On June 18, Dr. Tiffany Wise-West, P.E., will present at the 6th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum in a session geared toward municipalities preparing GHG emissions inventories, entitled “A Clear Path to Climate Action Planning: ClearPath 101″

Dr. Wise-West at the Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum

EcoShift was acknowledged for providing guidance and peer review for a new report from the Gold Standard Foundation and World Wildlife Fund Switzerland. The research report entitled The Real Value of Robust Climate Action: Impact Investment Far Greater Than Previously Understood aimed to monetize the environmental and socio-economic net benefits from Gold Standard projects and investments.

EcoShift Provides Guidance for Gold Standard Report

EcoShift’s analysis for the Sierra Club demonstrated that the electricity utility and its rate payers save substantially from solar net metering customers.

EcoShift’s Avoided Costs Analysis featured in Utah’s Net Metering Debate

EcoShift is collaborating with the Sierra Club in Utah as solar power homeowners fight proposed utility fee. Key finding: “Homes with rooftop solar would help save the utility over $1.4 million dollars in avoided energy and transmission costs in one year.” Read More at http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57966967-78/power-solar-customers-net.html.csp

EcoShift analysis demonstrates avoided costs of solar net metering customers in Utah

EcoShift’s sea-to-pump life cycle analysis of BioArchitecture Lab’s seaweed macro-algae ethanol was described at Biofuels Digest.

Bio Architecture Lab, EcoShift make waves with seaweed-based biofuels

CalRecycle recently published their Critical Review of Used Oil Life Cycle Assessment Study, which contains analysis from EcoShift. The publication details the methodology and results of the Used Oil Life Cycle Assessment Critical Review according to the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) methodology described in ISO 14040-14044. The report consists of the combined efforts of a review chair and 5 panel members, including EcoShift.

EcoShift project update: CalRecycle publishes Critical Review of Used Oil Life Cycle Assessment Study

EcoShift Principal and LCA expert Dr. Dustin Mulvaney has appeared as an expert in recent media coverage of the solar energy industry including the Associated Press, Southern California Public Radio, Switzer Network News, EarthTechling, and Green Sense Radio.

EcoShift’s Dr. Mulvaney quoted in recent media coverage of the solar energy industry

A new UNDP Human Development Report on equitable clean energy was co-authored by EcoShift’s Dustin Mulvaney. Read the report here.

The Associated Press reports that this year the rate of greenhouse gas emissions is the highest ever, and higher than even the worst case scenario predictions. It’s really time to do something about this.

Bad news on global emissions

EcoShift’s Dustin Mulvaney was quoted in a recent Greentech Media article about solar PV and LCA.

Solar PV and LCA in Greentech Media

EcoShift’s Dustin Mulvaney will be speaking at SRI in the Rockies, Oct. 2-5, 2011 in New Orleans

Dr. Mulvaney speaking at SRI in the Rockies

The Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2011 annual report shows that 65 percent of the S&P 500 companies responding to a survey said they had integrated climate change issues into their overall business strategies, up from 35 percent in 2010. (read more here, via the NYTimes)

Majority of S&P 500 companies are taking action on climate change

James Dixon, the vice president for Legal & Compliance Services at Con Edison Energy and chairman of the National Association of Energy Service Companies has published a great op-ed on the value of green jobs, specifically in energy, to the US economy and job creation. Read here

Great discussion on the contribution of green jobs to the economy

The New York Times has an excellent editorial on the climate change stance of the Republican slate of presidential hopefuls here.

New York Times editorial on climate change denial

Carbon and water footprinting is becoming more and more common. This Economist article discusses where this type of action is happening most and why.

carbon footprinting

What is the best way to address the environmental impact of your supply chain? This Harvard Business Review blog posting is right on track.

supply chain article

Regrettably, the state of California will delay implementation of greenhouse gas regulation until 2013. Read more here. Meanwhile, China is on track to implement carbon trading by 2015. Read more here.

California delays greenhous gas mitigation measures until 2013

The Climate Action Reserve just published a background paper for the Croplands Management Protocol written by EcoShift Consulting. You can read it here.

Climate Action Reserve publishes EcoShift Background Paper for the CMPP

A new Yale University survey has just been released, showing that the US public still does not have a firm grasp on the scientific certainty surrounding climate change and it’s causes. You can read about it here and see the survey itself here

Public still unclear on climate change certainty

A collaboration between California Natural Resources Agency and the California Energy Commission has produced a fantastic resource to examine regional and local climate change projections for California. To explore these changes, please click here.

Great interactive California climate change tool

An innovative power plant that utilizes the flywheel principle has just been opened in New York. Reducing peak loads, and stabilizing power supply will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the times of the highest demand. Read more here.

Flywheel based power plant

A good New York Times story on the effects of climate change on current and future grain yield reductions around the world. Read the full story here.

Climate change affecting grain yield

California just passed the nations most agressive Renewable Portfolio Standard, promising to provide 33% renewable electricity by 2020.

april 2

The Green Economy is growing: The growth of green jobs in California is three times the pace of growth of the state’s overall economy.

Shareholders are increasingly more vocal about their desire for climate-responsible corporations, with a 50% increase this year in shareholder resolutions related to climate change.

feb 18

An interesting way of utilizing waste from sewage treatment to produce energy by the city of New York. New York Times has the story here.

New York City will use sewage for power

As auto manufacturers began to green their fleets life cycle analysis will be increasingly important to integrate early in the design process by showing the relative sustainability impacts of selecting different materials.

Greening transportation with life cycle analysis

Dustin Mulvaney is interviewed about the impacts of manufacturing solar photovoltaics, and how recycling can lower the carbon footprint of solar in the Guardian (UK).

Are solar panels the next e-waste?

Recently EcoShift completed a white paper on the inclusion of soil carbon in forest offset projects. Our whitу paper was recently published by the Climate Action Reserve. You can access the paper here (scroll down to “protocol white papers”)

EcoShift white paper published by the Climate Action Reserve

California’s Air Resources Board approved the final cap-and-trade rule to implement that portion of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. The New York Times has an article on it, you can read the full draft rule here, and the final rule should be posted here shortly.

ab32

Read an article in the UK’s Guardian that profiles EcoShift’s Dr. Dustin Mulvaney on the life cycle of solar photovoltaics.

Guardian Article

In a move certain to be lauded around the world, India will agree to binding GHG emission reductions to combat climate change. For the full story, click here.

India takes steps to combat climate change

Interesting article about sea level rise, and the problems that Norfolk, VA is having with coastal flooding due to climate change.

Cost of climate change to local communities

An interesting article about the feed-in tariff future and the FERC and California residential solar prospects can be found here

Interesting article about the feed-in tariff

EcoShift is proud to be a sponsor in the 2nd annual Walnut Avenue Women’s Center Mini-Golf Tournament Fundraiser on November 15th, 2010

EcoShift sponsors the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center fundraiser

A new study by researchers at Yale demonstrates that very few Americans understand the basic science of climate change. Read the results here.

Most Americans do not understand Climate Change

A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the energy use reduction of household conservation measures. National implementation could save an estimated 123 million metric tons of carbon per year in year 10, which is 20% of household direct emissions or 7.4% of U.S. national emissions, with little or no reduction in household well-being.

Household behavior can reduce U.S. energy consumption

As the nation attempts to regroup after failure by Congress to pass climate legislation, other ideas are gaining momentum, such as relying on increased investment in clean energy. However, this alternative is only a second-best option to a global price on carbon.

10-11-2010

The United States Military, among other departments, is planning major reductions in fossil fuel use, partially as a security measure. Read about it here.

US Military to cut fossil fuel use

The new solar financing program formerly known as California First has been reprogrammed and will soon roll out as Energy Upgrade California. After Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac showed strong opposition to financing upgrades on a customer’s property tax, a new model has emerged that will offer very similar benefits to participants, promising to incentivize energy efficiency upgrades in the commercial and residential sectors. Read here for more information.

PACE Program Update

Troubling news from the Arctic: this year is poised to claim the dubious honor of one of the greatest declines in sea ice. For the article from the New York Times click here.

Record Arctic Sea Ice Decline

Given Congress’ failure to pass climate legislation, new regulations from the EPA on pollution from cement factories may signal the extent to which the Obama administration is willing use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon.

Aug 10

President Obama announced today that the Federal Government will reduce greenhouse gas pollution from indirect sources, such as employee travel and commuting, by 13% by 2020. This commitment expands beyond the Administration’s greenhouse gas reduction target from direct sources set in January, 2010, such as Federal fleets and buildings, by 2020. Cumulatively, greenhouse gas pollution reductions from Federal government operations will total 101 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the emissions from 235 million barrels of oil. A good discussion of what that may mean for overall emissions can be found here.

Federal Government to reduce scope 3 emissions by 13%

New PACE programs in California will make financing renewable energy and energy efficiency easier by allowing customers to repay loans on their property tax bill. While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recently expressed opposition to this type of program due to concerns about tax liability on foreclosed homes, the California attorney general’s office rejects this claim. This dispute will need to be resolved before California’s PACE programs can move forward.

Today the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, and the Western Climate Initiative have released a proposal for uniform offset standards.

Offset Standards Proposed

Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author, most recently, of “Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future” has written a very insightful editorial on the feasibility of carbon capture and sequestration from US coal power plants

Op-ed in the New York Times on Clean Coal

The U.S. Council on Environmental Quality has released draft rules for incorporating climate change impacts into NEPA guidelines, just as California did beginning in January, 2010. These guidelines, which will fundamentally change the EIS process, are currently available for public comment.

There is a fabulous podcast that features the author of a new book Ecological Intelligence and UC Berkeley researcher Dara O’Rourke in a discussion about the role of life cycle analysis in analyzing everyday products. It’s a must listen!

How green is your Ipad?

The EPA just issued a new report entitled Climate Indicators in the United States, including information on 24 indicators that show how we know our climate is already changing.

EPA climate report

There have been several articles over the past year concerning the use of rare metals and how they might be a bottle neck in the global production of renewable energy technologies. In response to China’s limits and bans on some rare metals recently, this problem has been magnified. But an article in the NYT suggests that new rare Earth mines may come online in the foreseeable future, raising prospects about the availability of these necessary, but rare materials. This means that the costs of renewable technologies that depend on them are likely to fall.

Rare metals race may bring costs of renewables

CARB has completed a new study on the impacts of AB32 implementation on small businesses, and found no significant negative effects, and some positive effects through creation of new jobs and lower fuel costs.

New study on the impact of AB32 on small businesses

The EPA is making it clearer every day that carbon dioxide will soon be regulated. What is unknown is whether Congress will pass legislation or whether the EPA will do it using its authority under the Clean Air Act.

epa on emissions

With health care legislation finally wrapped up, there should be more attention from Congress on climate and energy legislation. This article from the Economist gives a good summary of which policy tools are likely to be promoted in new legislation emerging from the Senate, and cap-and-trade doesn’t seem to be a favorite. This New York Times article asks “Why did cap and trade die?” while mentioning other emerging proposals, like cap-and-dividend.

economist article

The City of Los Angeles is planning a 5% utility rate increase to create incentives for the adoption of solar photovoltaic energy.

nyt 3/15

Wal-Mart is moving forward with plans to green its supply chain by working with suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with products sold at Wal-Mart. This will put additional pressure on other retailers to take similar actions.

Wal-Mart

On California’s coast in Davenport, an idea being discussed is to revive the cement plant and use carbon dioxide exhaust to make a new variety of greener cement in an adjacent process. Cement products, because of carbon dioxide emissions associated with production, are an important source of CO2 reductions, but knowing just how much CO2 is sequestered in the process requires detailed life cycle analysis. A life cycle analysis of this project would be valuable information.

Green Cement in Davenport?

Money from the recovery and reinvestment act will go toward a solar financing program CaliforniaFIRST. Like many of the local programs have been pursued, the financing program will leverage future property tax revenues. The program will lend out $200 million, which could be up to 100 MW of of renewble energy. Though an interest rate around 7 or 8% may still too high to be effective.

Fed stimulus money will stimulate solar financing

In a move that sets up a clash with California’s low carbon fuel standard, the EPA yesterday finalized rules for the renewable fuel standard. While both programs incorporate land use change in their life cycle analyses, the controversy stems from different carbon intensity values for particular biofuels in the LCFS and RFS.

low carbon fuel standard and renewable fuel standard on a collision course

A new life cycle analysis published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology suggests that even substituting part of the coal at coal fired power plants with biomass could have significant low-cost emissions reductions.

Converting coal plants to biomass is an inexpensive way to save carbon

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission determined today that companies “must consider the effects of global warming and efforts to curb climate change when disclosing business risks to investors.”  Companies must also disclose risks posed by climate change to the investors.

SEC ruling on requirements to disclose climate change risk

New CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) guidelines, adopted at the end of 2009, require that Environmental Impact Statements now include information on climate change impacts, which involves calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. A brief summary of the changes notes that Federal regulations will soon follow suit.

CEQA

Radio interview of James Barsimantov and Dustin Mulvaney on KZSC

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Dr. Brasimantov and Dr. Mulvaney interviewed on KZSC

Solargen is building the world’s largest solar array in the rural Panoche Valley south of Hollister. The 420 MW project does not come without controversy as many local residents of the area oppose the project, with concerns including impacts to several rare and endangered species. A review of Solargen’s website found no information about any life cycle analysis for the project, so its unclear what the greenhouse gas reduction potential for the project is.

World’s largest solar array coming to San Benito county

Five nations forged a non-binding resolution in Copenhagen early today. A draft of the proposal is here. After much anticipation, many environmental groups and organizations see the accord as largely a disappointment. Outcomes included progress on the REDD agreement, and $100 billion commitment from industrialized nations. While the former is seen as one of the few successful outcomes of Copenhagen, rumors that the latter fund will be managed by the World Bank has raised the suspicions of developing countries. Furthermore, after 17 years of international climate negotiations, it may be the the UNFCCC process is over. Obama’s speech was pragmatic, but in trying to bring India, Brazil, and China to the table on a reduction plan, he has sidelined the rest of the world.

Copenhagen ends, UNFCCC process may end as well, progress on REDD, $100 billion to be managed by the World Bank

http://tinyurl.com/y9y9eqm

Seattle-based AltAir Fuels today announced it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with 14 major airlines from the United States, Mexico, Canada and Germany, led by the Air Transport Association (ATA), to negotiate the purchase of up to 750 million gallons of renewable jet fuel and diesel derived from camelina and produced by AltAir Fuels. This will remove more than 10 billion pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere in the next 10 years. 

Posted via email from ecoshift’s posterous

Airlines sign an agreement to buy renewable jet fuel

Kia has raised the bar for sustainability in the auto industry by adopting LCA to measure the carbon impacts of its automobiles. They received a carbon footprint certification for their 2011 Cadenza sedan: 29.5 tons over 80,000 miles. Will other automakers follow?

Car maker Kia gets LCA certified carbon footprint for its cars

Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced a new climate change bill in the Senate referred to as the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act. The policy would tax carbon emissions from major emitters at the wellhead or coal mine, and the money would be given back to taxpayers to help offset income tax and higher energy costs.

Cap & Dividend introduced in the Senate

A new study from the National Academies of Sciences suggests that 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the US can be reduced simply through energy efficiency improvements. They argue that a robust investment in energy efficiency technologies would make additional energy generation in the US unnecessary (except to address regional supply imbalances, add clean energy, and replace old and obsolete generation).

National Academy of Sciences says energy efficiency could reduce energy demand by 30%

The EPA today took a first step in regualting emissions of greenhouse gases today, (note: the same day the Copenhagen talks start). The EPA can regulate carbon and greenhouse gas emissions without any action from Congress, so even if there is no cap and trade legislation it makes sense to prepare to pay for carbon and GHGs.

EPA takes first steps to establish a price on carbon

Lifecycle Assessment of LED versus Incandescent Light bulbs shows just how inefficient incandescent bulbs really are.

LED vs. Incandescent

California has taken the first steps to implement a carbon trading system. You can find the CARB press release here. The actual rules are in this pdf.

Draft rules for California’s cap and trade system released

Obama will head to Copenhagen and propose a 17% reduction of 2005 levels by 2020.

Obama to Copenhagen

Scotts Valley leaders pledged their participation in a statewide pilot program designed to help property owners cut water and energy use. The plan, known as CaliforniaFIRST, would allow property owners to borrow money from the state for specific energy-efficiency projects and tack the loan on to their property tax bill to be repaid over 20 years. Property owners would choose the type of projects they wish to pursue, essentially anything that would save water or kilowatt hours and bring down monthly Pacific Gas & Electric bills. Read more…

Scotts Valley signs on to clean energy pilot program

ICF International has just completed a new white paper on the business value of climate action planning. You can find the full report here.

White paper on sustainability and business value

Senators Kerry and Boxer introduced climate legislation last week, which is similar to the House version passed in the spring, although it faces an uphill battle to win enough votes in the Senate. Here is an analysis of emissions allowance allocations under the two bills.

Oct 27

Governor Schwarzenegger signed a feed-in tariff bill for California last week, which means that utilities will have to pay customers for extra solar energy produced. This potentially creates a huge incentive for residents to install extra solar capacity, however the rate at which utilities will be required to purchase solar energy has not been determined yet.

Oct 22

The Union of Concerned Scientists delivered a statement from a number of key scientists and economists about the importance of utilizing life cycle analysis to assess the implications of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

Scientists statement on biofuels and land use

Not all renewable energy projects are created equal. Solar developments in California have widely varying water demands, making some nearly infeasible. This highlights the need for lifecycle assessments of renewable energy developments, since some developments are far more resource intensive to build than others.

Sept 30

Click here to take a look at a good example of lifecycle analysis in action. Apple has created a public comparison between lifecycles of their older and newer products.

Apple posts lifecycle analysis of their products

The US EPA will require large companies to begin tracking greenhouse gas emissions starting Jan. 1, 2010, with the first year’s reports due at the beginning of 2011. This will cover 85% of US emissions. While this sets the reporting framework for a future climate regulation, there has been no movement in the Senate since late spring.

sept 23

The UN is purchasing offsets for the 461 tons of greenhouse gases associated with meetings in New York. The offsets will helps to construct a waste biomass-to-energy plant in India.

Sept 23

Worldwide greenhouse gas emissions have fallen this year due to the global recession. In the US, emissions are projected to drop 6% this year, according to the New York Times. Interestingly, because many countries will use 2005 as their baseline reporting year, the recession may help many countries reach their targets, even though the structure of the economy and energy production systems have remained relatively unchanged. If 2008 were used as the baseline year instead, any recovery would also be counted as a growth in emissions.

Sept 22

A news story today in the Santa Cruz Sentinel points to a carbon reduction by Santa Cruzans since 1996. While at a glance it is a fair assessment, remember true carbon footprints look at the full costs of all consumable items and purchases: computers, furniture, food, etc. This is a boundary problem, and a data collection problem. While its fair to say that Santa Cruzans use less carbon in procuring energy, water, and heat, I would suggest that a deeper analysis would show that this might be offset by a rise in consumption. So the claim that Santa Cruz has shrunk its carbon footprint might be premature. This is especially true given national patterns of increased commute distances, food miles, and even the potent greenhouse gases used to make flat screen tvs and computers both of which have gained widespread adoption in the time period described. This is an important caveat to add if we are to suggest that carbon footprints are going down anywhere.

Santa Cruz shrinks its carbon footprint

Offset markets are changing. Despite the recession, offset demand remains high. More importantly, those purchasing offsets are increasing demanding higher quality offsets. Read more from Climate Change Corp.

Aug 25

Why are pre-1984 cars not eligible for the cash for clunkers program? Lobbyists… for classic cars. The LA Times uncovers how, yet again, a good idea gets mired in politics.

House Votes for $2 Billion Fund to Extend ‘Clunker’ Plan

According to our calculation, assuming a reduction of 50,000 miles per “clunker” and an average 10mpg improvement, this program is reducing greenhouse emissions at a cost of approximately $75/t.

House Votes for $2 Billion Fund to Extend ‘Clunker’ Plan

Wal-Mart will begin to require its supplies to calculate the full environmental impact of their products through lifecycle analysis – Worldwatch Institute

July 31

A new report from McKinsey and Company details the potential energy savings that accompany energy efficiency improvements

McKinsey Releases Efficiency Report

Read up on how cool roofs can save on energy costs

July 29th

G8 will meet to set greenhouse gas reductions targets in a committee chaired by President Obama

July 7

Department of Interior has stated that 670,000 acres of lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (an agency within the Department of the Interior) would be studied to determine whether they could support large solar power arrays.

New Measures to Aid Solar on Public Lands

New U.S. government study shows current impacts of climate change, including drought in the Southwest and heat waves in the Northeast.

June 16, 2009

A BBC article on a lifecycle assessment study of various forms of private and public transportation demonstrates how a focus on fuel emissions alone can be too narrow; all emissions associated with constructing and maintaining infrastructure need to be considered.

June 9, 2009

The U.S. and China are working to iron out their differences ahead of negotiations on an international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

June 7, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency has formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that for the first time in the United States will regulate the gases blamed for global warming.

EPA designates Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant

EPA seeks to list greenhouse gases as harmful to humans.

Green, Inc.

Hartford Courant reports that California air regulators will require reductions of tech industry greenhouse emissions from semiconductor plants.

Hartford Courant

New York Times article announcing the start of the EPA efforts to regulate industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

New York Times

New York Times article discussing the regulation of Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant by the EPA.

New York Times
 

 

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We are a team of climate change, energy, and sustainability experts who work with leading organizations to develop and implement value-creating strategies. Using the lenses of sustainability metrics and business strategy, we identify the challenges – and innovations – that will help our clients become industry leaders and create profitable, sustainable advantage.

Our comprehensive approach to sustainability consulting enables us to assess, plan, and implement tailor-made strategies for our clients. We bring the technical expertise needed to make your decisions effective and efficient while building sustainability into operations, management, products, and services. We help business and government leaders understand sustainability for what it really is – the greatest business opportunity of our time.

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Recent News and Blog Articles

Dr. Wise-West at the Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum April 23, 2015 2:33 am

On June 18, Dr. Tiffany Wise-West, P.E., will present at the 6th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum in a session geared toward municipalities preparing GHG emissions inventories, entitled “A Clear Path to Climate Action Planning: ClearPath 101″


EcoShift Provides Guidance for Gold Standard Report March 30, 2015 10:27 pm

EcoShift was acknowledged for providing guidance and peer review for a new report from the Gold Standard Foundation and World Wildlife Fund Switzerland. The research report entitled The Real Value of Robust Climate Action: Impact Investment Far Greater Than Previously Understood aimed to monetize the environmental and socio-economic net benefits from Gold Standard projects and investments.


EcoShift’s Avoided Costs Analysis featured in Utah’s Net Metering Debate August 4, 2014 3:35 pm

EcoShift’s analysis for the Sierra Club demonstrated that the electricity utility and its rate payers save substantially from solar net metering customers.


EcoShift analysis demonstrates avoided costs of solar net metering customers in Utah June 16, 2014 4:22 pm

EcoShift is collaborating with the Sierra Club in Utah as solar power homeowners fight proposed utility fee. Key finding: “Homes with rooftop solar would help save the utility over $1.4 million dollars in avoided energy and transmission costs in one year.” Read More at http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57966967-78/power-solar-customers-net.html.csp


 

For older EcoShift news, click here.

Roots