Chuck Ross

Freelance Writer

Chuck Ross is a freelance writer located in Brewster, Mass. He can be reached at

Articles by Chuck Ross

March 2014
In the last year or so, electric-utility industry followers have been hearing about the “disruptive force” of distributed generation—how the growing number of solar panels sprouting on rooftops could be upending utility business models. READ MORE
March 2014
It’s a complicated time to be an electricity-generating company in the United States. Volatility in the natural gas market is forcing utility planners to rethink fueling options, and new emissions regulations are adding even more questions to their long-term forecasts. READ MORE
February 2014
Fire is a building’s worst enemy, and time is a critical element. Each minute a fire’s progress can be slowed provides more time for occupants to get out of harm’s way and for firefighters to reach and extinguish a blaze. In this way, “firestop” material might be better labeled “fire pause” material. READ MORE
February 2014
Improving the efficiency of our nation’s buildings certainly isn’t a new goal. The energy crisis of the 1970s spurred a wave of energy-reducing innovations, including the first generation of building-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce electricity on-site. Since then, the U.S. READ MORE
February 2014
The most important renewable-energy source in the United States is most frequently overlooked. Wind and solar energy may capture more headlines (and congressional attention), but hydropower has held the title as the most productive—and, arguably, least expensive—renewable option for decades. READ MORE
January 2014
We’ve gotten used to our local electric utilities asking us to ease up on the air conditioning and turn off unneeded lights during hot summer months. In the Northeast
(especially New England), those requests are becoming even more urgent in the winter. READ MORE
December 2013
The term “Intermittency” is often used when utility-industry experts discuss the drawbacks of renewable-energy supplies. Because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine in parallel with our demand for electricity, utilities and merchant power generators still must keep backup supplies on hand. READ MORE
November 2013
With old-school, electromechanical dial-based electricity meters rapidly going the way of the rotary-dial telephone, it won’t be long before “smart meters” are called, simply, “meters.” Otherwise known as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), digital meters have rolled out by the millions over the last half-decade, and utilities are exploring the benefits their communications capabilities offer. READ MORE
October 2013
It hasn’t been easy to live in Connecticut the last couple years. First Hurricane Irene slammed through the state in August 2011, leaving some residents without electricity for weeks. A freak Halloween snowstorm two months later brought wires down again. Then Hurricane Sandy hit a year later, felling trees that, in turn, took down 11 separate transmission lines. READ MORE