Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

Government leaders urge Duke to invest in solar, energy efficiency

More than two dozen local, state and federal officials called on Duke Energy to make solar and energy efficiency bigger priorities in the delivery of electricity.

In a two-page letter delivered Tuesday to Duke Energy Florida president Alex Glenn, the government leaders urged the utility to invest in clean-energy technologies as a way to help bolster Florida's economy.

The letter noted that 26 states have stronger energy-efficiency programs than Florida. The Sunshine State also ranks 16th, behind the likes of New Jersey, in solar installations.

The group included U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa; state Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg; the mayors of St. Petersburg, Gulfport, Largo and Safety Harbor; the vice mayor of Belleair Bluffs; all but one member of the St. Petersburg City Council; three Pinellas County Commission members and one Hernando commissioner; as well as several commissioners and council members from Gulfport, Largo and Safety Harbor.

"As public officials, we are writing to express our support for clean energy and urge your company to deepen its investment in energy efficiency and solar power in Florida," the letter stated.

Nicole LeBeau, a Duke spokeswoman, said Duke received the letter and is reviewing it. She said the utility would prepare a response.

The letter was announced during a press conference Tuesday in St. Petersburg's Williams Park, across the street from Duke's Florida headquarters.

St. Petersburg City Council member Karl Nurse said that on a recent trip to North Carolina, he found several promotions by the utility in support of energy efficiency and solar. "Duke is making twice the effort in North Carolina," Nurse said.

Said Gulfport Council member Yolanda Roman: "Supporting clean energy shouldn't be that difficult. We need to invest in the health and welfare of our citizens."

The event is part of an on-going effort led by the Sierra Club and a group that has dubbed itself the Sunshine State Clean Energy Coalition, more than 25 business, faith, labor, consumer, public health and environmental organizations.

Tuesday's announcement drew a crowd of about 50 in support of the effort.

"Our message is really not about bashing Duke," said Frank Jackalone, staff director for the Sierra Club. "All we're asking … empower us to do more to bring more energy efficiency and solar."

Ivan Penn can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2332.

Comments
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 10 hours ago
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday.Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president and chief distr...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality st...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

TAMPA — Circle K is converting the gas station portion of eight of its Hillsborough locations to Circle K fuel. Previously, the fuel was provided by other brands, such as Shell. The new Circle K branding also brings with it the Canadian-owned conveni...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida has the strongest residential building codes among 18 coastal states, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Florida’s rating is 95, almost three times higher than lowest-ranked Texas. Other states wit...
Published: 04/25/18
Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Times staffRedlining’ — banks’ refusal to make mortgage loans in certain areas — still has a huge effect on housing values even though the practice was banned 50 years ago. According to Zillow, a Tampa Bay house in a once-redlined area is worth less ...
Published: 04/25/18
Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

NOW OPEN: TEX-MEX CHAIN CHUY’SThe Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opened its first Tampa restaurant on Tuesday, giving away free Chuy’s for two for a year to the first 50 customers. I know, we missed it, it’s a bummer, but we can still visit...
Published: 04/25/18
Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Elected officials have talked about relocating City Hall from the downtown bluff for a good 30 years. Now there’s a jolt of urgency to actually do it.Voters backed a referendum in November that essentially greenlighted the $55 million re...
Published: 04/25/18