In case you missed it: Energy Institute in the news

Monday, July 14, 2014
Author: 
Amy Mast

In case you missed them, below you'll find a digest of summer stories featuring work and commentary by Energy Institute Faculty Affiliates. 

Will EPA carbon rules push Michigan harder on clean energy? -MidWest Energy News

A policymaking storm is brewing in Michigan as state officials and lawmakers simultaneously devise a plan to comply with proposed federal carbon rules and also revisit the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard that expires next year.

It appears regulatory officials and lawmakers are attacking the two issues separately — the Department of Environmental Quality recently appointed an official to lead the process of complying with President Obama’s rules; meanwhile, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee has a task force studying a new RPS. More

Are Americans' Environmental Attitudes Finally Changing? - Fast CoExist

Treehuggers. Granola types. Stupid hippies. Make a word cloud of all the terms Americans use to describe environmentalists, and it wouldn't be pretty. But a new survey, conducted twice in the last year by the University of Michigan's Energy Institute, has found that Americans profess to care just as much about the environment as they do about energy affordability. This round, the environment even won.

Let's be honest: It sounds crazy. But as John DeCicco, University of Michigan engineer and lead author of the study, points out, most polls usually pose questions about Americans' environmental leanings as tradeoffs--or they're used to market a product to hardcore, Birkenstock-wearing believers. The University of Michigan survey is radically different in that it framed its questions in an open-ended manner. More

Sure smart home tech is cool. But how much does it save you? -CNBC

Smart home technology is convenient, state-of-the-art and undeniably cool. But does it help where it really matters—in consumers' pocket?

The growing market ranges from Wi-Fi thermometers to automated kitchen appliances and air conditioners. Yet a central question remains: Do these bells and whistles—and the technology that helps them run—actually help consumers save money at a time when heating and electricity bills are soaring?

Energy efficient homes are garnering more attention in the face of a wave of higher utility costs. Residential electricity prices are expected to rise nearly 4 percent this year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, a function of a brutal winter that lit a fire under oil and natural gas costs. More