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Urgent!! We need to be proactive with Energy Efficiency!

John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
I have a urgent message to all wallies.

Check out this article. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seattle-city-council-to-consider-ban-on-natural-gas-for-new-buildings/

Seattle wants to ban natural gas. This trend could be a disaster for our industry. I understand that some of you don't have an interest in fighting global climate change. But if we don't become proactive and start promoting our own energy efficiency agenda to the public, the public will leave us out!! There is going to be new laws and regulation as well as millions of dollars available to fight global climate change. Some of these laws and regulations are going to take work away from us.

This is money we can put into our own pockets, if we play our cards right!! I have posted and other wallies have posted huge energy efficiency improvement's on some hydronic systems here on the wall. Improvements over 80% in fuel bills are happening and possible!! Our biggest problem is the public looks at AFUE and assumes our equipment is as stated, 80 to 95% efficient. They don't see room for improvements. They don't think what we do is worth the effort. We need to be looking at Real World Energy Efficiency to get an idea of realistic co2 reductions and fuel savings.

A house with a hot air or air conditioned system that is uninsulated and installed in a uninsulated attic that the carpenters cut in huge fresh air ventilation to that attic could be found to be less than 5% efficient in some incidences. This is according to Real World Energy Efficiency. That means a 90% reduction in fuel bills for upgrades!!!

Attached is a slide in my green heating presentation that shows how electricity is found on average to give off more than 3 times as much co2 than natural gas. So I don't see how Seattle's solution of just ending ng is a workable solution. Don't let this logic spread. Electricity is not the answer. We are!!
John Ruhnke
Hydronics Designer
Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.

Comments

  • BrewbeerBrewbeer Posts: 581Member
    Question on your slide - is the electricity that is being consumed to produce the energy being run through electric resistance coils, or is it being used by heat pumps? The graph doesn't make that clear, and it would seem those two mechanisms of producing heating BTUs would give different results.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    The slide shows that electricity from the power plants gives off over 3 times as much co2 than natural gas. Its measured per btu consumed and averaged for all uses, electric resistance or heat pumps.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,531Member
    Hi, Efficiency has been my mantra for decades. Even so, the ban on gas has little to do with how efficiently gas is burned. It has far more to do with gas leaks at the generation site, in the distribution and at the end use. The average number for leakage in the distribution system is 4%. Short of rebuilding, I don't see a fix for it. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so needs to be rigorously controlled. The other piece is that when we cook with gas, we increase the incidence of asthma. Here's a quote: "The analysis showed that children living in a home with a gas cooking stove have a 42% increased risk of current asthma (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.23, 1.64), and a 24% increased lifetime risk of asthma (CI 1.04, 1.47)" Here is the report: https://heetma.org/gas-cooking-and-asthma/ It may be my view is slanted, being in California where just over 80% of the energy we use is derived from renewables... depending on how you do the math. Every state will be different. I think we often come to the same conclusion when working with the same information. Otherwise, not so much. ;)

    Yours, Larry
  • BrewbeerBrewbeer Posts: 581Member
    Shouldn't the graph present both values for electric resistance and for a typical heat pump? That would be more informative than the unspecified "blend" presented.

    Electricity is so much higher than the others because it is mostly generated by burning fossil fuels with step up step down transformer and transmission losses.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 6
    The Seattle story has so many holes in it. Easy picken's to debunk.

    They claim Seattle is carbon neutral and the electricity is carbon neutral coming from hydro dams. I'm sorry but first we have to look at the entire grid. Electricity is all tied together in a grid spanning many states and many areas. All the Hydro Dams are already running at full capacity. If they start to ramp up this plan where are they getting the new electricity from? Nuclear? No that is so over regulated it could take decades to approve and build a new plant. More dams? Again no, Do you realize how hard it is to approve a new dam? You have to relocate people surrounding the land upstream of the river. Another couple decades before that happens too. Any increase in electricity is going to come from coal powerplants that were shut down to make room for newer ng. The coal comes from open pit mines. That is as bad or worse than fracking. Coal at the power plant gives off more co2 and is way dirtier than natural gas. These older coal power plants are badly inefficient because it had older technology. These old coal power plants that don't work properly are inefficient and held in reserve will be forced to start up again. They will bellow fumes and pollution all over the place. Talk about smog in LA!!! After this dumb Seattle plan you won't see two feet in front of you!


    So if you really want to make a difference stop making laws that effect our environment in ways you don't understand, pick up a phone and call a HeatingHelp.com pro to come over and make your existing equipment more energy efficient. If enough people do that they can shut down old power plants instead of turning them back on.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @Larry Weingarten

    Methane has a shorter life span then co2, its 7 years for methane and 100 years for co2. Your only option will be natural gas or Coal to power the extra load at the power plant. Most likely they will turn on an old coal power plant somewhere in another state to make up this difference. This will be far worse than getting electricity from a newer plant. Any new plant would have to be coal or natural gas anyway.

    You are still much better off hiring a wallie who will come over to your house and drastically reduce fuel consumption and if enough of us do this we can shut off power plants instead of turn them on.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,132Member

    Hi, Efficiency has been my mantra for decades. Even so, the ban on gas has little to do with how efficiently gas is burned. It has far more to do with gas leaks at the generation site, in the distribution and at the end use. The average number for leakage in the distribution system is 4%. Short of rebuilding, I don't see a fix for it. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so needs to be rigorously controlled. The other piece is that when we cook with gas, we increase the incidence of asthma. Here's a quote: "The analysis showed that children living in a home with a gas cooking stove have a 42% increased risk of current asthma (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.23, 1.64), and a 24% increased lifetime risk of asthma (CI 1.04, 1.47)" Here is the report: https://heetma.org/gas-cooking-and-asthma/ It may be my view is slanted, being in California where just over 80% of the energy we use is derived from renewables... depending on how you do the math. Every state will be different. I think we often come to the same conclusion when working with the same information. Otherwise, not so much. ;)

    Yours, Larry

    @Larry Weingarten , I didn't see anything in that report that says whether or not the burners of the stoves in question were tuned properly. I've tested a lot of these stoves and found high CO from almost all of them. Most were fixable but a few had to be replaced because of this.

    My combustion analyzer doesn't measure nitrogen dioxide which is the source mentioned in the report, but I'm sure there are analyzers that do. This would be worth following up.

    Also, since CO is unburned fuel, it stands to reason that less gas would be used once the burners were tuned to eliminate high CO. This would decrease the total emissions from the stove.

    Thoughts?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • triggerhappy24triggerhappy24 Posts: 33Member
    I'm not going to get all sciencey, basically cause I'm not that smart. But I agree with @John Ruhnke people that right these laws and rules usually can't figure out how to flush a toilet without a sign. Get rid of thos people and problems may just fix themselves or people that know what they are talking about might have a voice
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,531Member
    Hi @Steamhead , Let's ponder what would have to happen to make sure all gas stoves in the USA were tuned and burning cleanly. Seems clear that capitalism will not fix this problem, based on it's track record. So, do we follow some German boiler model? ... It's burning clean or we rip it out?? In all likelihood, if we kept people from getting asthma in the first place, the medical, and societal costs would be far lower. Perhaps those savings could fund a program for "free" stove tune-ups? Just brainstorming here. The average cost of an asthma related ER visit is about $1500. That would probably tune up a stove rather well! Maybe two stoves. o:) I'll add that most range hoods either don't work well or are used improperly. (from conversations with Lawrence Berkeley Labs researchers) That would still be a problem, though smaller) with induction cooking.
    Still, I think it important to think of the entire gas system, over time and how it impacts other things and people.

    Yours, Larry
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 6
    @Larry Weingarten

    You said"So, do we follow some German boiler model? ... It's burning clean or we rip it out??"

    Why not? I love the idea. It works for the Germans. Better than ripping out gas lines. Think of the fuel reduction and co2 savings from properly tuned equipment, modern boilers and furnaces. It would have a bigger impact on saving our environment then turning on dirty coal power plants.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,132Member
    @Larry Weingarten in order to justify any of that, we'd need to know if the stoves in question were tuned properly. It's hard to believe any scientific study would allow a variable such as this.

    And, the Germans don't have a Fourth Amendment.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @Larry Weingarten

    You said "It may be my view is slanted, being in California where just over 80% of the energy we use is derived from renewables."

    Wow that is really great!! I wish the rest of the country was like that.

    Here is the nationwide breakdown. It is all tied to the same nationwide grid.

    63% fossil fuels
    19.3% nuclear
    17.1% renewable
    They call the burning of landfill gas, wood, biomass, and solid waste renewable. But this stuff is all worse to burn for our environment than fossil fuels.
    Sure there is some good stuff like wind, solar and hydro. That is only 15.2%.

    Still the best result is achieved when you shut down those bad plants.

    Energy Reduction in existing systems will have the biggest positive impact on saving our environment. That is where the money should flow.

    Keep the old coal plants shut down!!
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @Larry Weingarten

    You said "And, the Germans don't have a Fourth Amendment. "

    Easily solvable. Just make heating equipment have mandatory inspections just like motor vehicle emissions. The homeowner has to invite you in for an inspection just like when adding a addition to the house. If the homeowner doesn't comply just simply turn off the gas to the meter. Make all inspections due in the summer so nobody cant cry that they have no heat. Problem solved.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,917Member
    > @John Ruhnke said:
    > @Larry Weingarten
    >
    > You said "And, the Germans don't have a Fourth Amendment. "
    >
    > Easily solvable. Just make heating equipment have mandatory inspections just like motor vehicle emissions. The homeowner has to invite you in for an inspection just like when adding a addition to the house. If the homeowner doesn't comply just simply turn off the gas to the meter. Make all inspections due in the summer so nobody cant cry that they have no heat. Problem solved.

    Instead of making laws that force people to stop using natural gas, or that force them to hire companies for inspections.

    How about just letting people decide on their own?

    Personally I do not like laws that tell me I have to hire anyone.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ZmanZman Posts: 4,997Member
    Brewbeer said:

    Shouldn't the graph present both values for electric resistance and for a typical heat pump? That would be more informative than the unspecified "blend" presented.

    Electricity is so much higher than the others because it is mostly generated by burning fossil fuels with step up step down transformer and transmission losses.

    If you divide the electric number by the COP, you have your answer....
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,672Member
    ChrisJ said:

    > @John Ruhnke said:

    > @Larry Weingarten

    >

    > You said "And, the Germans don't have a Fourth Amendment. "

    >

    > Easily solvable. Just make heating equipment have mandatory inspections just like motor vehicle emissions. The homeowner has to invite you in for an inspection just like when adding a addition to the house. If the homeowner doesn't comply just simply turn off the gas to the meter. Make all inspections due in the summer so nobody cant cry that they have no heat. Problem solved.



    Instead of making laws that force people to stop using natural gas, or that force them to hire companies for inspections.



    How about just letting people decide on their own?



    Personally I do not like laws that tell me I have to hire anyone.

    Oh brother @ChrisJ have you ever just hit the nail on the head.

    Semper Fi, good buddy.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,132Member
    edited September 7

    @Larry Weingarten

    You said "And, the Germans don't have a Fourth Amendment. "

    Easily solvable. Just make heating equipment have mandatory inspections just like motor vehicle emissions. The homeowner has to invite you in for an inspection just like when adding a addition to the house. If the homeowner doesn't comply just simply turn off the gas to the meter. Make all inspections due in the summer so nobody cant cry that they have no heat. Problem solved.

    Actually, it was I who posted that.

    The Fourth Amendment would render any such law/regulation/Code provision unconstitutional.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    @ChrisJ

    I agree with you on that one. I guess I was wrong in saying that about the inspections and such. I don't like a lot of rules and regulation either. I guess the Seattle story made me mad. I have devoted much of my life to developing energy efficiency savings in heating systems. Yet it just seems like the politicians are only interested in switching to electricity every time they do something to address climate change. I like the mechanical arts!! Most of what they do takes business away from the mechanical arts. The politicians killed off solar thermal in my state by over emphasizing solar photovoltaics. They have lots of programs to help with solar photovoltaics and this created a shift from Thermal which is what I did to photovoltaics. I lost a lot of Solar Thermal business because of the politician's medaling. Now they want to shut down ng and that will take even more work from the mechanical arts and hvac trade!! I was mad and thinking how to strike back and take some of the work back we are going to lose. That is not a productive way of thinking. I was wrong.

    I devoted most of my life to Real World Energy Efficiency. It doesn't need complicated rules and regulation to work. The huge fuel savings pays for most of the improvements. If the politicians only paid attention to me, invested in me than we in the mechanical arts could save the world huge sums of money in fuel bills while reducing co2 consumption. My plan would have the smallest negative impact on our economy because the people would just want to do it naturally with out being forced to do so. That is what I believe in. Developing solutions people are happy to do without a lot of rules and regulation to force them to do so.






    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    I submitted a plan to the DOE and applied for a grant. I had a whole plan all mapped out. It got rejected. After that I developed the plan further. I have two decades of effort in this plan and I got nowhere. I had White Papers and a business plan. I have this whole new world built out in my head already. It so frustrating because I don't understand what to do. I don't know how to get this world I built out of my head and into the real world. I completely failed to do that.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,531Member
    Hi @John Ruhnke, You have a very good command of the language, you know what needs to be said and you have passion. Putting it together suggests to me that you need to write a book! That way, you can pull the ideas through rather than try and push them. A chorus of voices is harder to ignore than one voice. Also I found that putting effort into actually writing a book and getting it into print gives you credibility and will open doors for you that you didn’t even know were there.
    Get help with the book. Dan has given some wonderful advice in the past for how to proceed. Even his book How to Teach Technicians will help with your prose. Know your target audience well.
    Have a good editor who knows something of the field, and finally run parts of the book by people who might be able to make useful comments. I live in an off grid home I built, which got written up in the New York Times because it’s that efficient and I know a bit about hot water. Tap me if you feel I could help. The know how on the Wall is enormous. What a resource for you! Anyway, use the frustration like a speaker uses the butterflies in their gut to make good things happen. ;)
    Yours, Larry
  • John RuhnkeJohn Ruhnke Posts: 797Member
    edited September 9
    @Larry Weingarten

    Thanks for the advice Larry. Yeah someday I could try to do that. Right now I am looking for a job. I need to put three kids through college. Megan is 19. She just started college this fall. Emily is 15 and in a advanced group. She is a sophomore in high school and started taking college classes in the summer. Then Ryan is 12 and loves robotics.

    So I got one after the other for ten years straight. I just want a good paying steady job in the hydronics field for ten years. I am separated from my wife. She lives at the house with the kids and has a boyfriend that is her boss at her job. She once told me she loves him.

    All my tools, work vans and tons of heating parts are at the house. I can't work out of the house anymore. I want to move on from my wife. I stopped working full time at my business a few years ago. My dad got real sick. I have been taking care of him for a few years now. I live with him. We are 5 minutes from the house. I am like a mr mom. I drive the kids and my dad every where. My wife works full time and can't do it. I have to because I am the only close family he has left. He is an only kid and I'm an only kid. He is going into a home soon. His dementia gets worse everyday. He is a fall risk and has a walker. He is getting to the point where he needs more than I can give him. People still call my business phone. I take a small job every now and then. So I have been busy.

    Now that I have a financial conservator to look after my dad, I am going to put him in a home. Megan got her drivers license and can drive her siblings around. Everything is now in place to free up my time so I can go back to work full time. I just want to work as a sales engineer or hydronic designer, sales manager or technical manager. I need to start making money again. I am going to start a new chapter in my life.
    John Ruhnke
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
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