Power Consumption

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    On the heels of the "Hummers Why?" thread, I thought I would ask about the consumption of power by households. Should we seeks to restrict the amount of power used by individuals? Emissions from power plants, I would guess, dwarf those produced by cars (but, I'm just guessing). Should people have large mansions (look at the proliferation of McMansions) and then place the accompanying demand on the grid? I do find it funny to see folks in their monster homes driving around in Priuses. I wonder how much they produce compared the the guy driving the SUV or truck who lives in the 1000sq ft home...
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #2
    I don't think that we should place limits on the energy use of homes, we should though make the powerplants greatly reduce their emissions.
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #3
    Actually there is a lot of energy wasted in households -- especially in power bricks, cable boxes, etc.

    But we will likely see a lot more solar panels being used in the near future -- especially for large commercial projects (shopping centers/malls) that have tons of wasted roof space.
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4
    Obscene consumption should be taxed at a very high rate. First off, it would push the ultra rich and their wannabes to invest in solar, wind and water power which would benefit everyone. And, you can bet your bootie that the market for fluorescent bulbs would get a boost. I don't see the point of exporting more money to the ME just to satisfy the nouveau and increasingly greedy rich.
     
  5. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #5
    Well remember that large-scale houses are already taxed via property taxes, so unlike a H2, a McMansion is already taxed. What happens to this tax money is a different story.

    Now, what would really be useful is to use taxes to drive the cost of solar panels down so that even a McMansion could supplement much of its own electricity usage.
     
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #6
    A lot of improvements will require massive investment, however, so it's going to take time. Take apartment living for example. In my apartment, all utilities are inlcuded and it's in the lease that we have to run the AC 24/7 during the summer (they're more worried about mold than they are about electricity). I knew people who lived in apartments who left their lights on even if they went away for the weekend because they liked to come home to a lit apartment. Didn't cost them anything, so why not? :rolleyes:

    We need timers on all ACs and heaters in apartments.
     
  7. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #7
    agreed. and i think your example goes to show that people will not do this on their own, because they are too lazy or don't care. likewise, companies will not do this on their own without some sort of financial benefit. ergo, regulation.

    while i think that overall, the housing and power plants do use up more power, and spit out worse stuff, we have to remember that there are millions and millions of cars, sitting in traffic in cities across the world, everyday. while the per car usage may be less than the per house usage, there are more cars than houses (not really counting apartments here, as they are 1. more efficient, 2. more likely to have owners without cars being in more urban areas).

    one of the problems is the technology. for instance, it requires a large amount of power to even create solar panels, so without it being done on a huge scale, and with longer lasting panels, it is not really more efficient. it's sort of the same concept as how much energy is spent producing ethanol vs. the increased efficiency/decreased pollution. if you use a ton of energy and create pollution in the process of making the better fuel, is it worth it? i'm no expert so i won't say no. but i've heard from an engineer who worked for bp solar that for the panels, it was marginal if not worse in terms of power consumption.

    investment in R&D is key
     
  8. Queso macrumors G4

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    #8
    In Spain the basic domestic supply is for 3kW, which means you sometimes have to go round and turn things off to boil a kettle or your trip switch goes. You can upgrade to a higher maximum supply, but then you pay a much higher monthly standing charge.

    Maybe something similar to that system in the USA would get you all thinking about your electricity usage.
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    i don't think it needs to be that complicated. just add some taxes.

    fwiw, my home state of illinois just saw a big price increase on electricity, i think on the order of 60%, when a law mandating a price freeze expired. big shocker for some.
     
  10. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #10
    Yeah, deregulation is definitely a wake up call. Yesterday's Guardian had an article on Ken Livingtone's plans for reducing London's carbon footprint. Individual energy assessments for every building in London, individualized instructions on how to reduce energy use, heavily subsidized insulation schemes, etc.

    Everyone thinks that what we need is some miraculous advancement in hydrogen or an improved ICE. In reality, lots can be done through tiny baby steps while we wait for those advancements to occur.

    I think a lot of people are simply lazy.
     
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #11
    We'd make a good start by getting Al Gore to cut his usage from some 20 times average. His gas and electric bill, last year, was some $30,000.

    For Further Information, Contact:
    Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431
    editor@tennesseepolicy.org

    My propane and electricity was under $1,500, including $420 for electric meter demand fees.

    :), 'Rat
     
  12. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #12
    couldn't resist eh?
     
  13. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #13
    correct.. everybody seems to be waiting for a silver bullet to solve every problem out there even when there are countless technics which can reduce emissions _especially_ in heating ... having a "passive house" instead of a normal house can save more than 80% heating costs .. sure it costs perhaps a few % more to build but if you plan on living in the house for 10+ years you easily make it up and in the end actually spend less.. and you gain usable (wall) space since you can do away with radiators

    or heat collectors on the roof which sales around here have exploded in the last 10 years ...
     
  14. Queso macrumors G4

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    #14
    The great thing about those is they'll get even more efficient over time :)
     
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #15
    simply by raising the temperature 1-2 degrees in the summer or lowering 1-2 degrees in the winter saves a huge amount of energy.

    Power plants my pollute but one thing about them is it is easier to filter those emissions and they are loci zed to one source compared to cars that are everyone and put out more emission per kW output.


    A lot of things are a huge draw on power. Like having you computer monitors not turning off. A 17lcd pulls 110Watts when on and 3W in standby. Just having it turn off is a huge drop in power. Turning of ones computer is another way to reduce power demand by a noticeable amount.

    Turning off light bulbs will do it as well or using the low power bulbs.

    But the biggest energy demand on house hold is heating and cooling them and it is where the biggest saving and reduction can come.
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    After about forty years of, "Let's you and him (conserve, cleanup the environment, etc., etc. ad infinitum ad nauseum)..." but, "Not me, not me, not me!", I get a bit fed up with those who refuse to put their money where their mouths are.

    I've been pretty much a minimalist for a helluva long time. I'd like to see these do-gooders lead by example, for a refreshing change. The "Holier than thou" BS gets to me.

    'Rat
     
  17. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #17

    That was only for one of his three homes of record also.

    The heck with higher taxes and other schemes. He and all the other Hollywood elite would just pay the higher rates and continue to live the good life. Just give everyone a monthly limit for energy consumption and cut it off when they use it up. Gore and others would be able to enjoy their houses just over one day a month.
     
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #18
    depends in power usage for a home putting your money where your mouth is translates into more money in ones pocket.

    I believe I read some where it cost 1.8 cents per kW-Hr reduction (better insulation different light bulbs etc) while it cost around 9 cents or so per kW-Hr. Just a little side fact to help people understand that just doing minor things translates into more money in one bank account.

    Hell most of it is pretty cheap and minor to do and it turns into a huge saving. Replacing the light bulbs with low power ones made, a computer control AC/Heater control are 2 of the biggest ones some one can put in to there house to save quite a bit of money.

    Now their are more expensive solutions to reduces ones power needs and while you save more money with them the return takes longer and it cost more to install. The simple cheap ones are ones that you see very quick results.

    Simple things you can do right now that do not cost anything to do.
    1. Adjusts the temperature in the house a little.
    2. Set you computer to go to sleep or at the very least turn off the monitor when you leave automatically (I have mine set to a 30 min delay and it turns off the monitor on it own)
    3. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
    4. Make sure windows and doors are shut.

    Just doing the last 3 of those translates into a fair amount of savings. Doing all 4 means a huge savings
     
  19. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #19
    As I've said on another thread, I'm incredibly disappointed that Al Gore, the author of Earth in the Balance couldn't be bothered to build a home that ascribes to 'green' architecture.

    Now that Gore has been sufficiently pilloried, can we please go back to the problem at hand?
     
  20. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #20
    The Californian ban on incandescent lightbulbs will be a start. People don't realise how much energy a lightbulb actually uses.
    I light all the areas of my home that I need (living room, kitchen, hall, landing) for 80w/h which is less than one ordinary lightbulb.

    I don't think restricting people by law to a level of energy usage would work. Different people have different needs (size of household, size of house, different climate outside, etc). However, I have no opposition to people being charged the real cost of what they buy (even if it is by tax). A tax added to products based on energy consumption, and a clear labelling system (in an average year this appliance will cost $x to run), would go a long way.

    Here's an example. When shopping for a 19" monitor, energy consumption was one of the factors I included. The one I chose uses 37w (compare that to the 20" Apple display which uses 65w - I know they're different resolutions, but you can get 20" displays that use 45w). Another example is in Europe all apliances are energy rated - I only buy A or B rated (it runs to E).
    Small steps like that do make a difference.
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Back in 1972 or so when natural gas prices jumped up way high, electricity costs also jumped. Aside from shutting down aluminum plants, rates went up a lot for homeowners. I guess it took me about a New York minute to change out 100-watt bulbs to 40s in the hallways and 60s elsewhere. And bug the wife and kid that light switches do indeed have an "off" position!

    I built my present house in 1993. R-30 above the ceiling, and foil-backed foam sheeting under the roof's tin. Full length porches and roof on the east and west sides, keeping the sunload off the walls. Double-paned windows.

    The desert's low humidity allows the use of an evaporative cooler instead of conventional A/C, so it runs at about 25% of the amperage. At some 17¢ per kw-hr, my usage at the house is around $50 to $55 a month in summer.

    When I'm not in the house, the only load is the refrigerator...

    Anybody know the energy requirement to build a car? I wonder how much I've saved by driving an '85 Toyota. :)

    'Rat
     
  22. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #22
    As posted in the other 2 threads about this, not entirely accurate.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=3402425&posted=1#post3402425

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=3402395#post3402395

    Hypocrite? Yeah, probably. But not in the way you guys keep trying to paint him to damage the message.
     
  23. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #23
    You're not going to get on Al's good side by calling him a hypocrite y'know. :)
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    He, look, solvs, nobody's expecting Algore to do the Mother Teresa thing, but in general the one who spiels a message should show some nominal life-style relationship.

    What Gore's doing is basically saying, "Y'all need to do all this good stuff, even though I don't believe in it." He's acting like a snake oil salesman. The Elmer Gantry, the Jimmy Swaggert, of Globular Worming.

    :D, 'Rat
     
  25. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    I don't care about sides. Al is a hypocrite. I have plenty of valid complaints about the man. But if you're going to criticize him, I'd rather they do it for real reasons rather than making stuff up or misrepresenting what they know to be skewed facts.

    You didn't read what I wrote, did you? He is. Besides the fact that this also contains an office, with a bunch of other people living and working there, he also spends more because he uses greener tech (which costs more for less) and purchases offsets to help.

    This is just a smear job to attempt to destroy the message by criticizing the messenger without looking into the facts.
     

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