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Wind Energy: A Love/Hate Relationship

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There is a continuous problem in the US surrounding wind farms. As coal prices continue to rise and renewables continue to fall, the US will likely begin switching to renewable energy, if not for the environmental benefits, then for the economic savings.
Source: Bloomberg
However, there is one problem facing this switch: everybody wants wind energy to supply the power grids, but don't want to see the turbines from their backyards.
A number of wind farm projects - both onshore and offshore - have been delayed or have been halted altogether because of aesthetic impact. Towns in New York state are trying their best to prevent wind farms from nearing their town’s borders to the extent that laws have been created to prevent large-scale industrial wind farms from supplying the grid and restrict locations of wind farms. Some other New York state residents will only support wind farm projects once they have been assured their ocean view will not be disturbed.
Other states’ residents are wor…

With summer heatwaves comes even higher electricity bills

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Typically, summer months are where Americans consume more electricity when running air conditioners to cool their homes. The graph below averaged the amount of electricity used by residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Delaware, DC, Maryland and Texas from April 2016-March 2017. The data used has been normalized so that the difference in number of days per month is equal in relativity.

Over the course of the year, it is clear that the amount of energy used in the summer surpasses any other time period. And when heat waves occur, this only increases.
The Southwestern US is facing an extreme heat wave with temperatures soaring to 117-120 F. Just this week in Phoenix, Arizona, the city used a record breaking amount of electricity, as temperatures hit 119 F.
CNN reports that the frequency heat waves will likely continue to increase not just in the US, but worldwide, due to climate change. The report states that the locations …

January the Winter Month with Highest Electricity Spending

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Although most electricity is used in summer months (for air conditioning), in the 2016-2017 winter months, December and January were actually the two highest months of usage.
In the 2016-2017 winter season, residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Delaware, DC, Maryland and Texas paid the highest electricity bills in December and January. Although the magnitude differed in each state, the data clearly shows that December and January were the months where residents paid the most money on electricity.
Why is that?
It’s not because of the number of days. The data used in these graph was normalised so that the number of days in each month would not automatically mean lesser or greater amount of energy used.
Instead, it’s because the weather was a little colder. In almost every state, the average temperature in December 2016 was significantly colder than the average temperatures in December 2015 and 2014. The average temperature …

WattBuddy wins best overall app!

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WattBuddy won the top prize for best overall app in the Department of Energy's Apps for Energy contest, the second piece of the American Energy Data Challenge. On Wednesday Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz announced the winners and presented WattB with a plaque, at an energy Datapalooza sponsored by the White House. 

WattBuddy and WattZ win big at Department of Energy contest

WattBuddy and WattZ won huge prizes at the second Department of Energy AppsForEnergy contest April 29th, and could still win another prize at the end of May.

WattBuddy won the biggest prize announced to date, the first prize for the GreenButton Data use, and a second prize for best use of the Energy Information Administration API.

WattZ took home the prize for best use of the Building Performance Database.

Best yet, WattBuddy is a finalist for the best overall prize, which will be announced on 28th May at a Department of Energy event.

Tech Cocktail article about WattBuddy and WattZ!

I forgot to post this before, but Ronald Barba did a great writeup of WattBuddy and WattZ in Tech Cocktail last month. He talked to me and covered both applications really well in the run up to the Department of Energy contest. I'm super excited that he took the time to dive deep and help us get the word out about saving money and electricity with WattB.

WattBuddy on CBSNews.com

WattBuddy got a great mention at CBSNews yesterday:
WattBuddy also lets you track your energy usage by connecting to your utility company. You can also take a photo of your meter to get a reading. A cool graph lets you see how your energy usage fluctuates. If you're luck, the app will even show you energy deals in your area. The app is free at Apple's App Store.  Very excited to have some good press.