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PROMOTING EXCELLENCE IN NYC MULTI-FAMILY BUILDING OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

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Porters, Handymen, and Doorman, or PHD's Blog
 
  It's Time to Kick the Habit  
  (Adapted from an article that appeared in the Autumn newsletter of The Interfaith Coalition on Energy, a Philadelphia-based group of churches and synagogues. The writer is Andy Rudin.)  
 

 

Last summer, electric bills increased 40% for some New Yorkers and even tripled for some Californians.  Yet, California and New York were hotbeds for electric utility efficiency programs.  Why didn’t the programs reduce electric costs?  San Diego ratepayers were hardest hit. Their supplier, Sempra Energy, made 34% greater profit compared to same quarter in the previous year.  Does electric deregulation mean we give more money to electric suppliers than under regulated electric generation?

In both states, utilities are asking for more power generating plants. In New York, for example, power plant developers are suggesting a total increase in generating capacity that is six to eight times the predicted needs. Given the current interest in global warming, shouldn’t we call for using less electricity?

More recently, European truckers, farmers and taxi drivers blocked roads to refineries in protest of high taxes on fuel.  In Britain, this resulted in the draining almost all of their 12,500 gasoline filling stations.  Fuel prices are increasing also in the US, where fuel oil and natural gas prices are projected to be about 30% higher this heating season.

Gasoline prices have climbed 50% in two years. The reserves for natural gas and fuel oil are so low that we are now dipping into our Strategic Petroleum Reserves.  Heating fuel supplies could run short if we have a cold winter.  In the midst of all this, shouldn’t we call for using less fuel?

Where’s the Money Going?

The large integrated oil companies in America have almost doubled their net income this year.  While the London Chamber of Commerce complained that the protests were costing Britain more than $350 million per day, two of Britain’s major oil suppliers, raised their prices on gasoline and diesel fuel right after the protests over high costs. Airlines in the US have increased the price of their tickets greater than the increases in energy costs justify.  OPEC agreed to increase production by 800,000 barrels per day, but industry experts reported that they were already exceeding their official quota by 670,000.  Last year, American companies bought 725,000 barrels per day from Iraq.  In total, however, US refineries are exporting more oil than we import.  Shouldn’t we call for justice? Shouldn’t we admit that citizens of industrialized countries have such an addiction, and then to suggest the subsequent steps involved in kicking the habit.   A good place to start is inside our buildings, and the Supers Technical Association, through its DOE Rebuild America program will help. 

[The facts quoted in this article are based on the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and Utility Business magazine.]

 

 

 

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