Home builder confidence in single-family housing jumps to highest in 12 years


By Hannah Levitt Home builder confidence in single-family housing rose to the highest level since 2005, buoyed by increased confidence since the November presidential election. The Housing Market Index rose to 71 in March, jumping 9.2 percent from 65 in February and higher than the Bloomberg consensus prediction of 66, according to the National Association […]

Cleantech accelerators bridge gap left by traditional venture capital

Chicago cleantech

By Hannah Levitt Chicago-based clean energy technology accelerators are playing an increasingly large role in bringing cleantech startups to market by providing them with funding as well as structural and scale-up support. According to Clean Energy Trust Director of Technology Development Ben Gaddy, the number of cleantech accelerators is growing in response to the specific […]

Legendary Chicago bathhouse sees growth since welcoming women

Red Square headline photo

By Hannah Levitt For those suffering in the arctic tundra that is a Chicago winter, Red Square Spa, a traditional Russian bathhouse located at 1914 W. Division St. in the Wicker Park neighborhood, is a spot to warm the body and the soul. The bathhouse, which has been in operation since 1906, has wet and […]

Future of clean energy in Japan remains uncertain amidst crosswinds

Japan pic

By Hannah Levitt The future of large-scale renewable energy generation and distribution in Japan remains unclear due to industry complexities six years after the Fukushima plant accident. Although Japan committed to a 26 percent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, fossil fuels made up 92 […]

NRG narrows loss but misses expectations


By Hannah Levitt NRG Energy Inc. stock remained stable Tuesday although the company missed analysts’ expectations for the fourth quarter of 2016. The Princeton, N.J.- and Houston, Texas-based utility  reported a net loss of $1.1 billion, or $3.33 per diluted share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. This is 83 percent narrower than its […]

NiSource Inc. misses Q4 expectations, pledges more infrastructure spending

By Hannah Levitt NiSource Inc.’s profit in the final three months of 2016 missed Wall Street’s expectations, but the natural gas and electric utility company said it would spend more on utility investments such as pipe and underground electric cable replacements in 2017. The Merrillville, Indiana-based company said net income in the fourth quarter rose 49 […]

Record high U.S. oil inventories have little effect on markets

Gas Station Chicago

By Hannah Levitt U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 9.5 million barrels, bringing total inventories to a record high of 518.1 million barrels for the week ended February 10 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This was the sixth consecutive week of increases. It came in contrast to the expected increase of 3.5 million […]

Analysts recommend holding NiSource stock in 2017

Natural Gas Oven

By Hannah Levitt The majority of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg recommend holding NiSource Inc. stock in 2017, expecting a revenue increase to $4.6 billion from $4.52 billion expected in 2016 and a stock price increase to a 12-month target of $23.95 per share from Tuesday’s closing price of $22.25. Analysts expect steady growth due to […]

Energy experts: future of clean power lies in changing incentives

UChicago EPI 1-27

By Hannah Levitt The future of clean power depends on state and local governments implementing policies that expand the market for renewable energy development, according to energy policy experts at a seminar hosted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago Thursday. Energy policy and economics expert Susan Tierney and New York State […]

Consumers brace for higher gas prices in 2017

H. Levitt Gas Price Story Photo

By Hannah Levitt Irving Park resident Barbara Cameron uses her car as her primary way of getting around Chicago. The freelance producer fueled her vehicle at a Shell station on the corner of LaSalle St. and North Ave. this week, where regular unleaded gas was $2.989 per gallon. “It affects everything, we just don’t have […]