Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

“The Need to Grow” Documentary in Whitefish, June 16, 2018

Friday, June 8th, 2018

By Catherine Haug, June 8, 2018

Thanks to Jean H. for letting me know about this documentary. It concerns a local algae aquaculture plant on F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co property, that uses industrial waste, like wood chips from the lumber plant, to create electricity and nutrient-rich soil amendments. This demonstration-scale greenhouse began operations in 2009; unfortunately, a 2015 fire destroyed the main powerhouse.

Filmmaker Rob Herring and his partner, Ryan Wirick, now present their documentary about this “game-changing” technology on June 16 at 7 p.m in Whitefish at the O’Shaughnessy Center,

To watch the documentary trailer, visit theneedtogrow.com; to purchase tickets for the Whitefish showing, go to algaeaqua.ticketleap.com/the-need-to-grow-whitefish; or for all screening locations: theneedtogrow.com/screenings

For more about this film, the technology, and the plant, see Flathead Beacon’s article flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/the-need-to-grow/

References:

  1. Flathead Beacon: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/the-need-to-grow/

Arcadia Power: is it really better than FEC?

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, Dec 30, 2017

In 2016 I published a couple posts in response to a mailing from Arcadia Power to all FEC customers: About Arcadia Power’s mailing to all FEC customers and Energy cost savings programs and income tax credits, 2016 that include insightful information from Don Newton and David Bopp at FEC. (NOTE: those 2016 income tax credits may no longer apply in 2018).

Now Arcadia is also paying politically-involved media to send email advertisements, such as the excerpt, below, from a Daily Kos email. I would be cautious about signing up for Arcadia’s offer.

I contacted FEC for any changes to the original information. Both Don and David say the only thing that has changed is on the posting about energy cost saving programs and income tax credits post: the only federal credit currently available is the solar credit; see energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits. All state credits are still valid.

For more about this Arcadia offer, read on. (more…)

LED lighting: why you need orange sunglasses

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Incandescent, CFL and LED hanging bulbs

Incandescent, CFL and LED hanging bulbs

By Catherine Haug, Nov. 14, 2016; updated 1/4/17 regarding f.lux app  (photo, right from Recycle Nation (1))

About a year ago, a health newsletter newsletter had an article on problems with LED lighting. They explained the issue of LED blue light at night and how it can impact our internal clocks, sleep patterns, and immune systems. Not long after that, Edd mentioned that when he drives the school bus in the dark early morning hours, oncomming cars with LED headlamps blind his vision until the car is well behind him. I seldom drive at night so had not noticed that problem, but I believe he is right.

Nowadays, most of us have smartphone, tablet and computer screens lit by LEDs, and many of us have LED TV screens. We’ve also begun to replace our homes’ incandescent and CFL lighting with LED lights. Do we face risks from these?

The answer is YES. But there are things you can do to minimize that risk.

For printable pdf version, see LED lighting: Why you Need OrangeGlasses; it includes the 1/4/17 update. (link essentialstuff.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/LED-lighting-OrangeGlasses.pdf ) (more…)

Carcinogenic chemical found in Flathead and Missoula Counties’ drinking water

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

By Catherine Haug, Sept 24, 2016

This is a critical issue, and I just learned about it from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) (1). See also their interactive map (2):

  • Counties in various shades of yellow, green, blue and black were found to be positive for the toxic chemical Chromium-6.* These include Flathead and Missoula counties.** A total of 1,370 U.S. counties had an average level of chromium-6 exceeding California’s non-binding public health goal of 1 ppb. (see below).
  • Counties in gray have not been tested.

If you saw the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich” (played by Julia Roberts), then you know about chromium-6, because that is the deadly chemical she fought to expose. And Erin has not given up the fight; see EWG article (1). This carcinogen has been found in tap water of more than 200 million Americans.

If you wish to take action on this, sign the online petition to the EPA (5)

*NOTE: Chromium-6 is not the same as Chromium-3, which is considered by some to be an essential nutrient for humans.

** Flathead Co. testing was only Kalispell Municipal drinking water; Missoula Co. testing was only Mountain Water Company.  (However, our levels are below California’s limit goal of 1 ppb). (more…)

Energy cost savings programs and income tax credits, 2016

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

By Catherine Haug, April 13, 2016

Previously, I posted information from Flathead Electric Coop (FEC) about green programs they offer that could save you money – as opposed to what Arcadia Power is offering (see my Feb 15, 2016 article About Arcadia Power’s mailing to all FEC customers, and my Dec 30, 2017 article Arcadia Power: Is it better than FEC? in response to an email from Daily Kos).

David Bopp at FEC recently sent me more information (see below) about ways to save money on electricity through federal and/or state income tax credits, as well as FEC offerings. 2018 update: I have updated Federal Income Tax Credits section. Read on for more. (more…)

About Arcadia Power’s mailing to all FEC customers

Monday, February 15th, 2016

By Catherine Haug, February 15, 2016

If you get your electricity from Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC), you likely received an offer from Arcadia Power in the mail, to ‘join your neighbors in Montana’s first Community Wind Program.’ As with so many things, the truth is in the ‘fine print.’

Below are the specific questions about this mailing and service that I sent to Don Newton at FEC, and a summary of his response to each. Also included are green energy programs and energy-efficiency rebates that are offered by FEC. (more…)