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Natural gas... if anyone's interested.

Jamie Hall
Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
Br. Jamie, osb
Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,117
    Complete bs to support gouging. They always manufacture a crises to support higher prices.
    steve
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
    Possibly, Steve -- but if a desired good is supply limited, people do have a tendency to pay more for it simply to obtain it. Supply may be constrained by the cost of production relative to what people are willing to pay for it (in which case supply will increase if people will pay more), but it may also be constrained by either natural factors (there just isn't that much of it around -- there's a reason gold is more expensive than aluminium, for instance) or by temporary production problems (a hurricane knocking out a refinery or oil platform is a decent example) or by socially imposed constraints (no more fracking ever, anywhere). Any one of those factors, or combinations of them, will cause what people are willing to pay for the good to increase, although not all of them will also cause the supply to increase thus restraining the cost increase.

    I myself would use the term "gouging" only to apply to the last case -- socially imposed constraints -- as only that case does not have a mechanism (indeed, prohibits) for the cost increase to incentivize increased supply.

    But opinions differ!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    STEVEusaPA
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,428
    People may think they want to go green........ Until those same people won't give up their comfort or a driveway full of gas guzzlers
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,827
    Green just means they burn the coal somewhere else.
    PC7060
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 687
    People talk about green but do not understand what green is.

    green is the color of our money, the government prints it makes it worth less, we get pay raises to off the inflation, prices go up and we go thru another round of printing money and getting pay raises

    Here we have to look at the problem in another way, print the money to buy solar panels from China, print the money to make windmills to produce electric, print the money to buy the oil and gas to fuel the factories to make the the wind mills, excavate for nuclear minerals to produce cheaper electric and produce free nuclear waste to store in cans someplace to poison the earth in the future.

    Yes green is wonderful!!

    Jake
    kcopp
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,668
    The low natural gas price we've enjoyed for twenty years is a special circumstance.
    At the end of previous century some financial mistakes drove published prices down to 10ç per therm. Corrections continue and eventually retail prices we pay will increase.
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 336
    Nothing like higher fossil fuel prices to motivate the transition away from them. Sounds like appropriate policy and a good thing to me. It's understandable that Barrasso and right-wing media would disagree. :)
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344

    Nothing like higher fossil fuel prices to motivate the transition away from them. Sounds like appropriate policy and a good thing to me. It's understandable that Barrasso and right-wing media would disagree. :)

    One might be inclined to wonder just how the lower income folks are supposed to pay the higher prices... butt that's just a minor difficulty, I suppose.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795

    Nothing like higher fossil fuel prices to motivate the transition away from them. Sounds like appropriate policy and a good thing to me. It's understandable that Barrasso and right-wing media would disagree. :)

    Last I heard fracking had come to a halt due to the low prices of fuel.
    Perhaps this will get the market moving again.
    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
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 720
    Hmmm... the price of natural gas is currently about the same as 1998. Inflation since 1998 has been about 68%... so to make it the same price today as it was in 1998 it would need to go up 68%. If working poor cannot afford to pay for natural gas, I don't think the problem is the cost of the gas, its that they don't get paid enough. I think if we stretch back to the late 1970's the cost of natural gas was about the same as it is today ( in fact we saw only $0.20/therm charges for much of the year, way lower than the $0.33 /therm it was back then). Inflation since then has been about 320%, so a 320% increase in cost would just bring it up to inflation rate. Low wages (and mismanagement) are the problem, not the cost of natural gas.
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    ChrisJSlamDunk
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,058
    edited September 14
    No one can argue that wages have been stagnant for the last thirty years when inflation is figured in. Which is why I cant buy an EV or go solar. Too expensive. But Ican afford natural gas and gasoline.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 720
    Right now the only immediate alternative is to be more efficient... which does cost some money but not nearly as much as going EV or Solar. We are able to keep our base electric bill to $50.00 per month ( 100 in the summer with A/C). The crooks at People's Gas however, now have the base charges so high, that they are easily more than the cost of the energy we use, even in mid winter. The piping grid in Chicago is so decrepit from about 70 years of profit taking and no investment in the grid ( word is they just replaced wooden piping in some areas a couple years ago), that the whole system needs to be rebuilt and they are placing it all on the current bills rather than the company eating it after decades of profits and mismanagement.
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  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,668
    Certainly in our industry wages have increased?
    Certainly retail cost of heat has decreased compared to many other expenses?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    jumper said:

    Certainly in our industry wages have increased?
    Certainly retail cost of heat has decreased compared to many other expenses?

    Have they?
    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
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,058
    edited September 15
    jumper said:

    Certainly in our industry wages have increased?

    No, when I take my beginning hourly wage in 1987 and use an online calculator from the dept of labor, and other websites, I get the same answer plus or minus a couple dollars- I am still making about $16.32/hr in 1987 dollars. My career spans three different industries and basically I have had only cost of living increases. The cost of cars, homes, tools out paced my income. A $56,000 Y class Tesla ? I don't think so.
    My house is worth 700K. Can I afford that today? Nope! So, going green, while a smart idea, is for the wealthy and the zealots. As @The Steam Whisperer said, my best alternative is to be efficient.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    SlamDunk said:

    jumper said:

    Certainly in our industry wages have increased?

    No, when I take my beginning hourly wage in 1987 and use an online calculator from the dept of labor, and other websites, I get the same answer plus or minus a couple dollars- I am still making about $16.32/hr in 1987 dollars. My career spans three different industries and basically I have had only cost of living increases. The cost of cars, homes, tools out paced my income. A $56,000 Y class Tesla ? I don't think so.
    My house is worth 700K. Can I afford that today? Nope! So, going green, while a smart idea, is for the wealthy and the zealots. As @The Steam Whisperer said, my best alternative is to be efficient.
    My issue so far is I've yet to find anything that will actually save me money by being efficient.
    Everything seems to break even, or, take so long to recoup the money it doesn't make sense.

    Efficient appliances cost more and fail more often that the end result seems to be breaking even.
    Insulating my house would break even after 40 years...

    Actually, my 2 speed pool pump does actually save me some money running in low speed/

    Am I missing something?
    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
    SlamDunkratio
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,556
    As far as increase in wages and cost of living....not many years ago a family of 4 could get by on only one full time wage earner.
    That is a rarity today.

    One of my sons and his wife are well paid professionals; lineman and X-ray tech supervisor.
    Their day care bill for 2 children is equal to another house payment.
    SlamDunk
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    JUGHNE said:

    As far as increase in wages and cost of living....not many years ago a family of 4 could get by on only one full time wage earner.
    That is a rarity today.

    One of my sons and his wife are well paid professionals; lineman and X-ray tech supervisor.
    Their day care bill for 2 children is equal to another house payment.

    Yeah... day care costs are something else........
    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
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,058
    Yeah, two jobs needed to make ends meet and day care. That is tough!

    We don't have kids but if we did, we'd be broke. But, it is for the kids that we should go greener or at least conserve thru efficiency. Going green just has to be more affordable. I would definitely put in geo thermal HVAC, solar panels on roof and drive an EV if it was comparable to the other choices.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    SlamDunk said:

    Yeah, two jobs needed to make ends meet and day care. That is tough!

    We don't have kids but if we did, we'd be broke. But, it is for the kids that we should go greener or at least conserve thru efficiency. Going green just has to be more affordable. I would definitely put in geo thermal HVAC, solar panels on roof and drive an EV if it was comparable to the other choices.

    That's the thing though.
    There are some "green" things that I feel do ultimately achieve what they claim, less overall energy consumption and waste. Tight building envelope and good insulation for example. Modern cars and trucks are doing much better as well and still lasting reasonably long.

    But then there's things like appliances that die twice as often and cost more. The only thing they do more efficiently is fill up the landfill. That's literally the opposite of what we need to be doing.

    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
    SlamDunk
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,668
    XXIst century is different from fifty years ago. Yes one income enabled one to buy home and have children. But we didn't have stuff we do now.

    I may remember incorrectly. I believe we were damn happy in sixties to get ten$ from oil company for night time no heat service. Of course there was also satisfaction from helping cold occupants. Anyone interested in going out on 15° night these days for flat hundred dollars?
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 336
    edited September 15

    Nothing like higher fossil fuel prices to motivate the transition away from them. Sounds like appropriate policy and a good thing to me. It's understandable that Barrasso and right-wing media would disagree. :)

    One might be inclined to wonder just how the lower income folks are supposed to pay the higher prices... butt that's just a minor difficulty, I suppose.

    The costs of anthropogenic global warming from our use of fossil fuels are enormous. Elimination of the greenhouse gasses burning them produces would save multiples of what society will spend coping with many kinds of resulting devastation. "Paying it forward," to use a phrase Dan's fond of, by subsidizing lower income folks' higher natural gas bills now (not to mention their homes' conversion projects) seems like not only smart, science-based policy, but also an excellent use of those savings, and is the right thing to do.
    Larry WeingartenCanucker
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 720
    My conservation measures have been:
    1) Good LED bulbs.... use 1/6 or less the power of incadescents, 1/3 the power of flourescents and last forever. They also cut your cooling costs because they don't generate as much heat.
    2) Air tightening.. This isn't just caulking windows, but sealing windows and outlets to the walls, the junction between interior walls and the exterior wall or attic, the sill against the foundation and any other penetration of the interior conditioned space to the wall or exterior space ( Ceiling light boxes, conduit and plumbing penetrations,etc). This can all be done during remodeling and many things also during simple repainting. A big leakage point in nearly all masonry structures is the gap between the furring on exterior walls and the brickwork. This gap is usually wide open to the attic. Testing done on Chicago Bungalows shown about a 30% reduction in heating fuel usage with mainly air sealing the ceiling plane and adding insulation to the ceiling. Air leakage needs to be addressed on the inside face of the walls and ceilings in cold climates, not so much on the outside as the wall should breath moisture to the outdoors.
    3) Insulation ( air sealing first). Stud walls can be blown from the interior if you don't mind patching holes in the plaster during repainting.
    4) Keep your appliances well maintained. Blow out the coils every few years on your frigs and freezers and window A/C. I agree, new applicances have never saved us much, if any money,. except maybe replacing 30 year old A/C's with newer models.
    5) Use window A/C's for cooling and "undersize" them. For our hot and humid Chicago summers we can maintain 72F to 73F in our well insulated and air sealed 1903 1500 sq ft Bungalow and cool the basement with only 12,000 btu/hr of cooling. Central air with conventional ductwork will increase air leakage and adds the addition cooling load of cooling the large blower motor in the ductwork system. If you have central air, use an undersized conventional on/off unit. Most variable speed compressor systems I've looked at have much lower efficiencies at full load than older on/off systems (EER not SEER). Using a small system that operates at heavy load is likely to be much more efficient and less costly to repair.
    6) Low E glass quality aluminum storms. The low E coating makes a remarkable difference in how warm the interior original windows stay. Keep your old windows and weather strip them. Take your lead from old weather stripped windows ( our windows were all very well weatherrstripped from when the house was built). The actual performance of low E glass storms with conventional windows works out to nearly r-3 from the studies done in Chicago.... better than many new windows.

    These measures should easily reduce fuel usage by a third and maybe 1/2, especially if you are remodeling and have lots of south glass for winter heating. I believe the longest payback of these measures maybe the LowE storms at about 7 years ( standard storms have a payback of about 10 years, because even with them being cheaper, the savings are not nearly as great).

    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    Hot_water_fan
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
    You know, I actually agree with that, @Sal Santamaura . Assuming that one extends the program to other fuels as well -- not everyone has natural gas. The question, of course, is -- as it always is -- who pays? (a very rough ballpark for conversion alone would be upwards of 4 or 5 trillion dollars for the US alone, (without accounting for the expansion of non-polluting power which -- unless one is a complete hypocrite -- also can't be hydro, wind, or solar due to their environmental effects), and failing to continue the program to other countries -- most notably China -- would make it an exercise in virtue signalling) and who would qualify for the subsidy? And just who defines lower income?

    I'm not saying it shouldn't be done. I've been alarmed by increasing global temperatures for about 40 years now. But it is going to take a complete rethink of how society pays for things, and what it actually values --and I don't see that happening.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    edited September 16
    My conservation measures have been: 1) Good LED bulbs.... use 1/6 or less the power of incadescents, 1/3 the power of flourescents and last forever. They also cut your cooling costs because they don't generate as much heat. 2) Air tightening.. This isn't just caulking windows, but sealing windows and outlets to the walls, the junction between interior walls and the exterior wall or attic, the sill against the foundation and any other penetration of the interior conditioned space to the wall or exterior space ( Ceiling light boxes, conduit and plumbing penetrations,etc). This can all be done during remodeling and many things also during simple repainting. A big leakage point in nearly all masonry structures is the gap between the furring on exterior walls and the brickwork. This gap is usually wide open to the attic. Testing done on Chicago Bungalows shown about a 30% reduction in heating fuel usage with mainly air sealing the ceiling plane and adding insulation to the ceiling. Air leakage needs to be addressed on the inside face of the walls and ceilings in cold climates, not so much on the outside as the wall should breath moisture to the outdoors. 3) Insulation ( air sealing first). Stud walls can be blown from the interior if you don't mind patching holes in the plaster during repainting. 4) Keep your appliances well maintained. Blow out the coils every few years on your frigs and freezers and window A/C. I agree, new applicances have never saved us much, if any money,. except maybe replacing 30 year old A/C's with newer models. 5) Use window A/C's for cooling and "undersize" them. For our hot and humid Chicago summers we can maintain 72F to 73F in our well insulated and air sealed 1903 1500 sq ft Bungalow and cool the basement with only 12,000 btu/hr of cooling. Central air with conventional ductwork will increase air leakage and adds the addition cooling load of cooling the large blower motor in the ductwork system. If you have central air, use an undersized conventional on/off unit. Most variable speed compressor systems I've looked at have much lower efficiencies at full load than older on/off systems (EER not SEER). Using a small system that operates at heavy load is likely to be much more efficient and less costly to repair. 6) Low E glass quality aluminum storms. The low E coating makes a remarkable difference in how warm the interior original windows stay. Keep your old windows and weather strip them. Take your lead from old weather stripped windows ( our windows were all very well weatherrstripped from when the house was built). The actual performance of low E glass storms with conventional windows works out to nearly r-3 from the studies done in Chicago.... better than many new windows. These measures should easily reduce fuel usage by a third and maybe 1/2, especially if you are remodeling and have lots of south glass for winter heating. I believe the longest payback of these measures maybe the LowE storms at about 7 years ( standard storms have a payback of about 10 years, because even with them being cheaper, the savings are not nearly as great).

    I installed a 2 stage 3 ton split system back in 2017 and my electric bill dropped substantially over running 2 tons worth of window units.

    I think the EER of those units were between 9 and 10 and my split claims an EER of 12.  And most of the system is in the attic so if mine can save over window units I have to think most could.

    I went out of my way to seal duct work and ensure proper returns and in my opinion that house is less drafty than with the cheesy window units.

    I'd also never go back to a single stage unit over 2 stage.  IMO 2 stage gets you the best bang and comfort for the buck.  Humidity is better in low and the EER I believe goes up.

    So far I'm a huge fan of Copeland Ultratech


    I switched to CFLs back in 2005 and then went to LEDs a few years back. 

    I've been trying to talk the wife into getting all of the siding ripped off (clap board no sheathing) and all new windows, insulation, sheathing etc done.  I know I'll never see any savings but I think it may be worth it for the comfort and reduced noise etc.
    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
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 720
    From the studies I've seen, replacing windows is almost always a negative investment. The ROI when energy costs were higher about 15 years ago was about 42 years.....the windows would be in the dump most likely by then.
    I'd air tighten before any insulation.. It should be done anyway to reduce warm moist air from entering the walls and causing rot when they're insulated. I suspect your clapboard probably leaks enough to ventilate the walls now. I've never been a fan of fully foamed walls. I agree it probably make a much tighter wall and increases strength of the wall significantly, but it is essentially permanent, making future upgrades and renovations very difficult.
    3 tons of A/C, at least for my homes, would cool about 5000 to 6000sq ft of living space or more ( especially if multi-story) so that's a lot of cooling. Our biggest summer electric bill is $100.00, with $50.00 being our regular bill the rest of the year at Chicago's electric rates. We cool the home for maybe $200.00 per year with a 12,000 btu/hr window unit. We do have upgraded insulation all around ( about r-22 attic and R-13 fiberglass in the walls blown in from the inside or batts in areas that were gutted). Another big factor is that we have a single course of face brick all around, so that acts as a thermal flywheel moderating daily peak cooling loads and shifting that load into the night hours. On 95F+, 90% humidity days the compressor pretty much runs continuously, since the load doesn't peak out as high during the day, but is much higher at night. All that nightime running probably helps measurable, since voltage will probably be higher (more efficient motor operation) at night ( grid not strained) and the outdoor air temp is cooler for increased cooling output.
    Our previous home in Northern Illinois was about 3200 sq ft on 2 floors, 800 sq ft of glass, r-15 walls and r-25 ceiling, all wood frame and siding and we ran about 1 1/2 tons of cooling during the summer ( 2 window units). We hit about $180.00 for electric ( chicago rates) mid summer and only ran the 1/2 window unit during extreme weather. Overall electric bill was less than $1200.00 /year.
    I find that it is very unlikely central air would be more efficient than window units for either home.
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  • Wellness
    Wellness Member Posts: 122
    edited September 17
    @The Steam Whisperer. With brick veneer, as you have, I agree foam is not a wise investment. But with a fully masonry wall, like a poured basement, or brick and block above grade, it would seem less likely to present an upgrade hinderance. @ChrisJ I am trying to figure out the math on a 40 year return on investment for insulating uninsulated walls? Drillling, blowing fiber or cellulose into the cavity and patching the small holes on exterior facing walls is going to cost that much or save so little energy to make it not worthwhile?
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 720
    Also, when figuring the EER on a central air unit, you cannot use the published data because the wattage draw on the indoor unit fan and its heat generation is not included in the numbers. If you figure 3000 watts for a 12 EER outdoor unit and then add the 600 watt draw of a 1/2 HP blower, and then subtract the heat generated by the 600 watt motor (.600kw x 3413 btu/KW) you end of we the real EER of a central air unit.
    Total cooling capacity to home 36,000 btu/hr - 2047 btu/hr ( motor heat) = 33952 btu/hr
    Total power draw 3000 x 600 = 3600 watts

    Real EER = 33952 btu/hr /3600 watts = 9.43 EER

    Published EER+ 36000btu/hr/ 3000 watts = 12 EER
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  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 228
    edited September 16
    Wellness said:
    @The Steam Whisperer. With brick veneer, as you have, I agree foam is not a wise investment. But with a fully masonry wall, like a poured basement, or brick and block above grade, it would seem less likely to present an upgrade hinderance. @ChrisJ I am trying to figure out the math on a 40 year return on investment for insulating uninsulated walls? Drillling, blowing fiber or cellulose into the cavity and patching the small holes on exterior facing walls is going to cost that much or save so little energy to make it not worthwhile?

    I gotta agree with the 40 year payback being off. I just got an estimate to dense pack my walls with cellulose. It was less than 2K and that was before Columbia Gas rebates. If it only saved me $300 for the whole of winter(I can easily see a $250+ gas bill for Jan if it's cold enough) and not including summer ac savings it would pay for it's self in 6 years paying full price with no rebates and at the cheap price of NG these years. Once I include the rebates which cut the install price by 25%, and the fact the cost of NG is going up pay back will be a lot quicker.

    The only thing that is holding me back on pulling the trigger is the K&T wiring in the house. I got an estimate to have the upstairs rewired that made my eye balls pop out. I'm going to pull a home owner permit this winter once the attic is no longer hot as hell and do the work myself. Electrical I find easy.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    edited September 16

    Also, when figuring the EER on a central air unit, you cannot use the published data because the wattage draw on the indoor unit fan and its heat generation is not included in the numbers. If you figure 3000 watts for a 12 EER outdoor unit and then add the 600 watt draw of a 1/2 HP blower, and then subtract the heat generated by the 600 watt motor (.600kw x 3413 btu/KW) you end of we the real EER of a central air unit.
    Total cooling capacity to home 36,000 btu/hr - 2047 btu/hr ( motor heat) = 33952 btu/hr
    Total power draw 3000 x 600 = 3600 watts

    Real EER = 33952 btu/hr /3600 watts = 9.43 EER

    Published EER+ 36000btu/hr/ 3000 watts = 12 EER

    Since they used the actual air handler I'm using in the test and even published the RPM the ECM blower was running at, I find it hard to believe the small amount of power the blower uses wasn't included in the overall test. They would need to intentionally measure the blower consumption and then remove it from the test results.

    Would they actually do that?

    I believe I measured something like 240-300 watts when I checked it.
    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
    Hot_water_fan
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 336

    You know, I actually agree with that, @Sal Santamaura . Assuming that one extends the program to other fuels as well -- not everyone has natural gas...

    Agreed. All fossil fuels ought be included.

    ...The question, of course, is -- as it always is -- who pays? (a very rough ballpark for conversion alone would be upwards of 4 or 5 trillion dollars for the US alone...

    Erin, my toes are right up to the line here. Apologies in advance.

    Who pays? Those who benefit, namely, humans who want to continue living on a habitable planet. In other words, everyone, i.e. taxpayers. We've spent multiple trillions on many things of far lesser value in recent years. Restoring a healthy habitat for our species would appear to be the highest, best use of our financial resources.

    ...without accounting for the expansion of non-polluting power which -- unless one is a complete hypocrite -- also can't be hydro, wind, or solar due to their environmental effects...

    Solar, wind and hydro, once implemented (i.e. accounting for their embodied energy), contribute nothing to global warming. Their other environmental effects pale in comparison.

    ...and failing to continue the program to other countries -- most notably China -- would make it an exercise in virtue signalling)...

    There's absolutely no question that the U.S. is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emission -- representing 15% of the world's output. Aggressively targeting that for elimination represents no less than doing everything we can. It is neither insignificant nor omnipotent. It's all we in this country can directly control. That's not (insert latest political buzz phrase here). Also, the U.S. represents one fifth of China's worldwide market. Were elimination of greenhouse gas emissions viewed in our country with the urgency it should be, there are trade steps that could be taken which would, shall we say, "incentivize" China to implement a similar subsidy/conversion program.

    ...who would qualify for the subsidy? And just who defines lower income?...

    There are numerous measures of income that might be used, e.g. the federal poverty level. But I'll defer to you, Jamie. What income level were you referring to when you wrote:

    One might be inclined to wonder just how the lower income folks are supposed to pay the higher prices...

    Got a number in mind? I'll go along with whatever you think is fair, and happily pay higher taxes to support it.

    ...it is going to take a complete rethink of how society pays for things, and what it actually values --and I don't see that happening.

    I do see it happening, but, unfortunately, not soon enough. Sadly, young people won't accrue enough power to effect those changes until after the planet warms so much things have become devastating for billions unable to cope. I'm an old guy who's reaped the benefits of a good education, well-paying career and comfortable retirement. Those who do control the values of our government keep taking from the young and shoveling stuff at me. I expect that, in my actuarially probable remaining few decades, the disparities will become even greater. From this childless senior citizen to readers here who've procreated, please pass along my thanks and condolences to your children/grandchildren.
    JakeCK
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 228

    Solar, wind and hydro, once implemented (i.e. accounting for their embodied energy), contribute nothing to global warming. Their other environmental effects pale in comparison.

    I do see it happening, but, unfortunately, not soon enough. Sadly, young people won't accrue enough power to effect those changes until after the planet warms so much things have become devastating for billions unable to cope. I'm an old guy who's reaped the benefits of a good education, well-paying career and comfortable retirement. Those who do control the values of our government keep taking from the young and shoveling stuff at me. I expect that, in my actuarially probable remaining few decades, the disparities will become even greater. From this childless senior citizen to readers here who've procreated, please pass along my thanks and condolences to your children/grandchildren.

    Per my installer my solar panels should be installed next week. 110% offset. Kind of excited.

    And I'll pass along your thanks and condolences to my 1 year old and 4 year old.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    In response to @Jamie Hall I feel we need more properly engineered, properly built and properly maintained nuclear plants my self.

    There's a reason I made those clarifications.

    I'm all for nuclear when it's not half-baked. That's one thing I don't want going to the lowest bidder.
    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
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 336
    edited September 16
    ChrisJ said:

    ...I feel we need more properly engineered, properly built and properly maintained nuclear plants...I'm all for nuclear when it's not half-baked. That's one thing I don't want going to the lowest bidder.

    How do you feel about these?
    https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/x-energy-developing-pebble-bed-reactor-they-say-cant-melt-down
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
    As most of you must have figured out by now -- I'm with @ChrisJ on the power source needed.

    I'm not totally convinced that the "other effects" of solar, wind and hydro pale in comparison -- but there are differences of opinion and value on that which are legitimate, and should be honestly debated.

    @Sal Santamaura asks what income level I might regard as low income. Well... first, it varies -- obviously -- by location, not just in this country but over the world. For families in the immediate area I live and work in, it would be anything less than around 70 to 80 K for a family. In the San Francisco Bay area, which I also know since I have relatives there, perhaps twice that. In eastern Kentucky (more relatives!) it would be half that -- but they'd run you out of town with a shotgun if you cane around and told them what to do!

    It was suggested that it might be possible for the US to "incentivize" China -- or other nations -- to behave the way we -- the US -- want them to. I have no intention to incite a riot here, nor indeed to actually upset anyone, but... in an honest and careful examination, what gives us -- or any country -- the right to "incentivize" -- either by trade or by force -- any other country of group of people to do what we want them to? "I think that we have decided that you must..." is not a good way to start a conversation...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 687
    In n.y.c. coned charges 26 per KW + taxes.
    translate that to btu s for your heating bill.
    1 watt = 3.5 btus
    1 KW=26 cents plus taxes
    1000 watts *3.5 BTU=3500 btus or 3.5 therms
    1 therm =$23.00 That's your bill for electric heat

    Coned charges for nat gas
    1st 3 therms=93cents per therm
    next 87 therms=49cents per therm
    next 160 therms=32cents per therm
    next 2750 therms 17cents per therm

    For you the uninformed individuals

    Lowest price per therm electric is $23.00 plus tax
    The lowest price per therm gas at the first step is 93 cents plus taxes.

    Also remember that most utilities need to burn coal, oil, and natural gas to bring you the cheap electric rates that you love so much.


    Jake

  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 118
    The knock against nuclear is that there doesn't seem to be any capable American contractors to construct the reactors in the timeframe/number required, while there are a plethora of solar installers. So the industry would need to be restarted in a hurry, while solar is ready to go. To that point, 5.7 GW of solar was installed in Q2 2021, which I think is about the last 40 years of the US nuclear fleet additions.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344

    The knock against nuclear is that there doesn't seem to be any capable American contractors to construct the reactors in the timeframe/number required, while there are a plethora of solar installers. So the industry would need to be restarted in a hurry, while solar is ready to go. To that point, 5.7 GW of solar was installed in Q2 2021, which I think is about the last 40 years of the US nuclear fleet additions.

    Not so much a knock against nuclear as a commentary on the political climate. Several other countries (including China) are happily installing nuclear -- and developing much more advanced reactors -- but they are not in a situation where it costs 10 times as much to get the permits to build, and takes 10 times as long, as it does here. And, may I add, that the US Navy has been happily building and installing high power reactors for quite some time now (almost 70 years) with a very good safety record...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 118
    Eh China is building a lot of them, but not especially quickly. They each still take about a decade, give or take a year or two. Looks like they add 2GW/year, US solar is 10x that pace.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 228
    It was suggested that it might be possible for the US to "incentivize" China -- or other nations -- to behave the way we -- the US -- want them to. I have no intention to incite a riot here, nor indeed to actually upset anyone, but... in an honest and careful examination, what gives us -- or any country -- the right to "incentivize" -- either by trade or by force -- any other country of group of people to do what we want them to? "I think that we have decided that you must..." is not a good way to start a conversation...
    Of course we don't have a right to tell any other country what to do. That is a large part of what has been wrong with US foreign policy for decades now. But we certainly have the right to not do business with another nation who doesn't hold the same values we do. Honestly if we had simply refused to do business with most of the middle east and china for the past 40 years we wouldn't be in the mess we are now.
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