Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-13-2009, 03:05 PM   #101
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Yep, I just got a kill a watt too. $20 from amazon. Not sure if this will allow me to save $20 in electricity though, since most things that use 1-4 watts when plugged in but off are going to remain plugged in year round to avoid the hassle factor.

Ultimately, I know our heating/cooling is roughly 2/3 of our energy costs, so all the worry about unplugging things that consume 1 watt does very little to reduce our overall energy consumption. Changing the thermostat by 1 degree for a month during the peak heating/cooling season would roughly equal a dozen of these 1 watt devices plugged up year round.

Everyone doing a little bit only helps a little bit.

On a different note, we only spend around $1200 a year on heating/cooling, so a lot of the items we could do to increase our heating/cooling efficiency may have long payback periods (assuming we keep living here forever) even with the federal and power company credits/rebates. Not sure what would have the shortest payback period. New doors or weatherizing existing ones? New windows? Reflective barrier in attic? Solar attic fans in the eaves? High SEER a/c system? Only paying $1200 a year makes it too easy to "do nothing". Gotta love cheap energy!


The one thing that may have a good payback locally is solar or wind generation. 30% federal credit plus 35% state credit (up to $10,000). Plus I think I can sell my power to some green power initiative for around $0.20 per kWh as long as I don't net meter. I'm sure I have done the math wrong, but the payback period is only 6-7 years from a quick and dirty back of envelope amateur estimation. Plus I could make money sooner if I sell the equipment for a decent salvage value in 5 years after the recapture provisions do not apply and then buy a new system (assuming credits are in place) and do the whole thing over again. Gotta love perverse incentives that entice one to act economically inefficient.
__________________

__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-13-2009, 03:25 PM   #102
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
Solar PV is GENERALLY the last thing you want to do from a financial standpoint.
Insulation is one of the quickest paybacks. I have seen some people with poorly insulated houses (in climates that need the insulation) have a payback period under one year.
Conservation should also come before solar as it costs you nothing (as you say though, you have to find the things that will actually add up).
I haven't heard of anyone selling power from a home PV or Wind power generator to anyone but the local utility. However, if it works out that way in your area and they will give you 20cents/kWh, more power to you
__________________

__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 03:51 PM   #103
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
I haven't heard of anyone selling power from a home PV or Wind power generator to anyone but the local utility. However, if it works out that way in your area and they will give you 20cents/kWh, more power to you
I need to do some more research obviously because it seems too good to be true. But I think solar PV (or any solar for that matter) might actually have a short payback just because I would only be paying 1/3 the cost and getting over 2x market rates for produced power. Whether the hassle of maintaining my own utility system is worth possibly a couple thousand bucks a year max is another issue... And I would be stuck relying on the continued subsidized purchases of electricity by the green energy initiative.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 04:48 PM   #104
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
I would be very interested in hearing what you find out.
With a payback rate of double the use rate and if there are better rebates in your state I could see a much shorter payback period.
Last year we were actually getting paid one-tenth of a penny more for surplus energy than we are paying for electricity They changed the rates though and they are no just a tenth of a penny less for surplus energy
Overall though, on an anual basis we still use more than we produce, so it doesn't make that much of a difference.
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 05:12 PM   #105
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
I would be very interested in hearing what you find out.
With a payback rate of double the use rate and if there are better rebates in your state I could see a much shorter payback period.
Last year we were actually getting paid one-tenth of a penny more for surplus energy than we are paying for electricity They changed the rates though and they are no just a tenth of a penny less for surplus energy
Overall though, on an anual basis we still use more than we produce, so it doesn't make that much of a difference.
Per my understanding of the local plan, it actually pays more to NOT net meter, because you get paid around double if you don't net meter. If you do net meter, every kWh you produce offsets the standard kWh charge (8-9 cents), and I guess they pay you either the 8-9 cents if you produce more than consume, or some reduced wholesale generation rate. It seems perverse, but that wouldn't be the first time something government subsidy related ended up producing perverse results.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 07:50 PM   #106
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Yep, I just got a kill a watt too. $20 from amazon. Not sure if this will allow me to save $20 in electricity though, since most things that use 1-4 watts when plugged in but off are going to remain plugged in year round to avoid the hassle factor.
Considering what you do with spreadsheets for "green fun", I'd just write off the Kill-A-Watt against your entertainment budget...

When I look over my spreadsheet, I see that some of our phantom loads are surprisingly robust. 30 watts for a powerstrip supporting a TV and a couple of VCRs. 15 watts for a powerstrip supporting a desktop computer and all its accessories.

One way to knock down the hassle factor is to plug the phantom loads into the receptacle controlled by a light switch. We conveniently have one behind our audio/video stack that gets switched off when the TV watching is done. The only thing that stays powered up is the TiVo.

To go to extremes, Ed Begley had his house wired with a kill switch. When he goes out he flips one switch by the door that has the same effect as popping the house's electrical supply breaker. Of course he must not mind the blinking LED clocks or having to reprogram VCRs. And that sort of wiring is difficult to retrofit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
On a different note, we only spend around $1200 a year on heating/cooling, so a lot of the items we could do to increase our heating/cooling efficiency may have long payback periods (assuming we keep living here forever) even with the federal and power company credits/rebates. Not sure what would have the shortest payback period. New doors or weatherizing existing ones? New windows? Reflective barrier in attic? Solar attic fans in the eaves? High SEER a/c system? Only paying $1200 a year makes it too easy to "do nothing". Gotta love cheap energy!
The one thing that may have a good payback locally is solar or wind generation. 30% federal credit plus 35% state credit (up to $10,000). Plus I think I can sell my power to some green power initiative for around $0.20 per kWh as long as I don't net meter. I'm sure I have done the math wrong, but the payback period is only 6-7 years from a quick and dirty back of envelope amateur estimation. Plus I could make money sooner if I sell the equipment for a decent salvage value in 5 years after the recapture provisions do not apply and then buy a new system (assuming credits are in place) and do the whole thing over again. Gotta love perverse incentives that entice one to act economically inefficient.
Like saving for ER, it's always easier to reduce your consumption than to raise your production.

Here's the out-of-the-box questions to ask yourself:
- Could you do without A/C by passively cooling the house? Insulated walls, shaded roof, awning-style windows allowing whole-house airflow? There's a narrow band of latitudes and microclimates where this works.
- Can you do the work? Attic reflective foil is very cheap but installation is a cast-iron bitch (even worse when it's hot). Solar exhaust fans and ridge vents (either one, not both) require slicing into your roof, not for the novice handyman.
- Can you seal off most of the house in winter and only heat one or two rooms? Agreed that for $1200/year you'd be crossing the line from frugality into deprivation pretty quickly.
- Would you be able to save money with a tankless water heater?
- Does your utility offer time-of-day use and load-shedding credits?
- If your fridge is over five years old or over 20 cu ft then you may be able to go for a 19 cu ft EnergyStar model with a payback of less than five years. But that depends on several other lifestyle factors. The best deals are the Craigslist sellers who are getting rid of last year's EnergyStar models because the color doesn't match this year's remodel.

Depending on your winter weather, solar water may have the quickest payback. If it freezes then you'd have two heat-transfer loops (one using antifreeze). If it doesn't freeze then you could do your own work for about $1000-$2000 in parts (before the tax credits) and it would only use energy when it was hot. The water heater would still have an electrical heating element for days when the sun's just not keeping up.

If you go the photovoltaic depreciation option, let me know when you're ready to get rid of your used panels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I need to do some more research obviously because it seems too good to be true. But I think solar PV (or any solar for that matter) might actually have a short payback just because I would only be paying 1/3 the cost and getting over 2x market rates for produced power. Whether the hassle of maintaining my own utility system is worth possibly a couple thousand bucks a year max is another issue... And I would be stuck relying on the continued subsidized purchases of electricity by the green energy initiative.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Per my understanding of the local plan, it actually pays more to NOT net meter, because you get paid around double if you don't net meter. If you do net meter, every kWh you produce offsets the standard kWh charge (8-9 cents), and I guess they pay you either the 8-9 cents if you produce more than consume, or some reduced wholesale generation rate. It seems perverse, but that wouldn't be the first time something government subsidy related ended up producing perverse results.
Some smart PUC is going to get wind of that good deal and kill it. Our local HECO rate is about 18-22 cents/KWHr (so far this year, 4.7% increase on the way) but our HPOWER trash-burning plant only gets about 5-10 cents/KWHr as a wholesale producer. So net metering pays off for us.

I'm not sure what utility maintenance hassle you're referring to. I don't even have to clean our PV panels.

If you search Craigslist daily (and set up an eBay search) you'll quickly find PV panels at discounts of over 50%. I've been paying no more than $4/watt including shipping. Again this is a job for an experienced handyman, but none of it is particularly complex. The best situation is where you hire an electrician to wire in the first few hundred watts and then you expand the system on your own. That's how you pay only $15K for a $35K retail system.

We bought in Oct 2004, started up our system in Feb 05, and finished expanding it by Nov 07. After the tax credits we've been hitting a dividend rate of 7-10%/year, better than anything in our equity portfolio. We'll break even on our initial investment in the next 8-10 months, weather permitting, and the compounded returns will pull ahead in 10 years after that.

Since the tax credits are still in effect, I'm almost hoping that the hurricane will rip it all off the roof so that I can start over with what I've learned...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 03:12 PM   #107
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Considering what you do with spreadsheets for "green fun", I'd just write off the Kill-A-Watt against your entertainment budget...
That's what I told the DW!

Quote:
When I look over my spreadsheet, I see that some of our phantom loads are surprisingly robust. 30 watts for a powerstrip supporting a TV and a couple of VCRs. 15 watts for a powerstrip supporting a desktop computer and all its accessories.

One way to knock down the hassle factor is to plug the phantom loads into the receptacle controlled by a light switch. We conveniently have one behind our audio/video stack that gets switched off when the TV watching is done. The only thing that stays powered up is the TiVo.
30 watts for tv/vcr? Wow! I'd definitely switch off to save that. Our tv+computer is 4 watts combined (off), so I don't feel bad about that being passively consumed all the time.

The main rat's nest of equipment in the computer room stays plugged in 24/7 so we can have sleep resume on the PC's, cable modem/router/wifi/vonage. I haven't tested the loads of much of that, but we like the wifi in and around the house and the phone on 24/7

Quote:
Here's the out-of-the-box questions to ask yourself:
- Could you do without A/C by passively cooling the house? Insulated walls, shaded roof, awning-style windows allowing whole-house airflow? There's a narrow band of latitudes and microclimates where this works.
- Can you do the work? Attic reflective foil is very cheap but installation is a cast-iron bitch (even worse when it's hot). Solar exhaust fans and ridge vents (either one, not both) require slicing into your roof, not for the novice handyman.
- Can you seal off most of the house in winter and only heat one or two rooms? Agreed that for $1200/year you'd be crossing the line from frugality into deprivation pretty quickly.
- Would you be able to save money with a tankless water heater?
- Does your utility offer time-of-day use and load-shedding credits?
- If your fridge is over five years old or over 20 cu ft then you may be able to go for a 19 cu ft EnergyStar model with a payback of less than five years. But that depends on several other lifestyle factors. The best deals are the Craigslist sellers who are getting rid of last year's EnergyStar models because the color doesn't match this year's remodel.
Get rid of a/c? Impossible. 95 degrees and 95% humidity for half the summer here. The dr's bills from heat stroke would offset any energy savings. And there would be the divorce attorney's fees too.

Quote:
Depending on your winter weather, solar water may have the quickest payback. If it freezes then you'd have two heat-transfer loops (one using antifreeze). If it doesn't freeze then you could do your own work for about $1000-$2000 in parts (before the tax credits) and it would only use energy when it was hot. The water heater would still have an electrical heating element for days when the sun's just not keeping up.
Solar water heating and time of day usage plus load shedding may be options. Although we only use approx $150 a year on water heating with nat gas. However the tax credits and rebates make solar WH affordable. We do get frequent (sometimes constant) freezing weather during the winter months, so I'm not sure how much the net savings would be if resistive electrical heat is the backup water heating source.

Quote:
If you go the photovoltaic depreciation option, let me know when you're ready to get rid of your used panels!

I'm not sure what utility maintenance hassle you're referring to. I don't even have to clean our PV panels.

If you search Craigslist daily (and set up an eBay search) you'll quickly find PV panels at discounts of over 50%. I've been paying no more than $4/watt including shipping. Again this is a job for an experienced handyman, but none of it is particularly complex. The best situation is where you hire an electrician to wire in the first few hundred watts and then you expand the system on your own. That's how you pay only $15K for a $35K retail system.

We bought in Oct 2004, started up our system in Feb 05, and finished expanding it by Nov 07. After the tax credits we've been hitting a dividend rate of 7-10%/year, better than anything in our equity portfolio. We'll break even on our initial investment in the next 8-10 months, weather permitting, and the compounded returns will pull ahead in 10 years after that.

Since the tax credits are still in effect, I'm almost hoping that the hurricane will rip it all off the roof so that I can start over with what I've learned...
Maybe you could sell your current PV panels as they age beyond 5 years and buy new ones to take advantage of more credits?

I wasn't sure about maintenance. I'm a newb, but I thought they had to be cleaned occasionally? And I assume there may be corrosion or wear/tear and weathering on connections? Hail or flying debris could crack a panel? Further research is required as I figured it wouldn't be easy to just set and forget for years without the occasional troubleshooting.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 03:17 PM   #108
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
One thing I will be doing is paying a little more attention to power consumption when buying new appliances and electronics if the data is available. Take, for example, a TV that uses 140 watts when on vs. 80 watts when on. If used 6 hrs a day, that 140 watt tv costs $15 extra a year. So maybe $75 over the useful life of a tv. I might have to take my Kill A Watt with me next time I go to walmart or bestbuy.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 03:43 PM   #109
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I wasn't sure about maintenance. I'm a newb, but I thought they had to be cleaned occasionally? And I assume there may be corrosion or wear/tear and weathering on connections? Hail or flying debris could crack a panel? Further research is required as I figured it wouldn't be easy to just set and forget for years without the occasional troubleshooting.
More research sounds like it is in order.
Our panels are warrenteed up to 2 inch hail.
Cleaning? Mine have been up almost 2 1/2 years with no need for cleaning. Your results may vary depending upon your location and local weather. We have lots of freeze/thaw cycles, snow and they have been hit with hail (3/4 inch at most). No issues with any of the above.
For example, if you are in an area with a high likelyhood of hurricanes, I would definately check with the installer about that.
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 03:57 PM   #110
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
More research sounds like it is in order.
Our panels are warrenteed up to 2 inch hail.
Cleaning? Mine have been up almost 2 1/2 years with no need for cleaning. Your results may vary depending upon your location and local weather. We have lots of freeze/thaw cycles, snow and they have been hit with hail (3/4 inch at most). No issues with any of the above.
For example, if you are in an area with a high likelyhood of hurricanes, I would definately check with the installer about that.
We usually don't get more than 3/4 inch hail and that is only a couple times a year. We are in the approach/take off path for many geese, and goose feces would be all over these panels by the end of summer. Sometimes they land on the roof and poop on it too. re Hurricanes - we get tropical storms or remnants every few years it seems and strong hurricanes hit us or nearby areas every decade. Plus we get high winds a lot during regular storms since we have no tree cover and live at the end of a canyon basically (the lake basin). I'd definitely have to engineer the attachment to the roof to withstand some serious wind. May be more important to call the insurance company to see if they have a "solar panel" rider to their policy.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Weaknesses of Kill a watt
Old 07-14-2009, 04:00 PM   #111
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
Weaknesses of Kill a watt

I like the product a lot, but wish it could be improved to support:

Current higher than 15 amp.
230Volt.

Sam
__________________
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 04:03 PM   #112
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
I like the product a lot, but wish it could be improved to support:

Current higher than 15 amp.
230Volt.

Sam
I think I saw some much more expensive power management/power monitoring devices that had more features and could do 240v and higher current. But they were also over $100 IIRC and the Kill a watt I got was $20.
__________________
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 04:36 PM   #113
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
Fuego, with the considerations of the weather in your area, I would definately get good detailed information about the installer's and manufacturer's warentee and gaurentees.
We live near some water and have a number of ducks and geese (although it sounds like not nearly as many as you). Normal rain has taken care of any dirt/debri on the panels.
Ask for references from any installers. Then you can get the experiences of other solar panel owners in your area.
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 04:46 PM   #114
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
I like the product a lot, but wish it could be improved to support:

Current higher than 15 amp.
230Volt.

Sam
I'd like to have something like this:

Google PowerMeter

The details are sketchy or buried, but somewhere I saw that it gives power usage for each circuit, and graphs the history for you as you specify, and you can compare time frames, etc. I would like that, especially if there were government subsidies I could count on everybody else paying for something I would use.

The testimonials of the trial users are underwhelming. As seems typical, they suddenly "discover" that it helps to do things they should have been doing all along... "I cleaned my refrigerator coils for the first time in 15 years"... " Wow, my space heater uses a lot of power, I guess I should turn it off when I'm not home"...." Hey, I can save energy by doing a full load of dishes or clothes".....

But I would probably learn something. I wish I had one for my well pump, I had a leak that went undetected until it got bad enough to start seeing dips in pressure.

I'm thinking of wiring a little circuit up - use a high resistance value divider to tap off a few volts from the 220 supply to the pump, rectify it and hook it up to a cheap analog clock with the power in place of the battery. I could monitor how many hours the pump runs with that.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 05:40 PM   #115
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I could monitor how many hours the pump runs with that.

-ERD50
Hours? Hopefully it's not running that much. Most folks doing rough estimates of water use figure 60 gallons/day per person for drinking, hygiene, toilet flushing, washing clothes and dishes, etc. This usually comes pretty close to the mark (though the presence of teenage girls typically requires a bump-up). The major additions to this would be for any livestock or plant/garden/lawn watering.

If your pump is moving 5 gal/min (per your note below, which sounds a bit slow to me for a 1/3hp pump--maybe you've got a very deep well?), then all the domestic water typically used by one person in a day would take just 12 minutes of pump time. Even with a few folks at home and a generous sprinkler system, I wouldn't guess the well pump would be operating much past an hour.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #116
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Hours? Hopefully it's not running that much.
Ahh, sorry for the confusion, I see I did not give the denominator. It *will* run for *hours*, but it might take a few days I was just thinking "hours" because it is a clock. More generically, I could say I want to monitor the average duty cycle over a measured time frame.

Timing and gallons per cycle are very rough numbers, but it is a 190' deep well. I roughly estimated about an hour a day and with 4 in the house that would be lose to the numbers you have. But when I had the leak, I'm pretty sure it was running for hours a day before I noticed it.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 07:32 PM   #117
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Ahh, sorry for the confusion, I see I did not give the denominator.
Gotcha. I made a poor assumption.

Let's see: Such a pump probably draws approx 4 amps at 230V= approx 1kw. At the average US electrical rate it costs about ten cents to pump all the water your family needs for an entire day (almost 2500 lbs of water) up from a location over 100 feet below the ground. It always amazes me what a tremendous bargain electricity is. We may whine and complain about the size of our electric bills, but it's probably among the best values in my monthly budget.

When we moved into our house I briefly considered hooking up to the nearby city water. I'm so glad I didn't. Though I had to invest a lot in my water treatment system, I saved the $4000 hookup costs, $25 per month in water bills, and I have better tasting water than I would have had if I'd gone with the municipal water.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #118
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
It always amazes me what a tremendous bargain electricity is.
Yes. Back in post 100, I mentioned I was surprised that my porch lights might be costing me $16/month. Well the surprise was warranted - that was 16KWHrs, not dollars. I forgot to multiply by $0.1 per KWHr, so one dollar and 62 cents per month. The motivation to unscrew a couple of the bulbs dropped to zero.

So now I have very roughly accounted for ~ 1/2 my base electrical usage during the non-heating/cooling season - time to start adding up computers, tvs and lighting, and see if I have any large phantom loads. The phantoms I've checked so far are not even worth buying a power strip for.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 08:50 PM   #119
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
But this brings us back to 115,000,000 households, times 16KWh...

A KWh here, a KWh there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money.

Apologies to Sen. Dirksen aside, I'm sure that many of us cheap bastards frugal types have already found the low-hanging fruit. Many haven't...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 09:03 PM   #120
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
But this brings us back to 115,000,000 households, times 16KWh...

A KWh here, a KWh there, and pretty soon we're talking about real money.

Apologies to Sen. Dirksen aside, I'm sure that many of us cheap bastards frugal types have already found the low-hanging fruit. Many haven't...
Yes, but if someone else has not picked the low hanging fruit already, why should my tax dollars go towards paying for a fancy "smart meter" when 90% of that could be done with no expenditure at all, just some simple education and a little effort on their part? I suspect that 90% of the people who haven't figured this stuff out, won't figure it out after being given a smart meter either.

Here's an (awful) idea - just like a drivers license, we should require an "energy consumer's license". You want to buy electricity from the utility company, you have to pass a test to show that you know how to use it properly.

I think it would be simpler and more effective to just tax the stuff. When gas was $4, people found all sorts of ways to conserve. That's not theoretical, it is a fact, consumption went down. We know it works, it happened w/o any stupid "cash for clunkers" bill, or any CAFE standard changes... but no one wants to go there.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air HFWR Other topics 11 05-19-2009 11:26 PM
Air Car- runs on compressed air and/or combustion samclem Other topics 53 07-19-2008 07:28 AM
New Calculator - Max Sustainable Withdrawal Rates kmarbach FIRE and Money 13 03-19-2003 01:28 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:30 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.