Skip to main content
Category

Tax Stuff

Retro-commissioning Savings

Old School EE

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Retrocommissioning (RCx), Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff One Comment
Forging on from last week’s Arthur Fonzarelli crash into Arnold’s chicken stand, this week I will posit some challenges and problems presented with state takeovers of energy efficiency programs.  Per last week’s post, Wisconsin has fallen from 8th place in the nation to 17th place since the state essentially took over its energy efficiency programs.  This is according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, ACEEE, a well respected national think tank (my term) and advocacy organization for energy efficiency. One problem is the money moves further away from where it is collected.  The further program spending is...
Read More

Better than Doritos

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Investments, Tax Stuff No Comments
Last week we looked at the financial benefits of energy efficiency as compared to the stock market.  I’m going to take this a few steps further, as forewarned last week. [vc_single_image image="9218" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] In both cases we start with the $39,000 investment and the stock market simply grows at its long-term average of 7.5% (Dow Jones Industrials).  Obviously, a smooth appreciation of your investment is not the case and if you don’t have a strong stomach, you should avoid equities.  Why is it called the Dow Jones Industrial Average anyway?  It’s full of service companies, banks, and retailers.  It...
Read More

3 and Out

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff No Comments
The New Scientist published an article by an economist saying that now is the perfect time to implement “long-overdue environmental regulations requiring US power plants to reduce emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxic metals”.  And the added cost will be a boon to the economy.  That’s what the textbooks say, so it must be right! As the article states in one place, yes, retrofitting power plants will create jobs somewhere, and the higher cost will be passed on to consumers.  Do they equally offset on a macroeconomic level?  I severely doubt it but no one can prove that. In...
Read More

A Radical Idea

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff One Comment
This week I was gleeful to find American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy released a study on my two favorite subjects on which to rant: taxes and energy efficiency!  Yeah! I blogged about tax-distorting effects of EE about a year ago in EE V IRS,with many of the same arguments noted in the recent ACEEE paper.  The ACEEE paper points out that: Since the cost of energy is a business expense, it is tax deductible and therefore, the tax code penalizes to the tune of 35% the bottom line improvement from saving energy.  As I mentioned in EE V...
Read More

Petroloons

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff No Comments
A few weeks back in Evil v Clueless, I attempted to clarify populist, rhetorical BS that crops up in times of rising gasoline prices. True to form, a couple really stupid death-spiral proposals have surfaced: ending “tax breaks” for oil companies and reigning in speculators. Bashing big oil has surfaced this gem again: we need to end tax breaks/subsidies for big oil. The angry mob of medieval grunts raise their clubs and swords to the air and roar approval. The “tax breaks” they are talking about are the same ones every company in the US uses and rightly so: depreciation...
Read More

Evil V Clueless

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Stimulus, Sustainability, Tax Stuff 2 Comments
This week I have an I-can’t-take-it-anymore topic: gasoline prices.  It is not the gasoline prices that chap me, but the pouting, mud throwing, food fights, whining and probably worst of all the stupid solutions to the so-called problems. Gasoline is like any other product or service that is a must-have in society and therefore, like electricity and natural gas, consumers feel entitled to all they want at a negligible price.  And by the way, why all the hype right now?  It’s around $3.50 per gallon.  Being an election year obviously feeds the flames and I guess there just isn’t enough...
Read More

Green is Dead

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Investments, Stimulus, Sustainability, Tax Stuff No Comments
This week in Coon Valley, where I’ve lived for 15 years, we were hit with frost that ended the growing season for unprotected plants.  I have said for years that the first killing frost is always around the first of October, depending on the timing of cold fronts, but this year was earlier than normal – earlier than its been for many years I think (I’m getting old so I’m becoming a walking almanac like your grandfather is/was). To the point, I thought, the killing frost may be symbolic of the death of “green,” I don’t think the death of...
Read More

CFL Mud Wrasslin

By Energy Efficiency, Government, Investments, Tax Stuff No Comments
As you must know, last week congress failed to pass a repeal of the incandescent light bulb with their “Better Use of Light Bulbs” (BULB) act.  There you go right there - God awful marketing.  Who comes up with this junk?  Why does every bill have to be called an “act”?  It’s like every scandal has “gate” attached to it.  Do the Millennials even know where gate comes from?  Climategate.  Memogate.  Blagogate.  Filegate.  Macacagate.  Monicagate.  Nannygate (2 each).  Travelgate.  Troopergate.  Guess who has the most gates.  I don’t know but I’ll bet Bill and Hillary have to be in the...
Read More

EE V IRS

By Energy Efficiency, Government, Investments, Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
Warning: I am not a CPA or tax attorney, and I do not have 63 years available to determine for myself that all contents of this rant are correct. A couple years ago I wrote an Energy Brief about the need for life cycle cost analysis to make the right decisions for selecting the best option for an energy project.  Since that time, we haven’t exactly been living up to this ideal, in large part because we’ve been doing a lot of work for profit-driven enterprises. Life cycle cost analysis for non-profits is pretty easy.  It includes first cost, borrowing...
Read More