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Archive for the 'Electricity' Category

Starwood to invest in energy efficient TVs

October
28

The televisions that guests watch at 460 North American hotels are big energy hogs for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

That’s because the average hotel television runs six to eight hours during a typical day. Guests commonly waste even more energy when they leave their rooms without turning off the sets.

Looking to cut its energy bills, White Plains-based Starwood is embarking on an ambitious program that could see it install at least 80,000 energy efficient TVs at its North American hotels. Starwood anticipates that the payoff could be a $12 million reduction in energy costs over seven years.

Starwood, whose hotel brands include Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis, agreed to buy the new SmartPower(2) energy efficient televisions from Philips Electronics, the Dutch electronics giant. Compared to older models, the new TVs may cut energy consumption by up to 40 percent, according to Philips.

Starwood may invest as much as $100 million in the TVs.

The typical hotel room with one television and three light bulbs uses about 455 watts of energy daily, according to Philips. Replacing these with Philips SmartPower TVs and energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs can reduce the energy use to 153 watts.

“This is a defining agreement for us, and is indicative of the fundamental change in mindset we have implemented around procurement and sourcing, and the partners we want to work with to achieve this,” said Paul Davis, senior vice president of global sourcing at Starwood. “Philips has shown us that it is easy to simultaneously provide our guests with the very latest technology while making a sound business decision that significantly impacts costs and reduces energy consumption.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
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State OKs $4.5B takeover of Energy East

September
3

State regulators today approved the $4.5 billion sale of Energy East Corp. to Iberdrola SA., with a requirement that the Spain-based energy conglomerate credit New York customers $275 million.

The sale includes two New York state subsidiaries: Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. and New York State Electric & Gas Corp., which has nearly 90,000 customers in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

New York was the last of four Northeastern states to weigh in on the deal. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine previously approved the buyout.

The Public Service Commission 4-0 vote follows a non-binding determination by an administrative law judge in June that state regulators should deny Iberdrola’s takeover of Portland, Maine-based Energy East, saying the sale wasn’t in the interest of New York state residents.

Further, the judge advised that should PSC officials approve the sale, regulators should place conditions on the deal, including requiring Iberdrola to sell wind-turbine generators to prevent any possibility of electricity price manipulation.

Last month, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., urged the commission to drop its insistence that Iberdrola sell all its wind power assets, saying that requirement wasn’t in keeping with the goal of moving the state toward renewable sources of energy.

In announcing its approval yesterday, commission Chairman Garry Brown said in permitting the sale, PSC required that Iberdrola credit ratepayers $275 million as a condition in allowing the company to operate both generation and transmission facilities in the state, which the state generally views as unacceptable.

Iberdrola will also be permitted to own and operate Energy East hydroelectric plants but will be required to sell those that operate on fossil fuels, ordering the company to file a divestiture plan of such assets within 90 days of the buyout’s completion.

Iberdrola must file a written statement of acceptance of the commission’s order before the deal can close, PSC said.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
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SmartWatt opens office in Harrison

June
20

SmartWatt Energy Services reports it has opened an office in Harrison to service the New York City metropolitan area.

SmartWatt, which provides services and products for reducing energy consumption, has offices in the Albany area and Rochester.

Posted by David Schepp on Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
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Energy East deal in limbo, Schumer seeks meeting

June
19

New York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer, lashed out at the state’s Public Service Commission today, calling its demands “irrational and illogical,” following a non-binding ruling by an administrative law judge Monday to reject Iberdrola SA’s $4.5 billion buyout of Energy East Corp., parent to New York State Electric & Gas Corp.

NYSEG has nearly 90,000 customers in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

The commission is seeking “to place severe restrictions on the world’s leading wind power producer,” Schumer said in a written statement.

In his ruling, the judge urged the commission, should it decide to go ahead with the buyout, to require Iberdrola to sell of all of its wind-energy assets in the state, among other conditions.

But Schumer said that stipulation would risk jobs and a $2 billion investment in the state’s economy. The Democrat said he is seeking to meet with PSC Chairman Garry A. Brown about Iberdrola’s bid, which likely will be withdrawn if PSC rejects the plan.

“I am requesting this meeting to discuss the importance of brokering a deal that will keep customer rates low, provide system reliability and bring much-needed wind power to New York,” Schumer said.

The PSC is expected it issue its ruling on the buyout next month.

New York is the last of four Northeastern states to weigh in on the deal. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine have approved the buyout.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
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NYSEG Web site updated to permit outage reports

June
18

New York State Electric & Gas Corp. is advising its electricity customers, which include 85,000 in Westchester, Dutchess and Putnam counties, that they can now report outages through the companies revised Web site (www.nyseg.com), by clicking on the Outage Central tab on the company’s home page.

“While it may seem odd to think about having Web access when the power is out, more and more NYSEG customers are using wireless technology or may be reporting an outage at home from work or another location where the power is on,” the company said.

In addition to reporting outages, customers can also view where service interruptions have occurred by town and street.

In the event of extended outages, news releases and the locations of any emergency shelters and dry ice and water distribution sites are also posted, NYSEG said.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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