energy conservation measures


To Not talk about how disastrous Trump’s Presidency will be for the environment and the energy industry I decided to return to my roots in the residential market. Todays article is a bit old but its message is timeless. We have been concentrating on single devices like furnaces, refrigerators, windows seen as a whole instead of a holistic approach to a house.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-real-problem-with-energy-efficiency

We’re Doing Residential Energy Efficiency All Wrong

Utilities are now spending nearly $7 billion a year on energy-efficiency programs. It seems we have little to show for it aside from expensive consultants who will model any results you would like.

These programs tend to focus their marketing on the energy savings or money savings from the projects. Consumers don’t care. If they did, we would see geometric growth instead of a resounding “meh.”

Others focus on better financing products, slicker sales pitches, faster energy audits, higher rebates or any of a myriad of other things.

In the residential sector, none of these are the problem. The lack of sales is the problem.

Projects are not being sold and implemented in substantial numbers. We need to slow it down, build relationships with consumers and educate them, learn and think systemically about the problems they have, and arrive at solutions that fit homeowner budgets.

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Go there and read alot. It is a long article. More next week.

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I would much rather see them working on electric trucks. But self driving conserves fuel and vastly improves the safety so it is a step in the right direction. Plus I love beer.

http://www.recode.net/2016/10/25/13392326/uber-otto-self-driving-truck-first-commercial-delivery

Uber’s first self-driven truck delivery was a beer run

Otto, recently acquired by Uber, took a load of Budweiser 120 miles completely autonomously.

Otto, the self-driving truck startup that was acquired by Uber for $700 million, has just completed the world’s first completely autonomous commercial freight delivery.

In partnership with Anheuser-Busch, Otto shipped 45,000 Budweisers 120 miles from a weigh station in Fort Collins, Colo. to Colorado Springs.

Though there was a professional driver in the truck the entire time, he never had to intervene and the truck was able to drive itself from exit to exit, according to the company. The software is programmed to hand off control to the human driver when the truck needs to exit the freeway.

“By embracing this technology, both organizations are actively contributing to the creation of a safer and more efficient transportation network,” Otto co-founder Lior Ron said in a statement. “We are excited to have reached this milestone together, and look forward to further rolling out our technology on the nation’s highways.”

It’s the first trip of its kind.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I have posted many articles about recycling. This is a different take on it by guest writer Jessica Kane. Enjoy.

www.texasinspector.com/2016/06/

5 Things You Should Stop Throwing Away

Jun 24, 16 • Advice
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for many onlike websites.

5 Things You Should Stop Throwing Away 

 

Wastefulness has increased in modern times because consumers can find low-cost, disposable products made from inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture materials. These products harm the environment in a variety of ways:

 

– Waste causes the destruction of forests and fields to create larger landfills.

– Biodegradable items in landfills decompose to create methane and other greenhouse gases.

– Burning trash creates harmful smoke that pollutes clean air.

– Animals eat plastics and plastic breakdown releases toxic chemicals into the ground and water supplies.

 

Garbage bags, waste disposal trucks and landfills often contain items that people can effortlessly recycle, upcycle or reuse. You simply need to rethink how you deal with trash:

 

Fruit and Vegetable Waste

 

Moldy or damaged fruit and vegetable waste is 100 percent biodegradable. In nature, waste plants feed microorganisms, insects and animals and decompose into plant soil nutrients. Instead of tossing whole fruits and vegetables or cuttings into the trash, make nutrient-rich composted fertilizer for your potted plants and garden. Drill a few out-gassing holes into the sides of a sturdy lidded container and then fill the container with starter soil, earthworms and leaves. Shred fruit and vegetable waste into small pieces and then add it to the container

– See more at: http://www.texasinspector.com/2016/06/5-things-you-should-stop-throwing-away/#sthash.mYWRhnbu.dpuf

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Go there and read. More next week.

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There are some that say yes. There are some they say no. But if you read to the end the Europeans window are better.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/qa-spotlight/do-europeans-make-better-windows-we-do

Do Europeans Make Better Windows Than We Do?

Differences in testing protocols yield different U-factors, but do European manufacturers have a ‘secret sauce’?

Posted on Oct 15 2012 by Scott Gibson
It should come as no surprise that Europe, home of the Passivhaus standard, produces some outstanding windows. Some builders of high-efficiency houses in North America turn to European window manufacturers for their glazing, even though some U.S. and Canadian producers also offer high-performance products of their own.Is there a way to compare the performance data on windows from these two sources? That’s what Steve Young, now planning a Passive House in Climate Zone 5, would like to know.

“I have read many blogs and Q&A pages from this web site and I am still somewhat confused about European windows,” Young writes in Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I never really thought about cars this way before. It seems the more they HELP you drive the more expensive and complicated they are. If the car drives you, it will have a very complicated electronics system but a pretty simple structure. This would mean a much cheaper car and a radically restructured automobile industry.

http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bosch-active-gas-pedal/

 

Bosch is developing a connected gas pedal with haptic feedback

This pedal promises to use haptic feedback toward helping you save fuel while driving.

Andrew Krok mugshot
Andrew Krok

Would you be okay with your car bossing you around if it saved you fuel, and therefore money? Bosch is hoping that you won’t mind a few extra pointers on the road with its new active gas pedal, which the company believes can decrease fuel consumption by 7 percent.

Of course, creating a smart gas pedal is a complicated endeavor. By connecting to a vehicle’s various electronic systems, it can use haptic feedback (Bosch mentions vibration, knocking and variable pedal resistance) to tell the driver when to shift, when to cut back on wasteful acceleration and even when a hybrid vehicle is about to switch from electric- to gas-based propulsion.

While going green is a big part of this new pedal, there’s also a safety angle to it. Not only can the pedal be linked to active safety systems like forward collision warning or parking sensors, but it could also connect to the navigation system to prevent drivers from taking corners with too much chutzpah. And once vehicle-to-vehicle technology becomes common, the pedal can be used to warn drivers of upcoming hazards like potholes or stopped vehicles.

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Go there and ponder. More next week.

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I never thought I would applaud the Pope. But hurray for him as his message spreads to the Chicago diocese. By its self the church can not solve the problem but it could put a dent in Global Warming. Here is hoping it spreads.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-pope-francis-climate-change-encyclical-met-20150618-story.html#page=1

Pope Francis makes Chicago Catholics see green

June 18, 2015, 7:56 p.m.

Answering a plea from Pope Francis to protect the planet, Chicagoans — Catholics and non-Catholics alike — pledged Thursday to collect rainfall, conserve tap water, recycle their cans and bottles, and switch off the lights when they leave a room.

It’s an unusually tangible, immediate and ecumenical response to a papal encyclical, a letter expounding on Catholic teachings.

But the encyclical itself is an extraordinary letter. Francis’ first solo encyclical (he co-wrote one with his predecessor) is the first time the leader of the world’s billion Roman Catholics has addressed the environment. And the letter is more than a manifesto for clergy and bishops to use as a teaching tool. It’s a call to action with scientific rationale, written in plain language and addressed to “every person living on this planet.”

“I’m so excited about the courage of this pope. He’s done his homework,” said Gina Orlando, an instructor of science and spirituality courses at DePaul University and a Catholic who recently returned to Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park after spending the last several years church shopping. “I’m back now because of this encyclical and the possibility that it holds for spirituality and environmental change.”

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Go there and read. It is up lifting. More next week.

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Nico the Ninja told them to save energy and they do.

https://www.saveonenergy.com/kids-learning-center/saving-energy/

A Ninja’s Quest to Save Energy

Nico loves saving energy and natural resources and wants to share his knowledge with you! Join Nico and learn the best practices of saving energy.

dot dot dot Unfortunately the actual site is graphics heavy and I am no good at copying such things, but I am going to put up the Teacher Guide. I think you will get the idea. dot dot dot

The Kids’ Guide to Saving Energy is a useful resource to incorporate into your elementary classroom’s curriculum to help students understand the importance of saving energy. Have your students complete the guide during class or as an extra credit homework assignment. Discuss the guide in class and have your students present to the class ways they saved energy at home. Below are some suggestions on how to incorporate each page of the guide into your lesson plan:
Page 2:
SaveOnEnergy.com® created Nico as a fun way to teach students about energy. As your students connect with Nico, be sure to tell students to check out the other kids’ guides and continue to explore with Nico!
Page 3:
Ask students to volunteer to read aloud the reasons why conserving energy is important. Then, review the following discussion questions with your class.
1. Do you think saving energy is important?
1. What is energy conservation?
2. What is energy efficiency?
3. How do you think we can conserve energy in the classroom?
Page 4:
Have the students define renewable and nonrenewable energy. Then have the students place each renewable energy source under the proper category. If students are unfamiliar with certain energy sources, have them look up and define the words. Then, have your students brainstorm ways in which we can use renewable resources for energy and discuss the advantages of renewable energy.

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I also love that Nico is half of Nicodemus. Go there and read. More next week.

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We Americans created sprawl and with it a massive amount of energy consumption. Could this be one of the answers?

http://www.businessinsider.com/nyc-micro-apartments-under-construction-2015-2

New York City’s first ‘micro apartments’ are coming this spring — here’s what they’ll look like

In 2013, a project called My Micro NY won a design competition for the New York’s first “micro apartments” sponsored by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Intended to create affordable housing for singles in New York City, those promised prefabricated affordable units are finally being assembled in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will be unveiled this spring in Manhattan’s Kips Bay, according to The New York Times.

The city’s first “micro” building will have 55 rental apartments, all ranging from 260- to 360-square-feet with big windows, ample storage space, and Juliet balconies.

Because the architects believed amenities are important to micro-unit dwellers, the building will also have a public meeting space, café, and common rooftop garden for residents, as well as a laundry room, residential storage space, a bike room, and fitness space.

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Go there and read a little (chuckle). More next week.

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My sister-in-law Mari Whitney and her  husband Dick installed a house sized unit at their house in Mason City and it saves them a bunch of money. But the payback is loooong.

 

https://www.centralilfoodbank.org/

https://www.centralilfoodbank.org/documents/AnnualReportFinalPDFWeb.pdf

The Foodbank Goes Green
One of the first 50 wells being drilled in October2014.
This fall work began on an estimated $850,000 geothermal
project that will help cut utility costs at the Foodbank’s 56,000 square
foot facility. The geothermal projectwill help heat and cool a portion of
the building.
50 wells were dug 200 feet deep in the open lawn on the east
side of the Foodbank’s Cook Street location to install a closed loop
geothermal heating and cooling system in the ground.
The system will use the earth as a heat source in the winter and
a heat sink in the summer, resulting in significantly lower energy
consumption.

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Go there and read the whole site. Look around. More next week.

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I saw a story on Digg about a designer (architect?) that got an award for building a house with water walls. But I could not find it again. This piece popped up and uses an older technology but you can get the idea from it.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/build-a-water-wall-home-zmaz83ndzale.aspx

Build a Water-Wall Home

Construct your very own water-wall home and learn about calculating water storage requirements, wall construction and solar basics.

By David Bainbridge
November/December 1983

The Morgan home in Davis, California has 14,000 pounds of thermal mass stored in its water walls, yet the containers blend in so well with the house design that they’re barely visible.

In many ways, passive solar homes are superior to those with active (mechanically assisted) heating and cooling systems. After all, passive solar systems don’t rely on auxiliary energy sources to perform (so they’ll work even when the power is off)… are generally simple and low in cost, combine energy collection and storage functions, have a long life, need little maintenance, and can often be built and installed by the home handy person, without special training or equipment.

But precisely because such “non-moving” systems have no pumps or controls to circulate warm or cool air, they typically rely on one key element: the thermal mass that stores and gives off absorbed heat or cold. A number of different items can be used to provide this energy-holding capacity, but just about the most effective and economical “To a water wall (a term that is a shorthand way of saying “contained water for thermal mass in passive solar homes”).

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Go there and read. More next week.

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