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View Diary: Energy - some good news (for once) (237 comments)

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  •  There are a bunch! (4.00)
    The first step (and cheapest) is to reduce demand.  In your home, consider:

     * adding insulation where appropriate.
     * insulating your hot water heater with a hot water heater blanket, setting it to 120 (no colder... bacteria buildup), and insulating the hot water pipe coming away from the tank.  Better yet, get yourself a "tankless hot water heater" for even more energy savings.
     * get a programmable thermostat.  Program it.
     * fix drafty doors and windows with caulk, foam, gaskets, etc.
     * switch out your incadescent bulbs and replace them with compact flurescents.
     * use landscaping well: deciduous trees in south and west to shade in summer and allow solar heat in winter
     * efficient appliances, especially the fridge, can save electricity

    Now that you're using less electricity, check out these other ideas:
     * solar electricity on your rooftop
     * passive solar water heater
     * active solar water heater
     * mini wind power station

    And, reducing fuel consumption is part of the equation too, so how about
     * converting your diesel vehicle to biodiesel for about $40 in parts

    Google to find more information on all of these ideas: Americans could likely reduce our consumption of electricity by 10% with a fixed cost of $100 per household.

    •  All good (none)
      ideas and fairly widespread and many of them in place.

      I'm more interested in producing electricity from a variety of sources -- scavenging it from waste energy and just general waste to expand "the grid" to include individual households that could also function independently.

      Why?  

      1.  Security - seriously.  What happens if the grid goes down for days, weeks, even months?  We're screwed.  We are so dependent on it.  And how many of us have enough food, batteries and candles - not to mention, fuel, stashed for a serious disruption?  Who wants to keep that much?

      2. Economy - the more producers, the less the cost -- good times and bad.

      Solar's fine.  But there are so many ways of generating electricity.

      I can live happily for much longer without my car than I can without lights, refrigeration, etc.

       

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