Sign up | Login with →

Posts by Catherine Wolfram Subscribe

Why Aren't We Talking About Net Energy Metering for LEDs?

The fights over net energy metering have gotten loud and heated. For those of you who have missed the drama, here, in a nutshell, is what “net metering” means. Say I install enough solar panels on my roof to provide about half of my electricity over...

Posted March 19, 2014    

How Much Energy are We Flushing Down the Drain?

California is in the middle of a drought. In the Bay Area, that has meant day after day of glorious, uncharacteristically sunny winter weather. But, I am haunted by media images of dry creek beds and by my own mental images of driving by the Rim...

Posted February 26, 2014    

Would a Nest Help My Family Save Energy?

Since my husband and I both work in the energy industry, we often exchange energy-themed gifts. He has given me energy books (my favorite was American Power by Mitch Epstein filled with beautiful art-shots of power plants), power plant trading cards...

Posted December 26, 2013    

Smart Meters, but Dumb Pricing? Not in Sacramento

Smart meters are supposed to give you more control over your electricity bills. As a PG&E customer, I can log onto a website and look at our household smart meter data, which shows our consumption hour-by-hour. That’s how we learned just how...

Posted November 20, 2013    

How California's K-12 Schools Can Teach Us About Energy Efficiency

California has long been a leading indicator of national energy-efficiency trends. The state passed minimum efficiency standards for refrigerators in 1976, 11 years before the federal government adopted similar standards. And, the recent Corporate...

Posted October 30, 2013    

Energy Policy, Sunk Costs, and Driving Decisions

Do people who buy more expensive vehicles drive more? At first, the answer to that question seems obvious. Within a certain income group, people who are going to spend a lot of time in their cars are willing to invest more – get those leather seats...

Posted September 25, 2013    

What's the Point of an Electricity Storage Mandate?

An aptly named picture – the “duck graph” – is captivating the California energy policy world. It depicts electricity demand net of projected renewable generation (“net load”) on a representative day in the not too distant future.The Duck GraphOne...

Posted July 31, 2013    

Powering Africa: Observations from Kenya

During his trip to Africa at the end of June, President Obama announced the Power Africa initiative. The press release highlighted several goals, including adding generation capacity in the six target countries, which include Kenya, and increasing...

Posted July 16, 2013