Finding the Smartest Use for Smart Meters

first_imgEven though energy use can be reduced dramatically by straightforward, cost-effective retrofits – switching to CFL light bulbs, beefing up insulation and airtightness, etc. – utility companies and other energy-use experts still devote a lot of time and effort to changing consumers’ energy-usage patterns, which can be some of the squirrelliest variables in the energy efficiency equation.A report released last week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit research group based in Washington, D.C., zeros in on the disconnect between actual energy savings and the intended energy-saving benefits of installing “smart meters,” which can be read remotely by utility companies and provide more-detailed usage information to customers on their monthly bills. Studies have shown that changing usage behavior alone can reduce energy costs in a home by as much as 15% and electricity consumption by as much as 12%. But behavior doesn’t seem to change much under utility programs that rely entirely on smart metering. The missing ingredient, the ACEEE report says, is usage information that consumers can track in real time and compare with usage patterns elsewhere in their community.Adding contextThat’s not a new concept, but over the past couple years it has attracted the attention of several companies looking for ways to exploit the possibilities. In previous posts, we’ve mentioned some of the tools that can be used to help consumers closely track their household energy use, such as home dashboards that display electricity consumption in real time, and Web-based monitoring systems that provide similarly detailed usage data, such as Google’s PowerMeter, Microsoft’s Hohm, and systems being developed by network specialists Cisco Systems and Verizon Communications, and one by “smart grid” specialist Silver Spring Networks). An even broader approach is being taken by a company called OPOWER, whose Home Energy Reporting System is designed to tell utility customers how their rates of energy use rank relative to those of other homeowners in their service area.The OPOWER strategy seems especially pertinent to findings in the ACEEE report, whose lead author, Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, a senior research associate at University of Colorado’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, notes that consumers are more likely to take positive action if their usage is framed against a backdrop of usage in the neighborhood.“Rather than simply presenting consumers with information about the amount of energy consumed during the past month, enhanced billing programs in the short-term can provide a context in which consumers can evaluate their consumption levels and give expert recommendations about the best approaches for reducing energy consumption,” Ehrhardt-Martinez says. “People may be unhappy to get an electricity bill for $200, but it’s even worse to find out that your neighbors’ energy bills are half what you’re paying even though their homes are the same size. Through enhanced billing consumers can better evaluate their energy consumption practices, determine how energy is being wasted, and take action.”The report notes that, depending on how it’s implemented, energy-use feedback has the potential to reduce consumers’ electricity costs by $2 billion to $35 billion over the next 20 years.last_img read more

Kushwaha to take seats issue to Modi

first_imgRashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha appears to be struggling to accept his share of Lok Sabha seats in the NDA in Bihar. After meeting BJP general secretary in charge of Bihar, Bhupendra Yadav, early on Tuesday, he announced that he would take his grievance to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing a press meet after the meeting, Mr. Kushwaha referred to statements by BJP chief Amit Shah about each partner having to “sacrifice” seats. “Well, if we are expected to share in the sacrifice, we should have also been accommodated when it came to sharing the spoils,” he said.Mr. Kushwaha also announced that his party would be fielding candidates in 66 Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, a warning shot to partner BJP.Towards the end of the day, he also met the other NDA partner in Bihar, Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). The topic of discussion was again seat-distribution in Bihar.Quashing rumours that he had quit the Union Council of Ministers, Mr. Kushwaha insisted that he was still in search of a “respectable share” in the division of Lok Sabha seats among NDA partners in Bihar for 2019.The talk of seat sharing gained traction after BJP president Amit Shah and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that the BJP and Janata Dal (U) would fight an equal number of seats (speculated to be 17 each out of a total of 40 seats in Bihar), and the rest would be divided between Mr. Kushwaha and the LJP. Mr. Kushwaha’s Party was rumoured to be getting only 2 seats under this arrangement.Mr. Kushwaha has been seen hobnobbing with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejaswi Yadav. He, however, dismissed “Mediapersons were also present there. Tejashwi Yadav came to my room at Circuit House. I went for party-related work and Tejashwi Yadav was already there. We met in the presence of a lot of people,” said Mr Kushwaha.last_img read more

Jo Brand To Take A Hell Of A Walk For Sport Relief

first_imgComedienne Jo Brand will be ‘doing herself proud’ during Sport Relief by taking on the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Jo Brand’s Hell of a Walk, a brutal ordeal which will see the 58-year-old attempt to walk an incredible 150 miles in just seven days.The route will see her travel coast-to-coast across the country from Hull to Liverpool. The challenge is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Comic Relief challenges since 2009.The toughest challenge of Jo’s life will see her swap the relative comfort of the stage to endure day after day of tortuous trekking. She faces a relentless schedule, walking from dawn until dark climbing up to 1,530ft as she crosses the Pennines, which also brings high chances of snow and ice.Starting in Hull on Friday 22nd January and finishing in Liverpool on Thursday 28th January, Jo is likely to face swollen and sore feet, blisters and missing toenails. Tackling 60,000 steps and burning around 6,000 calories each day, Jo’s whole body will be aching and the pain of having to repeat this every day will test her to the limit as she exhausts every last ounce of energy to reach Liverpool.Starting out her career as a psychiatric nurse, Jo has spent many years since her rise to fame raising awareness about mental health issues – so it is fitting that during her journey she will highlight the work that Sport Relief does around mental health and issues that impact women and girls across the UK and the world’s poorest communities. Jo will be joined by famous friends and people helped by funded Sport Relief projects along the route to spur her on.Jo said: “When I first started training for this challenge, I didn’t realise I was not the national fitness icon I’d always believed myself to be. My body is a temple …it’s big and it doesn’t move! The realisation is gradually dawning that I have to walk a very, very, very long way, with many days back- to- back using only my poor little legs to carry me – and that’s a gruesome thought. But the hope is that the walk will raise much needed funds for people who really deserve it, which will keep me going.“And, if it doesn’t, I will give Greg (my trainer) full permission to push me off the top of a massive hill. See you at the bottom, folks!”The money raised from Jo’s challenge will be spent to help transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Jo’s Hell of a Walk isn’t the first Sport Relief Challenge BT has sponsored. From John Bishop’s Week of Hell, David Walliams’ epic swims and who could forget Davina McCall’s brave run, cycle and swim across the country, BT have been there all the way.

All the ups and downs of Jo’s challenge will be captured for a BBC documentary, to be broadcast in the run up to Sport Relief Weekend, which is taking place from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March.last_img read more

Shanahan Approves 15B in Military Funds for Southern Border

first_img ADC AUTHOR Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved transferring $1.5 billion from Pentagon accounts Friday for barrier construction along the southern border, The Hill reported.“Today we reprogrammed $1.5 billion toward the construction of more than 120 miles of border barrier without impacting readiness,” Shanahan said in a statement. “The funds were culled from a variety of sources, to include unexecuted prior year funds, the suspension of reimbursements to Pakistan, and costs reductions in a series of contracts.”Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee had earlier cast the move as harmful to troops.“The Pentagon has now reprogrammed 12 times more money to the wall than for repairs at Tyndall AFB, destroyed by Hurricane Michael. We should put troops first!” Durbin tweeted.The latest $1.5 billion transfer is in addition to $1 billion shifted in March from unspent Army recruiting accounts. Shanahan transferred those funds despite vocal Democratic opposition.Army Corps of Engineers photo by David Palmerlast_img read more

NOW HIRING 10 New Job Openings In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are some of the newest job openings in Wilmington:Full-Time & Part-Time Hosts & Servers at Rocco’s Restaurant & BarFull-Time IT Associate at CuriRxFull-Time Engineering Technician at Rudolph TechnologiesPart-Time Flex Security Officer at Securitas Security ServicesFull-Time Scenic Artist at Art of the EventFull-Time Warehouse and Event Crew at Art of the EventPart-Time Preschool & Infant/Toddler Teachers at The Wonder Years Learning CenterFull-Time Warehouse Shipper/Receiver at Fusion WorldwideFull-Time Solar Outreach Representative at TSEPart-Time Solar Energy Advisor at TSE(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”last_img read more

2019 Mazda6 adds standard driver aids to all trims

first_img Tags News • 2019 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback earn IIHS Top Safety Pick Mazda Comments Review • 2019 Mazda3 review: Still sporty, but more complete More From Roadshow 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel review: Was it really worth the wait? Share your voice Sedans 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata review: Club life isn’t for everyone, and that’s OKcenter_img 3 The Mazda6 is a heck of a value, offering solid driving dynamics and decent equipment at a palatable price point. And now, the addition of some key systems for the 2019 model year sweetens the deal even further.Mazda on Thursday announced that the 2019 Mazda6 will go on sale this month. The most notable addition for the 2019 model year is the inclusion of standard safety systems on every trim — prior model years locked the systems away behind higher trims. Mazda’s i-Activsense suite includes lane-keep assist, automatic braking with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. All trims also receive Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus torque-vectoring system.The base 2019 Mazda6 Sport trim starts at $24,720, including the $920 destination and delivery fee. That gets you a 2.5-liter I4 good for 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Standard kit includes the i-Activsense suite, in addition to blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control and an 8-inch infotainment system with two USB ports.Enlarge ImageAn ever-increasing number of non-American automakers have committed to standardizing safety offerings. If only us Yanks would follow suit… Mazda The next trim up is the $27,320 Mazda6 Touring, which retains the 187-hp engine. This trim adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as leatherette-trimmed seats, a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, keyless entry, a power moonroof and rear-seat USB ports. From there, Mazda rolls out the big guns. Starting on the $30,420 Grand Touring trim, the engine is bumped up to a 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 that puts out 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The trim also receives bigger brakes, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, heated side mirrors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Things only get fancier from there. The $32,920 Grand Touring Reserve trim grows its equipment to include a head-up display, ventilated front seats, actual leather, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and power front seats. At the top of the pile is the $36,020 Signature trim, which boasts Nappa leather, real wood trim, an around-view camera system, embedded navigation and LED ambient lighting. If you were expecting the wagon variant that was announced in Geneva to make an appearance, well, keep dreaming. 2019 Toyota Camry Review Preview • 2019 Mazda3 first drive: More style, more substance More about 2019 Mazda3 Mazda 30 Photos 2018 Mazda6: The sexy midsize sedanlast_img read more

100 primary school head teachers served show cause notice

first_imgThe district primary education office has issued show cause notices to the head teachers of a total of 100 government primary schools in Jhenaidah district for failing to submit the pay slip of ‘school level improvement project’.District primary education officer Sheikh Mohammad Akteruzzaman signed the show cause notices, according to sources at the local education office.There are 907 primary schools under the ‘school level improvement project. Of these 214 schools are in Sadar upazila, 151 in Kaliganj, 74 in Kotchandpur, 153 in Maheshpur, 180 in Shailakupa and 235 schools in Harinakundu upazilas of the district.A total of Tk 3,62,80,000 was provided to the schools in June for the project and each school got Tk 40,000.Allegations of embezzling the money have been raised against some schools and following it, the district education officer has asked the respected head teacher of those schools to provide pay slip of the sanctioned money.When contacted, the district primary education officer said a letter will be sent to the deputy director of Khulna zone for taking necessary actions against those who failed to place the balance sheet in time.“None will be spared,” he further said.last_img read more

UPDATE Fort Bend ISD Board Approves Potential Agreement With County To Build

first_imgElizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaThis file photo shows archaeologists working at the discovered grave sites in Sugar Land.UPDATE: The Board of Trustees of the Fort Bend Independent School District unanimously approved on Monday, June 17, a potential agreement with Fort Bend County to build a cemetery for the so-called “Sugar Land 95.” The members approved that Board President Jason Burdine negotiates a final version of the agreement with the county. After that, the commissioners court will vote on the agreement. That vote could take place next Tuesday, June 25, according to county attorney Roy Cordes.The board of the Fort Bend Independent School District is scheduled to take a crucial vote at its meeting this week to build a cemetery and memorial site in Sugar Land for the remains of 95 African Americans who worked under the Texas convict lease system in the late 1800s. The group has been dubbed the “Sugar Land 95.”The remains were discovered in February 2018 while construction crews worked on building Fort Bend ISD’s James Reese Career Center and Technical Center.In June of that year, Judge James Shoemake, of the Fort Bend County 434th District Court, gave the school district permission to exhume the remains for analysis. Experts concluded they were those of African Americans who were forced to work after the eradication of slavery in the United States, as part of the convict lease system, which started in Texas around 1867, according to the Texas State Historical Association. Currently the remains are being kept in a protected site, near where they were originally found.The Texas Legislature passed a bill this year allowing Fort Bend County to own and operate the cemetery and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it. The passage of the bill was necessary because it allows a county of more than 500,000 residents to own and operate a cemetery, something that previous state law didn’t permit.Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public MediaFrom left to right: Texas State Rep. D.F. ‘Rick’ Miller, Texas State Rep. Ron Reynolds, U.S. Congressman Al Green and Texas State Senator Borris Miles. On June 17, 2019, they attended an event to celebrate the passage of a new state law that will allow Fort Bend County to own and operate the cemetery where the so-called Sugar Land 95 will be reinterred.Support of elected officialsFort Bend ISD, along with county officials and state lawmakers gathered on Monday to celebrate the new law. State Representatives Ron Reynolds and D.F. ‘Rick’ Miller, who sponsored the bill in the Texas House, attended the event along with State Senator Borris Miles and U.S. Congressman Al Green.After the event, Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre talked about next steps toward reinterring the remains.“Basically the agreement we are negotiating with them would involve the transfer of land and the cemetery into the county’s possession,” he said.Dupre said the school district has changed the footprint of the technical school so there will be no construction atop the cemetery.Asked about whether the county would pay the school district for the land, Dupre said they are “still discussing the terms of that agreement, so I’d rather get not into the details.”Timeline for final agreementAs for a timeline, Dupre said that the final agreement would not be announced until the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court has “taken action on it, which could be anytime in the next two weeks to two months.” “We’re still negotiating many of the terms,” he added.Fort Bend County Judge KP George also declined to talk about whether a final agreement will entail the county paying the school district for the land.“This is all still under negotiation, so I don’t want to comment on something our lawyers are working on,” he told News 88.7.Dupre said the land in question is about three fourths of an acre to an acre and that “it’s become even more clear during the last year that our community wants the bodies reinterred originally back in their final resting place.”Ken DeMerchant represents Precinct 4 on the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, and is one of the people negotiating terms with the school district.DeMerchant told News 88.7 that all the parties agree on the main goal of reinterring the remains where they were discovered, but the current negotiation is about a “little verbiage here and there.” He declined to elaborate and didn’t say either whether the county will pay the school district for the land.However, he said that if a final agreement is reached between the county and the school district it’s possible there will be a reburial ceremony and a memorial park will be built adjacent to the cemetery. Sharelast_img read more

MSC has gift cards for agents savings for clients with new campaign

first_imgMSC has gift cards for agents, savings for clients with new campaign Tags: MSC Cruises Thursday, September 28, 2017 Share FORT LAUDERDALE — MSC Cruises is offering bonus commission incentives for travel agents and a special deal for clients to get 50% savings on Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and UAE sailings, all part of CLIA’s Plan a Cruise Month starting Oct. 1.Travel agents will receive a US$50 gift card for each stateroom booked in the MSC Yacht Club onboard MSC Divina from Oct. 1 – 31. To redeem, agents need to send an email to with their booking number once the deposit has been made.The consumer promotion also runs right through the end of October, and offers discounted cruise fares as well as extra perks in the Caribbean including between US$50 and $150 in onboard credit, free WiFi packages and drink packages. Plus, kids 11 and under sail free on select sailings.Here are more details:MSC Cruises Two for One plus Caribbean dealGuests can save up to half off 7+ night sailings in the Caribbean between December 2017 and March 2019 on MSC Divina and MSC Seaside, arriving in Miami in December 2017. Passengers also get bonus perks like $50-$150 onboard credit, free WiFi packages and drink packages, depending on category of stateroom booked.Sample itineraries for sailings on MSC Seaside and MSC Divina include:MSC Seaside – Dec. 23: Guests can experience the first 7-night Caribbean sailing of the revolutionary MSC Seaside as she departs for the first time from Miami with ports of call in St John’s, San Juan and Nassau. Prices start at $958 per person.MSC Seaside – Jan. 27, 2018: 7-night cruise departing from Miami with ports of call in Ocho Rios, Georgetown and Cozumel. Prices start at $589 per person.MSC Divina – Feb. 15, 2018: 11-night cruise departing from Miami, with ports of call in Pointe-a-Pitre, Basseterre, Fort de France, San Juan, Bridgetown and Freeport, Grand Bahama. Prices start at $829 per person.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureMSC Cruises Two for One Mediterranean, Northern Europe and UAE cruise dealsCruisers can save 50% off brochure rates, and reduced deposits of $99 for all Mediterranean, Northern Europe and UAE sailings.Mediterranean: For those looking to explore the Mediterranean, 50% savings apply to all sailings between November 2017 to November 2018, including MSC Cruises’ newest ships — the sparkling new MSC Meraviglia, which debuted in June 2017, and MSC Seaview, which will debut in June 2018 — as well as MSC Orchestra, MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Musica, MSC Opera, MSC Poesia, and MSC Sinfonia.Sample itineraries for sailings in the Mediterranean include:MSC Meraviglia – Jan.19, 2018: 7-night cruise departing from Barcelona, Spain with ports of call in Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo and Valletta. Prices start at $439 per person.MSC Seaview – June 17, 2018: 7-night cruise on MSC Cruises’ newest Seaside-class ship, arriving June 2018, departing from Genoa with ports of call in Naples, Messina, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille. Prices start at $908 per person.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaNorthern Europe: Northern Europe sailings from March 2018 through October 2018 are eligible for half off, including MSC Meraviglia, which after sailing her inaugural season in the Mediterranean will be repositioned to Northern Europe for the summer 2018 season. Sailings are also available on board MSC Magnifica, MSC Orchestra and MSC Preziosa.Sample itineraries for sailings in Northern Europe include:MSC Meraviglia – May 20, 2018: 11-night cruise departing from Hamburg, Germany with ports of call in Kirkwall, UK; Akureyri, Iceland; Isafjordur, Iceland; Reykjavik and Invergordon, UK. Prices start at $1,329 per person.MSC Magnifica – April 23, 2018: 7-night cruise departing from Southampton, United Kingdom with ports of call in Le Havre, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam and Hamburg. Prices start at $429 per person.United Arab Emirates: Cruises to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and MSC Cruises’ newest private destination, Sir Bani Yas Island Beach Oasis, are also reduced by 50% between December 2017 and March 2019 on the magnificent MSC Splendida.Sample itineraries for sailings in the UAE include:MSC Splendida – Feb. 3, 2018: 7-night cruise departing from Dubai with ports of call in Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Muscat and Khor al Fakkan, UAE. Prices start at $499 per person. MSC Splendida – Feb. 10, 2018: 7-night cruise departing from Dubai with ports of call in Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Bahrain and Doha. Prices start at $499 per person.center_img Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more