Using Energy

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University of Wyoming’s Utility Bill Climbs As Budget Falls

University of Wyoming deputy director of utilities Forrest Selmer explains how the various systems at the Central Energy Plant work.

In fiscal year 2016, the University of Wyoming’s utility bill was $10.8 million—almost $2 million more than fiscal year 2015. Next year, as new buildings under construction come online, that bill is likely to increase, even as the University faces $41 million in budget cuts. That means there may be hard choices ahead—keep the lights on, or keep people employed. Continue Reading →

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Do We Need Coal To Keep The Lights On?

The Wyodak power plant, on the outskirts of Gillette, Wyoming.

Conventional wisdom has it that without baseload power—coal and nuclear plants running in the background at all times—the grid will become unreliable. After all, how could wind and solar keep the lights on when they are so inherently variable? But now, a growing number of people are challenging that idea. In this interview, Jesse Morris, with the Rocky Mountain Institute, argues baseload power isn’t necessary. Continue Reading →

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Tech Giants Pressure States On Renewable Energy


Some of the world’s biggest data companies—Google, Microsoft and Facebook—have joined a new coalition that is pushing for easier access to renewable energy. Through that push, they are trying to change the nation’s energy landscape— even in states that haven’t fully embraced that change. Continue Reading →

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The Future Of U.S. Energy, According To Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaks to a packed arena at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, ND.

With the help of a few more delegates from a handful of states, including North Dakota, Donald Trump finally gathered enough to clinch the republican nomination. And with that news, the official Republican Presidential nominee rolled into Bismarck, North Dakota on Thursday. Continue Reading →

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How Much Should You Spend On Energy? Answering Your Questions


We’re taking a close look at the energy assistance programs that help low-income families pay their utility bills, keep warm in the winter and keep cool in the summer. We answer your questions about these programs, and tell you how much of your income you spend on energy. Continue Reading →

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High Utility Costs Force Hard Decisions For The Poor

Lea Anne Shellberg in her home in Fort Collins, Colorado. A single mother who is disabled because of a work injury, Shellberg often struggles to pay her utilities on her fixed income.

The poorest among us pay more than they can afford for their power bills.
Economists call it an “affordability gap” when a household spends more than 6 percent of annual income on utilities. Many low-income households pay a much higher percentage. That means energy bills force hard decisions in other areas. Continue Reading →

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