PNS Daily News - December 13, 2019 

Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

2020Talks - December 13, 2013  

The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

Crank those Air Conditioners - to Maximum Energy Efficiency

August 9, 2007

A cool, air-conditioned office or shopping mall may be a nice break from August heat, but it comes at a cost. A new lawsuit is calling on the U.S. Department of Energy to require higher energy-efficiency standards for new air conditioners and heat pumps in commercial buildings.

Tim Ballo with Earthjustice says the change would lead to massive energy savings and a cut in global warming pollution, and with Wisconsin's reliance on coal for electricity, that will lead to cleaner air, too.

"For all the electricity that you don't have to generate to use in air conditioners and heat pumps, that's less air pollution that's gonna be emitted by the power plants in Wisconsin, and less air pollution that you're gonna have to breathe."

While more efficient commercial air conditioners would be more costly up front, Ballo notes the electricity savings pay off down the road.

"According to the Department of Energy's own studies, these products would save the customers money in the long run. Even within just a few years, the energy savings would pay back the costs. Over the long term, there are several power plants that we're just not gonna have to build "

Congress may also step in on the issue. The current versions of the energy bills in both houses would require a boost in efficiency for commercial air conditioners. They'll take up those bills when they return to work in September.

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - WI