Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sugar batteries could be greener, cheaper and store more energy than lithium-ions

Even today's best rechargeable lithium batteries do lose their ability to hold a charge after a while, and are considered toxic waste once discarded. In just a few years, however, they may be replaced by batteries that are refillable and biodegradable, and that will also have a higher energy density yet a lower price ... and they'll run on sugar.

"Sugar is a perfect energy storage compound in nature," says Virginia Tech's Prof. Y.H. Percival Zhang, who is leading the research. "So it's only logical that we try to harness this natural power in an environmentally friendly way to produce a battery."

Zhang's isn't the first experimental sugar battery, although he claims that its energy density is "an order of magnitude higher than others."

Read full article HERE...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Worried About High Energy Bills?

In case you didn't know, it's been REALLY cold lately. If you have an electric heat pump, I'd be willing to bet that you recently heard it groaning throughout the night as it worked overtime to heat your home - if you're lucky! I'd also be willing to bet that your emergency heat kicked in to aid your heat pump in doing the job it is ideally suited for at above freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, that emergency function is resistive heat, a relatively inefficient method of heating a metal coil by running electricity through it - think wall heater coils glowing red. While emergency heat is an effective stop gap to compensate for an electric heat pump's shortfalls in extreme low temperatures, it is not best suited for extended use and uses much more electricity than the heat pump's normal direct air, heat exchanging technology.

Essentially, when it gets really cold outside and you set your thermostat to stay warm inside, your energy usage and energy charges are sure to go up; especially if it's single digit temperatures and you use an electric heat pump.

So what does this have to do with JCPB's Rolling Budget Billing? Here's the thing: customers that sign up for rolling budget with JCPB pay the average billing amount for the last twelve months each month. This means that if there is a spike in their energy charges, they won't have to bite the bullet and bear the full burden the next month. Rather, a rolling budget billing customer will pay an amount based on that high month averaged in with the previous eleven months of usage. This methodology prevents drastic fluctuations in monthly energy charges while not requiring a deficit or surplus "settle up" to occur as is required with our fixed budget billing option. Brilliant!

If you are worried about high energy bills this winter and need help spreading out the burden of cost, call in, log on, or come by today to inquire about our rolling budget billing option today.

Here are some helpful resources to get you started:

Easy Pay Options on

JCPB Customer Service: 423-952-JCPB (5272)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Power From The People: Human Energy Will Fuel NYC’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

A 11,875-pound geodesic sphere, covered in 2,688 Waterford crystals, illuminated by 32,256 LED bulbs, powered completely by human energy.
That is what the venerated Times Square New Years Eve ball will look like this year, according to a Friday press release from the Times Square Alliance. The human energy will come from six stationary Citi Bike bicycles set up in Midtown, that people were invited to ride this weekend to generate kinetic energy for the ball.

The energy, which is collected from the bikes and stored in batteries, will eventually be transferred to the New York City power grid to offset the energy needed to light and eventually drop the New Year’s Eve Ball, according to the release.

“With the year’s biggest party being powered by Citi Bike pedals, the world is in for an even more electrifying experience when the ball drops,” city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in a statement.

Read full article HERE...