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View Diary: Big oil getting desperate: Making oil with nuclear energy (163 comments)

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  •  Depending on your home and water usage (4.00)
    your 50 gallon electric water heater could be accounting for as much as 30% of your electric bill. I enjoy a hot shower as much as anybody but it's not an emergency if I can't have one 7/24. Solar options for hot water an becomeing both increasingly available as well as cheaper.

    Is a hot shower on demand really worth polluting the entire fucking over?  

    Kentucky Master Plumbing License #6453

    •  My bad (none)
      "entire fucking planet"
    •  Hot water heaters are a huge energy waster (4.00)
      The type that most people think of at least. Keeping 50+ gallons of water close to boiling temperature 24/7 makes little sense when energy costs are high.

      There are alternatives, on demand heaters are the best. Just insulating the water heater you have can save quite a bit.

      Do a Google search on 'water heater blanket' there are lots available.

      •  Good points (none)
        I was strictly speaking in terms of conventional water heaters.

        The technology is improving in regard to "on demand heaters." Nevertheless, I'm not entirely sold on them at this time. Granted, they're a better option than heating fifty gallons plus 7/24; however, in areas which experience 200+ sunny days per year, I believe solar is a better option. With a proper conversion kit, a hot shower can be available for days after the last sunshine; however, these kits are currently expensive. The price will decrease once greater usage increases. Secondly, on demand heaters are still fairly energy intensive compared to solar options.

        The blankets are an energy saving option but are only a band-aid. Whether an on demand heater or solar, breaking away from the conventional models is the best long-term option both in terms of cost savings as well as energy conservation.  

    •  Yep, yep, yep ... (none)
      This is a major candidate for one of the simpler technological fixes. Solar hot water heating is cheap, easy to install, works in most climates, has low maintenance. Combine with a little conservation - lower temperatures, shorter showers, not running the spigot when you shave or wash dishes - and a big drain on electricity or natural gas is gone.

      Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 22, 2005 at 07:02:23 PM PDT

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    •  On-demand (none)
      That's what most home water heaters in Europe seem to be (definitely in Germany, which is the place I've seen the most of).  With a good-size shower one, you get about 15 minutes of near-scalding (60 C ~ 140 F) water, but it "recharges" rather quickly for the next user.

      You quickly learn not to just let the hot water run while doing dishes, though.  The water heaters under kitchen and bathroom sinks are tiny.  When Germans want a liter or two of hot water quickly, they have plug-in pitchers that boil it in a few minutes ("water cookers"), using far less power than the stove or microwave would to heat that much water.  Washing machines heat their own water and are smaller (and quieter) than American ones.  I've also observed fewer Germans with dishwashers.  Both appliances tend to be more expensive than in the States.

      You certainly don't waste electricity anything like you do in the States with those 50 gallon giants in our garages and basements.

      That which you do unto the least of these, you do unto me - Matthew 25:40

      by A Texan in Maryland on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 06:07:16 AM PDT

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