Kilawatt Technologies announces first results of Energy and Environmental Management project with VPR

first_imgKilawatt Technologies announced the results for the first six months of the Energy and Environmental Management project with Vermont Public Radio. The project involved the installation of a series of Energy Management Nodes throughout the building. These nodes provided for full, web based control and data trending for the entire building.  Based on the data and control functions, Kilawatt Technologies statistically analyzed energy consumption data and develop sophisticate control strategies. Kilawatt Technologies, founded in 2008, provides a data-centric, statistically-based, energy and environmental management program. The methods involve continuous trending and analysis of energy and interior environmental data for commercial, multi-family and industrial buildings. The results in the first six months of Energy and Environment Management included: Background Listener-supported Vermont Public Radio has been serving the people of Vermont and the surrounding region since 1977. As Vermont’s only statewide public radio network, VPR is a trusted and independent source for news, music, conversation and much more. For the latest news, weather, coverage maps, and streaming audio from all of VPR’s services, visit This equates to a total reduction in cost of energy of 15%.  This reduction includes an increase of energy costs during this period of 9.2%center_img Kilawatt Technologies. 4.2.2012. The energy reductions have resulted in the elimination of approximately 18 tons of carbon. Additional project achievements include:1)            Elimination of all comfort issues during daily operations and during fund raising drives.2)            Avoidance of non-scheduled HVAC charges. The HVAC contactor has been called to the                         facility for an unscheduled visit since July 2011.  Total Energy Reduction (Million BTU):        Reduced by 22.1%Electrical Energy:                                            Reduced by 14.7%Natural Gas:                                                     Reduced by 38.5%Propane:                                                           Reduced by 27.2%last_img read more

US Small Business Administration names KeyBank 2012 top large SBA lender

first_imgThe US Small Business Administration named KeyBank the top SBA Large 7(a) Lender of the Year. In a ceremony to launch National Small Business Week, SBA Secretary Karen Mills presented the award ‘the SBAâ s highest recognition ‘to small businesses, lenders and investment banks that have demonstrated continuing commitment to the growth and expansion of small business.â This honor reflects our strong partnership with the SBA, our relationship approach to our business and our ongoing commitment to small businesses,’said Michael J. Toth, senior vice president and Business Banking head at KeyBank. â Keyâ s experience with SBA programs has helped us support our clients through a volatile economy.â  The SBA awards the Large 7(a) Lender of the Year based on factors such as portfolio performance, year over year growth in loan approval volume and on lender size, and ongoing commitment to the growth and expansion of small businesses.â Key demonstrates its commitment to small business in several ways,’said John Moshier, senior vice president and national SBA manager at KeyBank. â For example, Key is one of only four banks to consistently place among the nationâ s top 30 SBA lenders. In addition, Key has pledged to make $5 billion in small business loans by 2014, and expects to fulfill that pledge well ahead of schedule. We have deep insight into our clients’business challenges and exceptional understanding of the many ways the SBA can help them.â  Toth added: â The SBA honor highlights our ability to identify creative ways to support the capital needs of our clients through different economic cycles, and reinforces our passion for prudently supporting the growth of our clients and our economy. It is a great honor to be recognized by the SBA, and an even greater honor to be able to help our clients thrive.â  WASHINGTON DC – MAY 22, 2012last_img read more

US Senate opposes change in Social Security calculation

first_imgUS Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said today that a Senate vote showed overwhelming opposition to President Barack Obama’ s proposal to cut benefits for Social Security recipients and disabled veterans. The Senate early Saturday passed a budget resolution that included Sanders’ amendment against switching to a so-called chained consumer price index which would cut cost-of-living adjustments by changing how inflation is measured. ‘ This is a strong signal that when push comes to shove the Senate is going to oppose any effort to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, disabled veterans and their survivors,’ Sanders said after the vote. By adopting the amendment, the Senate went on record against the change that would cut Social Security benefits for more than 55 million Americans as part of what the White House calls a ‘ grand bargain’ with Republicans in Congress. Typical 65-year-old retirees would lose more than $650 a year by their 75th birthday and more than $1,000 a year would be cut from their benefits once they reach 85. The proposed change also would affect more than 3.2 million disabled veterans receiving disability compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55 and $3,231 at age 65.  Benefits for more than 350,000 surviving spouses and children also would be cut. Groups supporting Sanders’ amendment included AARP, the AFL-CIO, National Organization for Women, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and others. Sanders is chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus. Source: BURLINGTON, Vt., March 25 ‘ Sanders officelast_img read more

Legislature’s push to address concerns about wind power projects sputters, splinters

first_imgby Andrew Stein May 4, 2013 On Friday, the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee agreed to the Houses pared-down version of what was originally a bill regulating large wind turbine projects, including a three-year moratorium.But although Senate bill 30 is moving forward without any controls on energy siting, some key provisions are still on the table.Senators folded $75,000 worth of Public Service Department assessments into the appropriations bill, including those on the potential health and environmental effects of wind generation plants. The House Natural Resources and Energy Committee had voted to strip that key section from the remains of S.30, which entered the session with a three-year moratorium on large-scale wind developments.In another move, Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex Orleans, successfully tacked an amendment onto House Bill 39, which has passed the Senate. It has language that would require energy generation applicants to submit project plans to local planning commissions six months prior to a permit request with the Public Service Board. Rodgers wants to give towns more time to consider such applications.Whats left of S.30 is a call for six meetings of the House and Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committees during the legislative offseason. Lawmakers will be tasked with considering the findings andrecommendations of the Governors siting commission. The commission, which just wrapped up its work, was formed amidst vocal opposition to the siting of wind developments and outcry surrounding the Public Service Boards permitting process.Whats not left in the bill is a prohibition against energy generation plants on state lands.Sen. Bob Hartwell, D-Bennington, chairs the Senate Natural Resources Committee. He said such language might not come back into play this session, but it would be a salient point of conversation during the committees meetings.How we deal with public lands and protect them â ¦ we think we may need some legislative protections on that moving forward, he said. As for the other issues, Clearly there are some serious problems with the siting itself and public access (to the permitting process) that we dont believe is working properly, he said.Checking the recordWhen Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, told VTDigger the other week that the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation had serious reservations about the public lands language in S.30 that was true.When he said, Nobody, including myself, has ever argued that there should be wind on state land that was false.Two years ago, Klein, who chairs the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, introduced H.56, which went on to become the 2011 Energy Act. Kleins initial bill  contained language requiring the state of Vermont to make its facilities and lands available to the states retail electric providers for installation of renewable energy plants, with some legal exceptions.That language never passed, but it was apparently proposed in earnest.Initially, we were trying to get them to change their policy to accept wind on it, Klein said on Thursday. Through the course of discussion in the committee, we accepted the premise that they were operating on.The premise that the Department of Forests was and still is operating on is an Agency of Natural Resources policy that prohibits large-scale renewable energy projects on state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and other agency properties. The 121-foot wind turbine on Burke Mountain in East Burke was exempt from this policy because of its smaller size.Prohibiting renewables on state landsThe version of S.30 that passed out of the Senate would have established that policy in statute, and been almost the opposite to what Klein introduced in 2011. That Senate version of the bill would have prohibited construction for commercial purposes, including electric power production, on state lands.Kleins committee removed this language from the bill due to concerns expressed by the Department of Forests, and the bill passed with overwhelming support in the House, just as Kleins committee recommended.Sen. Galbraith, D-Windham, was behind the original language that would have created a statute prohibiting such development on state lands, and he wants it back in play.The Senate felt it was extremely important to make clear that lands that were set aside in perpetuity for the people of Vermont as parks, wildlife areas or forest land should remain that way without commercial development, he said.But the Department of Forests has warned the senator and other legislators since February that the language conflicts with some of its stewardship duties over state land holdings.Inhibiting the Forest Department?When Galbraith first introduced the prohibition in Senate bill 21 , an Agency of Natural Resources representative provided testimony, raising concern about the states ability to manage forests under such a provision. Despite these concerns, almost identical language to what was in S.21 was then added to S.30.In fiscal year 2012, the Department of Forests harvested 1.3 million board feet of saw timber and 5,000 cords of wood. The state sold this wood at below market value to local mills and woodworkers to prop up these industries. This generated $365,000 for the state an amount that Michael Snyder, commissioner of the department, said is not insignificant.Logging is a tool that we use to manage forests for health, for sustainability, for habitat enhancement, for aesthetics and for recreational attributes, he said. We use the money, and thats a commercial activity with tremendous benefits to the state.Snyder testified to Kleins committee about this issue, and he took particular issue with language in the Senate version of S.30 that said public lands are intended to remain in a natural or wild state forever and shall be protected and managed accordingly.In the Green Mountain National Forest they have some designated wilderness, where people are allowed to go in, but you cant make improvements, he told VTDigger. Our lands are not like that. We dont have wilderness, and we think its not appropriate to manage this land as natural and wild. We want to maintain them as healthy, but we encourage human use to allow people to enjoy them. Trails and parks infrastructure, those are not wild.Galbraith interprets the version of the bill that passed out of Senate as allowing for such practices. There is a section in the bill that permits structures and roads for forestry purposes and construction for visitors at state parks and forests, he said.But Klein says he is siding with Snyder, who asserts that the current agency policy is sufficient prohibition on energy projects.Klein admitted that in recent years he has shifted his stance on renewable energy siting, saying now that he does oppose large-scale wind projects on state lands.Lets be real about this, he said. I have moved my position forward. I acknowledge there are problems. I understand communities are being disrupted. And Im trying to move towards that solution. If you want to hold somebody to whatever theyve said once in their life can never be changed, Im guilty.last_img read more

Northern Reliability reports over $1.3 million of new sales in Q3

first_imgNorthern Reliability,Northern Reliability, a growing power solutions provider based in Waitsfield, has reported that the company closed over $1.3 million in Q3 sales. A combination of new and repeat business has the company deploying its solar obstruction lighting and stand-alone solar power systems throughout North America.Returning customer, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), one of the largest combined electric and gas companies in the U.S., has relied on Northern Reliability to provide proven Solar Obstruction Lighting Solutions (SOLS) as the utility modernizes their grid to better serve customers.’We are very pleased that the tenets we have built our company on’speed, reliability, environmental impact, and data security’are powering our growth and our customers’ businesses,’ said Jim Iversen, CEO of Northern Reliability.‘Northern Reliability’s power solutions were integral to our project,’ said Randy Koncelik, Senior Project Manager at PSE&G. ‘We had challenging deadlines and site limitations, but their highly skilled team worked closely with us to help meet our goals.’In total, PSE&G purchased 35 SOLS units for its Susquehanna Roseland Transmission Line Project. PSE&G’s new power line is being built to maintain the reliability of the electric grid for millions of people in the Northeast while providing over $200 million in savings for its customers.New customers such as DeTect, an applied radar technology company, are benefitting from Northern Reliability’s Solar Power System (SPS) series of products which provide continuous, reliable, low maintenance power for off-grid applications. Northern Reliability’s SPS products are deployed throughout North America to power telecom networks, relay and MET towers, monitoring equipment and military applications.Northern Reliability’s core slate of products for on-grid, off-grid and microgrid applications’Power Systems (SPS Series), Solar Obstruction Lighting (SOLS Series), Controllers and Remote Monitoring (SC Series), Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS Series) and Analytics’create real energy solutions for utilities, telecommunication providers, government applications, remote and island communities and for disaster preparedness needs.About Northern Reliability, Inc.Northern Reliability ( is external)) is a distributed generation company that engineers, procures, and constructs stand-alone electric power systems for customers needing reliable continuous power for their business or community. Our systems provide renewable energy for off-grid applications, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and provide energy security and independence from conventional energy sources. Northern Reliability’Delivering Power, Anywhere.Source: Northern Reliability 9.4.2013last_img read more

Senate approves $5.5 billion budget, up 4.2 percent

first_imgby Anne Galloway is external) The Vermont Senate gave preliminary approval to a nearly $5.5 billion state budget Monday afternoon. The chamber will have one more chance to amend the so-called Big Bill before H885(link is external) is hashed out in a conference committee of House and Senate members.“I realize anything of this magnitude may have … provisions that may not be what we would necessarily prefer,” said Senator Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia, who as chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations oversaw the changes to the House-passed bill. “But we weighed it, and we feel that as a package the budget addresses many many areas, and uses our resources in the most effective way forward.”The Senate version would raise General Fund spending by 3.7 percent and overall spending by 4.2 percent.Highlights include:$28.6 million to fund health care for retired teachers. Most of this money is now being borrowed for the teachers’ pension fund. The up-front hit of funding health care fully from General Fund and other sources will save hundreds of millions of dollars down the road,(link is external) says Treasurer Beth Pearce.Restructuring the “waterfall” plans for any surplus revenue from the current fiscal year. Senate version sets aside the first $500,000 for an entrepreneurial lending program, and the first $4.5 million after that goes into a new Enterprise Investment Fund. Any remaining money would be split equally between the “rainy day reserve” and repayment of an interfund loan that’s planned to jump-start the retired teachers’ health care fund.Raising the Medicaid reimbursement rate for health care providers by 2 percent. This matches the governor’s original proposal, which had been slashed to 0.75 percent by the House. Kitchel said this was important because it reduces pressure on private premiums, which may otherwise be raised.The Senate suggested several organizational shifts, as well:Move the Alcohol Drug Abuse Programs(link is external) from the Department of Health to the Department of Vermont Health Access. Kitchel says this is part of an effort to better align programs structurally.Create a new Health Care Reform Oversight Committee to monitor the economic and financial aspects of health care reform.Move the Vermont Center for Geographic Information to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. VCGI had asked to be moved to the Department of Information and Innovation, but legislators preferred to place it with ACCD, where the organization’s mapping services would not be exclusively directed “internally” to assist state government agencies.ENTERPRISE VS. WEATHERIZATIONThough Gov. Peter Shumlin’s proposed Enterprise Investment Fund accounts for less than 1 one-thousandth of the budget, the $4.5 million business incentive became the center of an extended debate. Another $500,000 would be directed to an entrepreneurial lending program.Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D/W-Washington, suggested scrapping the initiatives to fund more weatherization projects.Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D/W-Washington, is clerk of the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger“We wonder what we get in return when we provide these incentives,” Pollina said about the enterprise fund. “What does a half a million dollars or a million dollars mean to some multinational corporation?”Shumlin and many leaders in the Statehouse have acknowledged that the IBM plant in Essex Junction would be a prime candidate for the funds.(link is external)  But Pollina proposed that funding weatherization improvements are a better investment because they save money on heating fuel at the same time they keeps people warm.“If you don’t have a job, you’re not only going to be cold. You’re going to be hungry,” Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex-Orleans, responded. “We need to find another source of funding for weatherization, because in my area, if a big business goes out, a whole bunch of other businesses go out behind them.”Some senators testified that they were torn by Pollina’s proposal because they support the weatherization program for many reasons, but only four ended up voting for the amendment. That leaves the weatherization program with about $10.9 million — $1 million more than Shumlin had asked for.Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham, joked during a recess that he was considering his own amendment regarding the enterprise fund: only giving it to a company if its top executives don’t make the same amount of personal income in two months or less.The chair of the IBM board, Galbraith noted over some objection on the Senate floor, made $37.1 million in 2012. The company ended 2013 with $11.1 billion cash on hand,(link is external)according to corporate reports.Galbraith suggested the enterprise investment money — should it materialize through a surplus in FY 2014 funds at the end of June — might be better spent elsewhere.“Investing in the education of our children will bring about jobs,” he said.EDUCATIONTo that end, the state is committing more than $1.5 billion for public education, and about $89 million more for higher education.Sen. Bobby Starr, D-Essex-Orleans, said the Legislature is prepared to transfer almost $296 million next year from the General Fund to the Education Fund.Sen. John Rodgers (left), D-Essex-Orleans, is vice chair of the Senate Committee on Institutions, and Sen. Robert Starr, D-Essex-Orleans, is chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. Photo by Roger Crowley/VTDigger“It’s going to be most important in the future to try and get a handle on our overall spending so that we can keep this number as reasonable as possible to help with the General Fund expenditures,” Starr said. “Because everything else, whether public safety or human services, all these other things have to wait and we can’t deal with them if we’re giving all the money to one silo, you might say.”For higher education, Shumlin and the House had proposed increasing appropriations by 1 percent for the University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges system and the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. But the Senate is taking a different tack.The governor’s proposed increase in funding amounted to little more than $500,000, said Sen. Richard Westman, R-Lamoille. He argued on the Senate floor Monday that that amount would be better spent in a more targeted way.The Senate budget directs $400,000 to be spent on a pilot program designed to encourage college aspirations among students in schools with chronically low “continuation” rates, meaning few of the students who graduate go on to pursue higher education. Another $100,000 would provide need-based stipends for low-income students in the dual-enrollment program.VSAC’s College Aspiration initiative is designed to help reverse declining enrollment for the colleges by encouraging new students to enter post-secondary programs. The two-pronged approach also will help address low educational attainment in families in which parents have not attended college, he said.Westman has been employed by VSAC.TOP PHOTO: Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell, D-Windsor, mediates a disagreement over whether Sen. Peter Galbraith should be allowed to reference corporate salaries in his comments on business incentives. Sen. Richard Mazza (left) speaks with Galbraith. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDiggerlast_img read more

F&W News: Youth Deer Hunt November 8 and 9, record moose taken

first_imgOrleans County Vermont Moose Hunters Had a Successful SeasonKevin Rice takes a 919 lb. archery record bull in Bloomfield VT Orange County County Jericho Springfield Professional Fire Fighters Jericho General Store Middle Branch Market & Deli Ste Marie’s  Inc Addison County With youth deer weekend just around the corner, young hunters are encouraged to take to the field to hone their skills and to also help Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologists by reporting their deer at one of 23 biological check stations around the state. Youth deer hunting weekend helps ensure that young hunters get the quality training they need for lifelong participation, and it also provides biological information needed to manage the herd into the future.  The biological check stations listed below will be open from 9 am to 8:30 pm on November 8 and 9.Read more…(link is external) Barre East Randolph   Mach’s General Store Wright’s Enterprises Windsor County Guilford Country Store Bennington Orange County North Hartland  Caledonia County Concord Biological Check Station Name Marty’s Sports & Gunsmithing Inc Fly Rod Shop East Corinth Essex County Hardwick Windham County Enosburg Falls Hunters are gearing up for the start of Vermont’s statewide traditionally popular 16-day rifle deer season that begins November 15 and endsSunday, November 30.  Read more…(link is external) Island Pond   Northern Wildlife Bennington County Franklin County Lamoille County Ingalls Market & Deli Stowe “A preliminary count shows that by October 28 the department had received official reports of 22 moose being taken by 54 hunters in the archery season and 147 moose taken by 289 hunters in the regular season,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s moose project leader.  He said a few additional reports may still be sent in from other reporting agents. Read more…(link is external) Lamoille County Town Bob’s Quick Stop Irasburg Pittsford Orwell Newport Rutland County West Enosburg Country Store Pawlet Rutland County West Barnet Quick Stop Caledonia County Danby Otter Creek Campground Franklin County Rutland County R&L Archery West Barnet   Washington County Essex County Eden Mills  Keith’s Country Store  Inc Steve’s Bait Shop Swanton Windsor County East Corinth General Store Middlebury Riteway Sports  Inc Chittenden County Barnies Market Guilford Springfield Addison County Vermont moose hunters had a successful hunting season according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  A record bull was taken in the October 1-7 archery moose hunt, and the regular moose hunting season was October 18-23. Vermont’s Rifle Deer Season Starts Saturday, Nov. 15 Buxton’s Country Store A hunter may take one buck during this season with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer.  A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip.  The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length.  Orleans County Vermont Field Sportslast_img read more

Governor Shumlin statement on VSEA negotiations breaking off

first_img“Members of the VSEA Non-Management Unit (NMU) Bargaining are directly challenging the content of a press statement the Shumlin Administration issued today that accuses the NMU Team and VSEA negotiators of “walking away from the table and declaring impasse” because the State was unwilling to agree to an alleged demand from the Team for wage and benefit increases totaling 13.4 percent.“It’s very disappointing that the Governor has chosen to bargain in the press through a public relations campaign in response to the VSEA Non-Management Unit Bargaining Team electing to seek the assistance of a Federal Mediator in compliance with Vermont statute,” explained VSEA NMU Bargaining Team Chairperson Robert Stone. “The State failed to inform the press that the NMU Team came to the table with a number of different wage ‘supposals’, but for what VSEA believes are political reasons, the Governor chose to take the Team’s highest proposal to the press and share that one—and only that one.” He continued, “It’s disingenuous for the Governor and his negotiators to try and label the NMU team as unbending, when they know full well that there have been considerable back and forth discussions for weeks between the two parties, outside of the initial proposal cited by the Administration. In fact, if they were being honest, the Administration would inform the press that their initial offer to NMU members was a pay cut each year of a proposed two-year contract plus significant additional givebacks, but that little detail was missing from the State’s press release. VSEA does not want to bargain contracts in the press, but the Governor has now forced our hand with his ill-advised press release. VSEA believes the Governor’s actions are prompted less by his desire to reach a good-faith agreement with thousands of hard-working NMU state employees and more by his desire to score political points. That’s not good for Vermont public services or the people who deliver them or who depend on them. VSEA’s NMU Bargaining Team remains committed to achieving a fair agreement with the State.” VSEA’s NMU Team Says It’s Forced To Bargain In The Press After Shumlin Administration Goes Public Because The Team Dared To Exercise Its Legal Right To Request A MediatorVermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin released the following statement following the decision of the Non-Management Bargaining Unit (NMU) of the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) to walk away from the bargaining table during contract negotiations. The Corrections and Supervisory Bargaining Units remain engaged in talks with the State. A letter dated October 14 from the State’s Chief Negotiator requesting that the NMU return to the table is below. For its part, the union said later Wednesday that the state is forcing it to “bargain in the press.”“I am disappointed in the VSEA’s decision. Negotiation requires both sides to compromise. Unfortunately the NMU has refused to budge from their initial bargaining position regarding pay. That position asks for a 13.4 percent pay increase over two years, which would cost Vermont taxpayers $70.6 million. It’s beyond me how anyone could find that position reasonable. At a time when many Vermonters are not seeing their wages rise, it would be unconscionable to agree to pay increases that are more than quadruple the rate of inflation and would add substantial pressure to an already tight budget. I will not ask Vermonters to pay higher taxes to fund a 13.4 percent raise for state employees.”The VSEA angrily responded Wednesday night to the governor’s public statement: “VSEA members belonging to the Non-Management Unit (NMU)–or the union’s largest Unit–were extremely disappointed to read details about their Team’s contract bargaining in the press yesterday. In what can only be viewed as a spiteful and amateurish move, the Shumlin Administration responded to the Team’s request on Tuesday night for a mediator by going to the press and highlighting the Team’s most costly ‘supposal’ and wrongly accusing the Team of being unbending. The State’s press release drew a harsh rebuke from NMU Bargaining Team Chair Bob Stone, who sent a message last night to NMU members’ homes.”NMU Chair’s Message To Members”As many of you may have heard, the State went public today with details of bargaining between your NMU Team and State negotiators. This is unfortunate because the negotiation details that the State divulged to the press do not at all reflect the give and take that had been occurring, prior to the Team deciding last night that “impasse” had been reached. Forced to now bargain in the press, which we wanted to avoid, your Team and VSEA issued the following statement to the press:””VSEA Disputes State’s Version Of Events That Led To NMU Team Declaring Impasse”last_img read more

Gasoline average in US projected to hit $1.99 on Thanksgiving, first time since 2009

first_imgVermont Business Magazine GasBuddy projects that by Thanksgiving Day the national average will be $1.99 per gallon, nearly 80 cents per gallon cheaper than last year and $1.29 per gallon cheaper than 2013. As prices at the pump have plunged, the number of states seeing average prices under $2 per gallon has more than tripled in the last two weeks, rising to 19 states, with nearly 60% of all US gas stations now selling below $2 per gallon. While some stations in Vermont might drop down to that level, the average price in the state is expected to be just over $2, or a dollar less than they were a year ago ($3.07). Americans hitting the road for Thanksgiving will certainly have something to be extra thankful for: the cheapest gasoline prices since March 2009. The low prices are showing up just in time for millions of motorists that are heading out, saving them $1.5 billion over the five days that GasBuddy’s recent survey found most motorists will be traveling.Lower gas prices could be a reason why more people will be spending more time on the road this holiday weekend. According to GasBuddy’s 2015 Thanksgiving Travel Survey (with more than 100,000 surveyed nationwide), 25% of travelers say their travel will begin on Thanksgiving Day; while nearly 30% say travel begins the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and another 23% say they’ll hit the road 2 to 3 days ahead. That’s an 11% decrease in the number of people who say they’re heading out on Thanksgiving Day. In 2014, 36% said they’d travel on Thanksgiving Day; 30% said they’d travel the day before; and only 18% said they’d hit the road 2 to 3 days earlier.“With gas prices plunging under $2 just in time for Thanksgiving Day, it’s a perfect reminder- some folks automatically expect gas prices to rise in advance of a major travel holiday, that’s become a popular misconception and this holiday exemplifies the point. November gas prices have slid significantly lower and holiday travelers will certainly be the beneficiaries,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “It’s a trend we expect will continue through the end of 2015, so if you like the prices you see on Thanksgiving, you’ll be delighted when Christmas arrives!”Gas prices might be low but there are still additional ways to save even more while on the road:Be aware crossing state lines. Over 67% of travelers will be driving over 200 miles for Thanksgiving, with 36% saying they will be traveling over 500 miles. This means it is very likely that drivers will be traveling through different states. Additional savings can be found if alert motorists shop for the lowest prices near state lines, where substantial variety in gasoline prices occurs due to gas tax differences.Don’t stop at the first gas station you see. Cheaper prices mean more price variations between stations. Station owners know that consumers often buy gas out of convenience so be sure to shop around. Motorists who use the GasBuddy price-comparison app said they save at least 6-9 cents per gallon.Of course, an ounce of prevention always helps too. Check the air pressure in your tires and remember the spare tire too. GasBuddy wishes a happy and safe Thanksgiving to all!Paper not plastic. Save money on gasoline as more stations offer lower prices to cash paying customers. Using cash can lead to savings of 5-15 cents per gallon.Delay buying gasoline. The more you wait, the more you save. GasBuddy analysts expect gasoline prices to keep moving downward through Thanksgiving Day weekend, so motorists can save on every gallon waiting for gas stations to drop prices further.GAITHERSBURG, Md. – (Nov. 23, 2015) – is external)/ The complete GasBuddy 2015 Thanksgiving Travel Survey can be found at: is external)last_img read more

Sanders and Clinton go to church in Las Vegas

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Las Vegas Sun’s Chris Kudialis and the New York Times’ Yamiche Alcindor were the print pool reporters at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday. Here are the complete, unedited reports.Pool Report, 2/14/16, Las Vegas, NevadaChris Kudialis, [email protected](link sends e-mail)Bernie Sanders appeared in front of nearly 300 people attending service at Victory Missionary Baptist Church in Las Vegas Sunday morning. He spent about 10 minutes with the congregation, speaking on topics of police brutality and income inequality.Sanders said he opposes an economic system that favors the top one percent of income-earning Americans. He said although the United States is the wealthiest country in the history of the world, most U.S. citizens can’t prosper in the country’s wealth, because most of the country’s money is going to a small group of people.The U.S. Senator from Vermont also condemned police brutality across the country, saying African Americans and Latinos are arrested at an unfairly high rate. Sanders advocated for local police forces that works closer with their respective communities.”We need to make our police officers look like the communities they serve,” he said.Yamiche AlcindorThe New York TimesBoth Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont attended church at Victory Missionary Baptist Church in Las Vegas Sunday afternoon.Pastor Robert E. Fowler Sr. welcomed both of the candidates telling members of the church, “I’m excited that they are here and I am encouraged that they are willing to sit at the same church, at the same service, at the same time.”Mr. Fowler told both candidates that he wanted to hear why church members should vote for either Mrs. Clinton, who was accompanied by Congressman John Lewis, or Mr. Sanders, who came with his wife Jane.“Senator Sanders, your camp contacted us first so you have the opportunity to go first,” Mr. Fowler said.Mr. Sanders began by acknowledging that his wife Jane and then by saying that there are different competing philosophies in the world.“Some of us believe that what God teaches us and what this world is about is that we do not turn our backs on our brothers and our sisters, that essentially we are in this together.” Mr. Sanders said. “I have four beautiful kids and seven grandchildren. I want you to worry about my kids and I have got to worry about your children and your grandchildren. That’s what this church is about and that’s what our existence is about. But there are people out there today who say what the world is about is me. ‘I got to make as much money as I can. I’ve got to become a billionaire.’”Mr. Sanders then said that America has a higher rate of childhood poverty than almost every major country and yet it still gives “huge” tax breaks to the rich. He then highlighted that the unemployment rate among African American youth is 51 percent.Mr. Sanders also said that Nevada was one of the hardest hit states during the 2008 recession and bore the brunt of Wall Street’s greed.“This state was decimated,” Mr. Sanders said.The senator then talked about the need to reform and demilitarize police departments, to make sure officers who break the law are held accountable, and to make sure that police departments look like the communities they serve.He added that people who do their required time in jail must be provided education, job training and other resources to ensure they can become employed.BuzzFeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro was the print pool reporter at a campaign event in Reno, Nevada. Here is the complete, unedited report:Pool Report, 2/13/16, Sparks NevadaEvan McMorris-Santoro, [email protected](link sends e-mail)Bernie Sanders met with less than two dozen solar power activists at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Saturday morning. He spent around 15 minutes with activists before addressing a large group of volunteers for a GOTV rally in the same complex.Sanders said he opposes efforts to raise the energy rates on solar power customers and called on activists in the crowd to launch a petition drive aimed at getting Warren Buffett — whose company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns the largest energy utility in the state, according to activists — to join their cause. Many of the activists at the event work in Nevada’s solar industry.The activists are part of an effort by solar energy workers and alternative energy supporters in Nevada upset over a public utility commission ruling they say effectively killed the solar industry in the state. Activists say new rules set by the commission for solar panel users have made the return on investment for the installation of solar panels virtually non-existent, making selling panels more difficult and killing 6,000 solar industry jobs in Nevada. They’re trying to get an initiative on the fall ballot they say would undo the commission ruling.Sanders has not officially signed on to the ballot initiative effort. A campaign official said there are still ongoing state-level hearings on the commission ruling which might affect what happens with the ballot initiative process.Whatever the bureaucratic wrangling, it was clear which side of the commission-vs-solar company debate Sanders was on.”The decision by the public utility commission is exactly the wrong decision,” he told the crowd. “We should be making it easier for people to move to sustainable energy like solar, not harder.”Sanders called efforts to increase the usage of alternative energy “a moral responsibility.”Sanders talked about his plan to “make it easier for people to install solar power” called “10 Million Solar Rooftops.” The plan offsets the cost of solar panel installation.Opposing the effort, Sanders said, is the fossil fuel industry and its political allies.When Sanders learned of Berkshire Hathaway’s connection to the issue, he called on activists to engage in a little political revolution.”Warren Buffett is somebody who might be interested in hearing from constituents in Nevada. This is a terrible, terrible decision. The ruling went exactly the wrong way,” he said. “So you might want to be thinking about writing a letter with a few hundred thousand signatures on it saying ‘you know what? what you’re doing here in Nevada is exactly wrong.”last_img read more