CVPS Donates Plug-in Car to UVM for Research on Hybrid Vehicles in Northern Climates

first_imgCVPS Donates Plug-in Car to UVM for Research on Hybrid Vehicles in Northern ClimatesUVM president Daniel Mark Fogel was handed the keys to a new car today. But he wont be taking it for a joy ride.Instead, he received the plug-in hybrid electric vehiclea modified Toyota Prius donated by Central Vermont Public Serviceon behalf of UVMs Transportation Center. UVM researchers will use the vehicle to explore how a new generation of hybrid cars, which recharge from a standard outlet, perform in the cold, hilly conditions of Vermont.Bob Young, president of CVPS, presented the vehicle to President Fogel and Transportation Center director Lisa Aultman-Hall as part of CVPSs “plug n go” program, the nations first utility program that allows customers to use plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to reduce driving costs and air pollution by substituting off-peak electricity for gasoline.UVM will conduct extensive testing on the vehicle in cooperation with the CVPS program.Were delighted to have an ongoing partnership with Central Vermont Public Service and deeply grateful for this generous donation, said Fogel, Our shared goal of developing a new generation of cleaner and smarter transportation choicesthat are practical for the people of Vermonttakes an important step forward today.UVMs expertise will provide valuable insights into these vehicles and the air emission reductions they offer, Young said. We are on the cutting edge of this technology, and UVM is in a unique position to complement the work we are doing.Making Vermont a global leader in clean energy technology, alternative fuel use and energy research will strengthen our economy and help us combat global climate change, said Governor Jim Douglas. I congratulate CVPS and the university for their groundbreaking partnership and focus on this important research.Vermont-specific ResearchWe know in general that plug-in hybrids have about 30% lower carbon emissions than other hybrids, said Richard Watts, a UVM researcher who will study the carsperformance, but we dont know specifically how they will do over different length trips and on different parts of our electrical grid. Will the performance be the same in Burlington as in Highgate Falls?To study this question and others, the researchers will ask a group of commuters, some local and some coming from long distances, to use the car for their regular drive. From all of these trips, theyll collect data about carbon emissions, electricity use, local variations in the electrical supply, and performance over differing distances and driving styles.The new car will also be used as part of an on-going research effort about the capacity of Vermonts electricity grid to handle 50,000, 100,000 or 200,000 plug-in hybrids.If everyone plugged in at 8 in the morning and 6 at night that would be a disaster, Watts said, because that is the peak period of demand. The additional draw on the grid would force power providers to buy more expensive, dirtier power from outside the stateor cause the grid to fail.But there are valleys in use overnight, Watts said, and his research, in collaboration with Stephen Letendre at Green Mountain College, is exploring ways that drivers could be encouraged to recharge their plug-in cars at these off-peak times. As part of the research, the test drivers of the new car will recharge it during the night.The UVM car is the second provided by CVPS to educational partners, the first donated to Green Mountain College last fall.HybridPlus Extension CordLike a conventional hybrid car, a plug-in hybrid runs on a battery pack when it can and then switches to a gas engine. But the plug-in hybrid can also recharge its batteries by connecting to a standard electrical outlet.Since Vermonts electricity supply is relatively clean compared to many other statesit has a high proportion coming from hydro and nuclear powercars that run on electricity could make a significant impact on the states overall greenhouse gas emissions.Nationwide, transportation produces about 28% of US greenhouse gas emissions, according the EPA. In Vermont, transportation produces 44% of the states greenhouse gas emissions, Watts reports.Switching 50,000 existing vehicles from gasoline to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles would reduce carbon emissions by 31 percent, Watts and Letendre wrote in a new report on these vehicles that was formally released at the car donation event today.In addition to donating the new vehicle, Central Vermont Public Service is helping to fund Watts research along with Green Mountain Power and the Burlington Electric Department.last_img read more

Swiss asset management costs ‘don’t paint whole picture’, experts warn

first_imgIt stated that TERs in transparent collective investment schemes – such as investment funds, trusts and investment companies – are to be included in the calculations as well.However, this still left out transaction costs and taxes in collective schemes, TERs in non-transparent (some private equity funds, hedge funds, funds of funds, etc) collective schemes and implicit transaction costs and taxes on the top investment layer, which are not covered by the regulation or the OAK decree.Swiss consultancy c-alm did include those added, hidden costs in its initial report on the second pillar in 2009, commissioned by the Social Ministry in preparation for the structural reform.In it, c-alm calculated a 0.57% cost share, an estimate borne out by subsequent calculations, most recently in 2012, at a slightly lower 0.51% – yet still well above the 0.42% reported by ASIP.But c-alm said it expected more and more collective investment schemes to increase transparency and eventually be included in the TER calculations for Pensionskassen.Ueli Mettler, a partner at c-alm, told IPE: “It is a matter of reputation for asset managers. They do not want to see their products on the so-called ‘black list’ of non-transparent vehicles in a Pensionskassen’s annual report.”He added that UBS had been one of the first to start calculating a synthetic TER for its fund-of-fund offering, and others are following.If all of the currently still non-transparent vehicles are calculating a TER, the costs reported by Pensionskassen could increase by as much as one-third, c-alm estimates.Another trend, according to Mettler, is the inclusion of implicit transaction costs in the calculations, which, on average, adds another 15-20% to the reported costs.Those are not calculated by the provider and can only be estimated by pension funds.However, Mettler warned against including “too many estimate-based figures” and assumptions into the total calculation, as this would be “a path back into the mist”.Currently, more than 98% of all collective investment schemes in the second pillar have attained transparent TER status.However, costs in non-transparent vehicles are likely to be considerably higher than the average.Larger Pensionskassen have reported lower asset management costs on average, and mostly have committed to 100% transparency on fees.The largest Pensionskasse in Swizterland, the CHF36bn (€29.4bn) Publica – as well as the CHF27bn BVK, the pension fund for the canton of Zurich – fully disclose their asset management costs.At Publica, the cost slightly increased last year to 0.22% (from 0.19% in 2012) due to “more expensive” emerging market investments, the Pensionskasse noted in its annual report.The BVK, however, cut its asset management costs from 0.22% to 0.19% year on year – in 2009, costs had been at 0.46%.At the CHF8.7bn Aargauische Pensionskasse (APK), cost transparency is “almost 94%”, with the TERs of some products “not yet fully in line” with OAK calculation requirements.The costs amount to 0.50% of assets, far higher than at Switzerland’s larger funds. Swiss Pensionskassen are paying on average 0.42% of their managed assets in asset management fees, according to a survey by pension fund association ASIP.But experts have warned this does not paint the whole picture, as ASIP’s figure reflects only the costs that must be reported under new regulations and do not cover costs from private equity funds, hedge funds or funds of funds, which do not report a TER, or implicit costs in collective schemes.As part of the reform implemented over the last two years in Switzerland’s second pillar, all Pensionskassen must now report a total expense ratio (TER) on individual investments and include explicit transaction charges and taxes from the top investment layer, as well as global custody, ALM and monitoring costs.In April 2013, the top supervisory body – the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK) – sent out a decree to add to the new regulatory provisions.last_img read more

Slam dunk for Queensland home with its own indoor basketball court

first_img“There’s nothing quite like it on the market.”The fun isn’t necessarily reserved for kids either — the polished concrete zone could make the ultimate man cave or even a sporty guest quarters.MORE: Inside the home with a built-in skate bowlLive next door to Thor aka Chris HemsworthCricketer Chris Lynn throws in luxury car to sell homeThe ultimate kids retreat or man cave? The new owner can decide.“The owner is a big kid at heart and thought it might be fun to have a basketball court inside the home,” Mr Jansen added.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“It’s also a really good use of space given the slope of the block.”And when you’re done making buckets or sinking balls at the pool table, any extra energy can be unleashed in the above ground swimming pool, while listening to tunes on the integrated audio system.Cool off in the pool after a session on the court.“We’ve had stacks of enquiry coming through realestate.com.au,” Mr Jansen said.“The home has had over one thousand views in a week and people are asking about the more fun features.”In nearby Burleigh Heads, the insane backyard pool in 7 Sharscay Close attracted almost 9,000 online views before the property went under contract last week.Meanwhile one Brisbane family has taken the fun factor to another level by installing a massive skate bowl inside their luxurious Hamilton home.Tenders on 14A Coffeebush Court close at 5pm on 1 June.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 The fun features inside 14A Coffeebush Court, Reedy Creek are attracting plenty of interest.A luxury Queensland home has its own indoor basketball court because “a big kid at heart” thought it would be fun – complete with a graffiti crowd on the sidelines.It’s game on inside the newly-built Reedy Creek home which features a huge indoor basketball court and games parlour complete with a pinball machine and billiard table.MORE: Is this Australia’s best house?The beach house that looks like a superyachtWell-known buyer of crazy $66.9m mansion revealedYou can shoot hoops all day long at 14A Coffeebush Court, Reedy Creek.A graffiti artist from Brisbane was commissioned to decorate the walls inside the court while framed sporting and music memorabilia lines the walls in the games room.“The home certainly is unique,” said agent Zach Jansen of Black & White Estate Agents – Mermaid Beach who is marketing the property at 14A Coffeebush Court.last_img read more