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Does a Big DOE Loan Guarantee Lower Investor/Owner Solar Investment Risk?
Published by R. G. Lucas in Solar • 9/14/2011 9:24:58 AM
Even with a "clean energy" guaranteed United States government guaranteed loan for $535 million to Solyndra in 2010, the company recently canceled a planned public stock offering and file for bankruptcy.

Was it possible that:

"1. The Bush team tried to conditionally approve the Solyndra loan just before President Obama took office.

2. The company's backers included private investors who had diverse political interests.

3. The loan comprises just 1.3 percent of the Department of Energy's (DOE) overall loan portfolio. To date, Solyndra is the only loan that's known to be troubled." (Solar Power, Stephen Lacy, 13 SEP 2011 2:33 PM).

Was this a great investment by two venture capital groups, Argonaut Venture Capital and Madrone Capital Partners (the VC arm of the founders of Walmart?

We are interested in your opinion on the interaction between DOE loan guarantees for solar, "green" venture capital investments, and the amount of risk the ultimate owners of solar plants are truly absorbing.

On 14 September 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported the House is now probing the Solyndra (DOE) Loan.

Send us your comments and help us understand your opinions.

Landlord charged with tapping UGI lines, stealing gas
Published by As Reported by Manuel Gamiz Jr., OF THE MORNING CALL in Energy Theft • 4/30/2011 10:27:37 PM
The Morning Call Online News reported 29 April 2011 of an Allentown landlord illegally tapping natural gas for three of his properties. If Allentown officials do not use the best technologies availble, how many other thieves are getting away with unsafe theft?
What will Happen to Natural Gas Prices in Ohio when the OCC's Budget is Cut in Half
Published by R. G. Lucas in News • 3/15/2011 10:12:25 PM
[color=#800000][b]Without a well-funded, strong consumer advocate group, who will protect the rights of the bill paying electric and natural gas customers who end up paying for the stolen natural gas and stolen electricity?[/b][/color] The utilities? The independent electricity providers? The independent natural gas suppliers?
Two Metrics to Monitor the President's Weatherization Assistance Program Waste
Published by R. G. Lucas in Weatherization • 3/10/2011
A. Two Verifiable Metrics to Monitor Actual Weatherization Effectiveness

There are only two verifiable metrics to monitor the effectiveness of weatherization improvements:

Conducting aerial infrared surveys before and after weatherization efforts and normalizing those surveys to seasonal temperature variations, and
Comparing the normalized weighted total of all energy bills before and after any weatherization efforts.
Are the Bill Paying Electricity and Natural Gas Residential Customers in Pennsylvania being Cheated?
Published by R. G. Lucas in Mis-Allocated Distribution Cost • 2/23/2011 4:47:24 PM
When comparing the prices per thousand cu.ft of natural gas for each category of customer in Pennsylvania, clearly the residential customers are paying a much higher price than the commercial and the industrial customers.

Would you believe more than 280,000 homes could be heated from the excessive markups to fund the inefficiencies throughout the state of Pennsylvania?
Natural Gas Fires Cost Cities a Lot More than the Cost of Gas
Published by From "The Morning Call" in News • 2/16/2011 10:12:04 PM
"The massive emergency response to last week's deadly natural gas explosion in Allentown cost nearly $61,000, according to city figures released Wednesday, though the true financial toll of the blast may not be known for some time.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski said he met with UGI Utilities and the company paid $50,000 toward the city's costs. UGI spokesman David Beard said the company will consider paying more as the city compiles a more complete list of expenses.

Nearly half of the cost comes out of the fire department, which spent an estimated $25,341 battling the gas-fueled blaze throughout the night of Feb 9-10. Fire Chief Robert Scheirer said 30 men were on duty and an additional 20 men were hired to help. In all, 55 Allentown fire personnel worked the scene" (By Christopher Baxter, OF THE MORNING CALL Allentown, PA)
If One Man in Wyoming Can Steal $10,000, How Many Others are Still Out There?
Published by R. G. Lucas in Convicted Energy Thieves • 2/15/2011 10:38:08 PM

Wyoming;s state average poverty level is only about 1.1%, yet this energy theft occured in an urban area in Wyoming.

If this person was stealing natural gas for five years, who was looking for the energy thieves and how effect were their efforts.
Prepaid Smart-Meters for Energy Thieves Could Cut Costs of Bill Paying Customers and Increase Safety
Published by R. G. Lucas in Energy Theft • 2/1/2011 11:58:36 AM
Based upon RecoverIR discussions within the last 6 months with many electric utilities and many natural gas local distribution companies, several common threads seems to be emerging which could be significantly mitigated if electric and gas utilities simply began to install prepaid meters similar to those of First Choice.
EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule will Only be Delayed -- Not Canceled
Published by R. G. Lucas in News • 1/31/2011 1:41:07 PM
While some natural gas local distribution companies (LDC's) might be hoping the reporting of certain data elements required under the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (75 FR 81350) will go away, our government will not be able to regulate emissions with measurements and estimates.
Utilities Need Another Strategy for Smart Meters
Published by R. G. Lucas in Smart Grid Financing • 1/27/2011 11:43:37 AM
Consumers in California might be wondering, "What's in it for me?" when it comes to smart meters, witness the actions by Menocino County and Santa Cruz California to put a moratorium on the installation of smart meters.