential step on the road to a successful pilot test.”

Your Attic and Energy Efficiency

Air leaks can often be traced to your attic- resulting in a house that’s too warm in the summer and too cold in the winter. The Residential Energy Services Network offers several tips for insulating your attic:

  • Seal holes or gaps around chimneys or furnace flues to prevent air leaks.
  • Use metal flashing for larger gaps and high temperature caulk for smaller ones.
  • Identify and seal all air leaks before adding additional insulation.
  • Seal small gaps around plumbing stacks and electrical wiring.
  • Use caulk for small gaps and spray foam for gaps up to 3 inches in diameter.
  • Use a combination of foam board and foam spray for gaps larger than 3 inches in diameter.
  • Use weatherizing materials or a pre-made attic cover to insulate your attic hatch or door.
  • Make sure attic soffit and gable vents aren’t blocked to ensure free airflow.

IDT Announces Evergreen Fleet Services

IDT Energy CEO Geoffrey Rochwarger recently announced the company’s new Evergreen Fleet Services.

“I am excited to announce IDT Energy’s entry into the Natural Gas Vehicle industry. Evergreen Fleet Services, through our partnership with CVS, will leverage IDT Energy’s natural gas commodity expertise and in-market experience in the retail sector to help provide world class CNG-based solutions for fleet owners in the Northeast,” he said. “We initially intend to take full advantage of IDT Energy’s regional base of operations, network for supply of the commodity and other relationships and infrastructure, and then gradually expand our geographic footprint and scope of offerings.”

Genie Energy and its Subsidiaries

Genie Energy stock has increased by more than 70% over the last year. In a recent article for Seeking Alpha, a trader discusses the company. One of Genie’s subsidiaries is IDT Energy.

According to the article, IDT is “a stable cash flow business that generates about $25 million in annual EBITDA and all the revenues ($230 million in revenues in 2012) at GNE currently… IDT Energy made $25m in EBITDA in 2012, up 27% year over year. I would note that the company is investing significantly to grow this business but all the “investing” costs are in sales and marketing and are expensed fully in the quarter incurred, thereby, reducing the reported earnings of this entity while they grow it, yet they still made $25m in EBITDA in 2012.”

Energy Saving Tips from IDT Energy

Energy conservation and money-saving tips are in high demand as new technologies and solutions present themselves across the country. New York-based IDT Energy offers several hints for lowering bills and preserving the environment:

  • Lower your thermostat at night and whenever the house is unoccupied.
  • Close off unoccupied rooms so you aren’t heating or cooling them.
  • If you consistently set your thermostat back at night, you may reduce your heating bill by 10-20 percent. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you could save up to 5 percent on heating costs.