“Once consumers get used to the charge-at-home ritual, the pilgrimage to the gas station will very quickly feel as inconvenient as rewinding the VHS tape and driving it back to Blockbuster.” LINK: https://medium.com/the-tesla-collection-1/7cbf5130e11
One caveat with electric cars is that in the winter when it is very cold, you have to use the battery to heat the cabin. Apparently new models (like 2013 LEAF) are getting heat pump heaters which will be 2-3 times efficient at heating.
BTW, Saw my first LEAF today at… the Whole Foods parking lot in Andover.
My sense is a plug-in hybrid would be most practical for the new few years, but at some point I bet the full-EVs will take over.
New to me: look how low on the list the US is. ” In 2007–2008, the Gallup Poll surveyed individuals from 128 countries in the first comprehensive study of global opinions.”
idea 1) Add a single zone minisplit that directly feeds 3 rooms with only 1-zone via tiny duct runs. Mitsubishi and Fujitsu both have these. I think the indoor unit might fit in the ceiling of a closet and losing 8 inches might be acceptable? The idea being that we could then turn off the “central heat” completely on cold nights and during the day. $2000?
idea 2) Much cheaper — thicker down comforters, sweaters, fleece, hat, my 100W electric panel under-desk (vs 1500W space heaters) with blanket for a sort of “homemade Kotatsu”. The problem is that fingers still get cold and it’s more flexible and more comfortable to not bundle.
idea 3) Some combo of the above.
idea 4) pellet stove or wood stove. Problem being that it would be mainly heating the big common space so getting heat to the office/bedrooms would be tricky.
**Main goals are: 1) save $ and 2) KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) and 3) reduce carbon
Well, the almost passive-house/almost net-zero Stow house sold in a week to a smart buyer who got a great deal. And we’ve already moved (to the 1958 split level mentioned earlier).
- the warm basement (my office)
- the quiet HVAC (the new house has a typical forced-hot-air system)
- the even temps (both room to room, and time of day)
- those huge window sills!
- the attic playroom
- the very quiet location (far from highways and other major roads)
There are some nice things about our new place too though (the main one being that we are 3 or 4 minutes to the kids school) so we save lots of time/money/CO2 each day on that.
I won’t be buying any more CFLs (compact fluorescent light-bulbs). Time for LEDs!
1. CFLs apparently often leak UV!!! — 2013 NIH report: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/120-a387/
2. CFLs usually don’t last NEARLY as long as claimed (in my experience) especially in down-facing applications where they get especially hot
3. Cleanup of broken ones is a pain (worrying about mercury)
So that’s enough for me to jump ship to LEDs now that they are starting to be almost reasonably priced.
Excellent: Philips 409904 / 423343 Dimmable AmbientLED 12.5-Watt A19 Light Bulb (good Amazon availability)
Also excellent is a similar one from CREE. Not sure Amazon has a good stock of them, but I think HomeDepot has them.
We’re moving soon to a “normal house” built in 1958, and that means beginning to ponder what heating-system, insulation and air-sealing projects to embark on.
My go-to blogger will be Marc Rosenbaum:
Here’s what we will be working with. The house is a split-level with 4 different living levels all separated by half-flights.
My first thought is that the way to go is to get a pellet-stove installed in the main living area. There’s a good central spot for one. The house is currently heated with a forced-hot-air (FHA) furnace with smallish “high-velocity” ductwork. But my guess is that in the winter it probably heats up the basement level like crazy, which is a waste since we won’t use that much. So like with our pellet stove in our previous Shutesbury, MA house** (and with Marc in his post above), getting point-source heat (a pellet stove) directly on the living floor will make a lot of sense. It will effectively limit the amount of space we are heating.
(**Our basement in Shutesbury definitely got down to at least 45 if not 40 sometimes. And we still ran the FHA occasionally. Nice.)
Other obvious things will be to improve the insulation on the 3 attic hatches. (as in… add insulation and air sealing. There is none now!)
And generally go nuts with cellulose in the attic.
And ponder what to do about the rooms above the 1 car garage since there is probably no insulation in those floors. Or basically none.
Payback will be an important consideration.
“Our oil problem is not that “we’re running out.” Our oil problem is that we’re producing so much of the stuff that we are changing the planet’s climate.”
– David Frum, ‘Peak oil’ doomsayers proved wrong
True on climate, but the commenters at the article have it right:
“[W]e are extraordinarily blessed with a moment of respite to temporarily postpone the extremely difficult economic environment brought on by the decline of abundant oil….but it is only temporary, and we would be wise to use this moment to prepare ourselves.”
My comments: Keep bringing on the bikes, insulation, and solar.
“The DCSD [Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty] cited The Skeptical Environmentalist (book by Bjorn Lomborg) for:
-Fabrication of data;
-Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation);
-Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods;
-Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
-Deliberate misinterpretation of others’ results.”
“On February 13, 2003, Lomborg filed a complaint against the DCSD’s decision with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MSTI), which oversees the group.”
And they overturned it. And then:
“A Dutch think tank, Heidelberg Appeal, published a report in which it claimed 25 out of 27 accusations against Lomborg to be unsubstantiated or not pertinent. A group of related scientists also published an article in 2005 in the Journal of Information Ethics, in which they concluded that most criticism against Lomborg was unjustified, and that the scientific community had misused their authority to suppress the author.”
And now a website with a page-by-page critique of the book. http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/
It pains me to say it, but our house is for sale.
We love love love this place, but the daily carpool/commute to our kid’s school in N Framingham is killing us. It’s 17*4 = 68 minutes in a car. When it could obviously be 5 or 10 if we lived closer.
So inquire quickly if you are interested! It’s been on MLS for only a day and we’ve already had several pings. google: 147 N Shore Dr, Stow MA 01775
The basic ideas of the house is:
- IAQ (indoor air quality)
- Comfort (living with no drafts and even air temps is an amazing experience)
- Daylighting. All of our rooms (including our bathrooms and basement) have nice daylighting.
- *Insanely* energy efficient (we EARN over net $1100 on our utility bills due to solar SRECs)
- Durable (little or no maintenance needed… hardiplank siding, hardwood floors, etc)
- “Passive Survivability” (I like that we can lose power and not worry about the house getting too cold very quickly or pipes bursting)
- Someday… homestead. There is a LOT of space in the front (S) of the house for a suburban vegetable “victory garden”. If we were more ambitious, I assume we could easily grow all our veggies.
I’ll follow up soon with some photos…
“[People claim] that rich countries are better environmental stewards than poor countries. The widely cited Environmental Performance Index published annually by Yale and Columbia universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum show this claim to be false. … Ecuador sits in 31st place, ahead of Canada (37th) and the United States (49th). Four other relatively poor Latin American nations outperform Canada, including Costa Rica, Brazil and Colombia. Indeed most of the nations ranked ahead of Canada are less wealthy in economic terms.”
Well, it’s great that some Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil and Colombia do well vs Canada, but I think the way I would frame this is very different. If you are a rich country, you can easily do a good job (like most of Western Europe), but some countries are lame and choose to not. (US, Canada).
What else is new.
The EPI Rankings
(Song: North American Scum Lyrics By LCD Soundsystem)