Friday, May 25, 2007

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1 comment:

Richard Mason said...

The energy dilemma:
When discussing energy (power) consumption for the average person, it is assumed that we are speaking of residential usage.
In the selection of energy for household appliances, there are three energy choices. Natural or propane gas versus electric.
This leads to the selection process considerations.
Cost of appliances vs cost of operation
This decision will often be made on what is the least expensive for me. Not what is best for the environment or most efficient in total system usage of BTUS.
Why? Because most people do not have the technical information or knowledge to make the correct decision.
If a person is concerned about the greater good as in environment, climate warming, clean air, USA energy reserves, the exportation of dollars to purchase fuel oil,
and etc then the only choice is to select Natural Gas.
When total system efficiency is considered, the most wasteful use of BTUS of energy is an electric appliance.
A domestic gas water heater burning natural gas at 100,000 per therm is 75% to 80% system efficient at the source.
An domestic electric water heater at 4500 KWH is about 20% total system efficient based on natural gas being consumed at the power plant.

A natural gas fired water heater transfers 20% to 25% of its heat to the atmosphere.
An electric water hear transfers 80% to the atmosphere.
Most major appliances are selected by builders who make decisions based on what costs less to install, what advertising co-op money he will get from the appliance manufacturer or electric company, or what reduction in the cost to install underground electric wiring. Also, how many points he will get on a free for two, trip to a luxury resort for a week.

Also, builder do not care if your energy costs are higher in an all electric home because he is not paying the utility bills.
What is going on in America is that the people making the selection on appliances do not give a rats ass about all the other concerns that the people and the government talk about.
If a person goes out to buy a gas cooking range to replace a gas cooking range, the retail appliance salesman will try to push that person into an electric stove, often using fear, because he can make more money, some of it in spiffs, bonuses and etc, that the buyer is not aware of.
It is unwise to talk about solar, windmills and all the other fads until a person has the correct utilization of energy in his home. Even considering that, most of the add ons do not have a pay back to support their costs.

Richard Mason
Energy Matters