January 2012


That’s right the OIL SPILL in the Gulf of Mexico was not their fault.  You know what? Between the remediation they have done and a court of law they maybe right. Which is maybe more disgusting. The well was theirs, there is no doubt about that but with the blowpout preventer being bad, the cementing company’s cement job being bad, and the drilling platform operator being bad to dangerous, by the time they get to court (think 20 years if the Exxon Valdez is any gauge) and all three companies may actually end up owing BP money. They sure are trying to put a shiny happy face on it though.

 

Locals call BP’s feel-good Gulf ads ‘propaganda’

Advertising blitz touts recovery of tourism, fishing industries after massive spill

By CAIN BURDEAU

updated 1/8/2012 2:24:03 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 20 months after its massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill — and just as Americans focus on New Orleans, host of the college football championship game — BP is pushing a slick nationwide public relations campaign to persuade Americans that the Gulf region has recovered.

BP PLC’s rosy picture of the Gulf, complete with sparkling beaches, booming businesses, smiling fishermen and waters bursting with seafood, seems a bit too rosy to many people who live there. Even if the British oil giant’s campaign helps promote the Gulf as a place where Americans should have no fear to visit and spend their money, some dismiss it as “BP propaganda.”

The PR blitz is part of the company’s multibillion dollar response to the Gulf oil spill that started after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and leading to the release of more than 200 million gallons (760 million liters) of oil. As engineers struggled to cap the out-of-control well, it turned into the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Now, BP is touting evidence that the Gulf’s ecology has not been severely damaged by the spill and highlighting improving economic signs.

“I’m glad to report that all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy!” BP representative Iris Cross says in one TV spot to an upbeat soundtrack. “And the economy is showing progress, with many areas on the Gulf Coast having their best tourism season in years.”

The campaign, launched just before Christmas, has ramped up for the two-week period around the Sugar Bowl and Bowl Championship Series title game to be played on Monday between Louisiana State University and Alabama.

The company is paying chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh to promote Gulf seafood, it’s hired two seafood trucks to hand out fish tacos and seafood-filled jambalaya to the hundreds of thousands of tourists and fans pouring into the city for the football games and it’s spreading its messages at galas, pre-game parties and vacation giveaways.

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More tomorrow.

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I know I said I was done with the residential housing market last Friday. I was talking to Bob Croteau about which side of the insulation the vapor barrier should be on if you are insulating the upper portion of your  basement and he mentioned this in passing. By the way the answer is the vapor barrier should be on the basement side of the insulation and he suggested  only insulating 4 feet of the basement from the top of the basement wall down. After that you are pretty much wasting your time. On to the solar rebate. The reason I said to hurry and get it if you were thinking about solar it is because it is on a first come first serve basis.

http://www.cwlp.com/energy_services/ESO_services_programs/solar_reb.htm

SOLAR REWARDS Rebate

CWLP’s SOLAR REWARDS program offers rebates of up to $15,000 per household or business to CWLP electric customers who install solar electric—also known as photovoltaic (PV)—systems at their residential or commercial facilities. To qualify for participation in the program, customers must meet all eligibility criteria, including being pre-approved prior to purchasing any equipment or starting any work.

The SOLAR REWARDS rebate program is being offered on a first-come/first-served basis until funds budgeted for the program are exhausted. The rebate is calculated at $1,500 per kilowatt (kW) of system capacity. Qualifying systems can range from a minimum of 0.5 kW to a maximum of 25 kW. Rebates will be provided in the form of a CWLP bill credit. For rebates exceeding $1,000, applicants may request their rebate payment in the form of a check, but must provide CWLP with their social security number or FEIN number. Customers have 90 days from the date of their pre-approved application to complete their PV system installation and submit their post-installation documentation to CWLP. Failing to either meet this deadline or receive a deadline extension from CWLP will result in the loss of rebate eligibility.

To apply to participate in the SOLAR REWARDS Rebate Program, use the Pre-Approval Application in the online SOLAR REWARDS Application Packet. To request a hard copy of the Packet, contact the CWLP Energy Services Office by phone at 789-2070 or by email.

Photovoltaic systems convert energy from the sun into electricity using panels that are installed to take maximum benefit of available sunlight. Some systems are even designed to allow the panels to “track” the sun throughout the day. The lifespan of a typical PV panel is approximately 25 years.

Using solar energy can help homeowners and businesses reduce consumption of fossil fuels and lower their monthly energy bills by reducing the amount of electricity purchased from CWLP. (View photos of a sampling of PV systems that have been installed in Springfield.)

Residential applicants can combine CWLP’s SOLAR REWARDS rebate with Federal tax credits or State of Illinois incentives to make solar a more affordable renewable resource option.

For more information about the SOLAR REWARDS Rebate Program or about photovoltaic systems, contact the CWLP Energy Services Office at 789-2070 or nrgxprts@cwlp.com.

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More tomorrow.

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Before I post that however let me thank:

Roger @

Ray’s TV

625 West Beecher ST

Jacksonville IL 62650  tel – 243-3051  email pegasus2112@frontier.com

He fixed my computer for next to nothing and I am here today because of it. (no boos or hisses) THANKS

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While Consumer Reports does not like “on demand” water heaters, I do. Once you get used to them they are a blessing and if you have a large family the money you can save is amazing. But for me it is a mental thing. First in mind solar water heating should have been the way our society should have gone 100 or even 200 years ago. I mean it is there and we “throw it away”. But there is also something so bourgeoisie about heating up a bunch of water to sit in a tank wating for us to (what?) fain to use it. But if we don’t then a heater comes on and heats it up again. The whole mindset there is flawed.

http://www.tanklesswaterheaterguide.com/

Tankless Water Heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. Therefore, they avoid the standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. In an electric Tankless Water Heater an electric element heats the water. In a gas-fired Tankless Water Heater a gas burner heats the water. As a result, Tankless Water Heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. Typically, Tankless Water Heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2 – 5 gallons (7.6 – 15.2 liters) per minute. Typically, gas-fired Tankless Water Heaters will produce higher flow rates than electric Tankless Water Heaters. Some smaller Tankless Water Heaters, however, cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. For example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a Tankless Water Heater to its limit. To overcome this problem, you can install a “whole house” type Tankless Water Heater or install two or more Tankless Water Heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate Tankless Water Heaters for appliances—such as a clothes washer or dishwater—that use a lot of hot water in your home.

Other applications for Tankless Water Heaters include the following:

  • Remote BBQ or outdoor sink
  • Poolhouse or pool shower
  • Remote bathrooms or hot tubs
  • To serve as a booster, eliminating long pipe runs, for solar water heating systems, dishwashers and sanitation.

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Go there and see all their pretty pictures and diagrams. Read the text. More next week.

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Yes, you can get a backhoe and dig a trench around your house for relatively cheap but, it really is a waste of time. Parging the walls first pretty much means coating the walls to make sure moisture does not get behind the insulation that you are going to put up. I suggest using a modern basement epoxy of some sort and I recommend rigid insulation after you have done that. Rigid is easier to work with and you can make the whole project into an adhesive affair where you adhere the furring strips to the epoxied walls and then you adhere the foam board (or whatever) to the furring strips. Boom, you are done unless you need to paint them for someone else in the house that hates the color of the “naked” board. You know who I mean. Like the article says as far as the vapor barrier placement you have to call your local building code people cause I got no idea,

 

http://www.green-energy-efficient-homes.com/energy-efficient-basement.html

Exterior wall insulation inside the walls

Insulating outside your exterior walls is often too expensive or impractical in existing homes. You can insulate the inside of your basement walls but you may exacerbate the problems associated with moisture if you don’t do the job correctly.

Parging: If moisture is seeping into your walls, parge the masonry walls to seal any cracks and strengthen any weak or porous masonry. This will help prevent water from seeping in from outside.

Vapor barrier: Vapor barrier should be outside the insulation if you are in a hot climate and only cool your home; it should be on the inside if you are in a cold climate and are mainly heating your home. Consult your local city building permits department to find out what are the suggested or mandated insulation and vapor barrier configurations for energy efficient basements in your area.

Framing: If possible, leave a gap between your framing and the exterior walls, to prevent moisture from the masonry from causing wood rot in your framing. Use small spacers behind 2×3 studs, rather than 2×4 studs against the outside wall, and you’ll still have room to install the standard insulation for 2×4, 16-inch-stud construction.

Insulation: If there is any likelihood of moisture getting into your basement, use a rigid foam insulation rather than batt or other fiber-based insulation. Moisture seeping through exterior walls will dampen the insulation and reduce its R value significantly within a few years, so you’ll start with an energy efficient basement and in a few years be losing as much heat to outside as before the renovation. Moisture will not have much effect on the R value of foam insulation. Buy the highest R value insulation you can – you can get an R value of 6 per inch in some insulating foam sheets. If you want both insulation and waterproofing, you could consider having Icynene insulation applied to exterior walls after framing but before drywall is installed.

Other places you should insulate

A couple of other important things to consider about basement insulation:

  • In an older house, where a shower stall is already installed against an outside wall, check the insulation level behind the shower. A prior owner or contractor may have installed the shower without adequate insulation. If you are remodelling or can access the wall space behind it, inject foam insulation or otherwise upgrade the insulation. You’ll have more comfortable showers and you’ll cut down on overall heat loss.
  • Insulate the perimeter of your basement ceiling (an area called the ‘rim joists’), from the outside walls to about 16″ to 24″ from the outside walls, to prevent moisture from creeping in between the upstairs

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In this case, go there and read a bunch. More tomorrow.

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People traditionally do not think of their car or other forms of personal transportation as part of their residential energy package but I think it only makes sense. In between gas and insurance along or electricity now, they can be some of the most expensive things in your life. And it is a big part of of your carbon footprint. This would sure make a differenced.

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/fold_up_car_of_the_future_unveiled_at_eu

Fold-up car of the future unveiled at EU

January 24, 2012

A tiny revolutionary fold-up car designed in Spain’s Basque country as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled Tuesday before hitting European cities in 2013.

A tiny revolutionary fold-up car designed in Spain’s Basque country as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled Tuesday before hitting European cities in 2013.

The “Hiriko”, the Basque word for “urban”, is an electric two-seater with no doors whose motor is located in the wheels and which folds up like a child’s collapsible buggy, or stroller, for easy parking.

Dreamt up by Boston’s MIT-Media lab, the concept was developed by a consortium of seven small Basque firms under the name Hiriko Driving Mobility, with a prototype unveiled by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

Demonstrating for journalists, Barroso clambered in through the fold-up front windscreen of the 1.5-metre-long car.

“European ideas usually are developed in the United States. This time an American idea is being made in Europe,” consortium spokesman Gorka Espiau told AFP.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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If you are a home owner and you are still using the crappy disposable HVAC filters please stop. They are inefficient and expensive. For the price of 2 boxes of those filters you can buy a single washable filter that will save you a bunch of money on filter costs and equipment costs, and end up with cleaner home air and  house as a result. If you are a renter and you pay your own utility bills it is well worth your time to invest and you can take it with you to your next apartment or your first home.  As always, I have never owned this particular filter nor have I purchased anything from this company. It merely is an example of one of dozens of companies and types of filters on the market.

http://www.air-care-filters.com/

Electrostatic Air Filters

Air Commander electrostatic air filters are 10 times more efficient then the standard disposable filter. By switching to a permanent electrostatic furnace filter, the air inside your home will be cleaner and fresher. Our furnace filters are electrostatically charged to trap up to 94% of the dust and allergens in your home.

Just easily wash the filter every 1-3 months and put it back in place. The sturdy metal frame will stand the test of time. With a lifetime warranty and 100% money back guarantee, why not make the switch to a permanent air filter?

How Electrostatic Furnace Filters Work

Electrostatic Air Filters clean the air by using static electricity, a safe, naturally occurring phenomenon. An electrostatic charge is generated by air flowing through a maze of static prone fibers. Airborne particles are attracted and held by the static charge until released by washing. All Air Commander Electrostatic Air Filters contain an EPA registered anti-microbial material to inhibit mold and bacteria growth on the air filter surface.

The air you breathe contains many irritants such as pollen, dust, bacteria, mold spores, pet dander and smoke. Most of these particles are smaller than one micron. Our Electrostatic Air Filters are an effective and efficient way to reduce the number of these particles in your air. This illustration shows the typical dust loading pattern of the electrostatic fibers. This unique characteristic improves air flow while providing maximum filtration.

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Go there or google the subject and read. More tomorrow.

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When I start in on equipment appliance maintenance as part of residential  energy conservation, people start to lose interest and want to talk about the sexier things like new windows. Did you know that there are 15,000 house fires a year caused by dryer lint. That is right every year. If folks just took 30 minutes to clean their dryers out, especially the older one. You can save pretty good money and maybe your life. Here is an ad that I get for a device that could make it easier to do;

https://www.lintlizard.com/?uid=12FA483C0D3B2074C0E642987EF83D81

With the Lint Lizard™, you can reach right into your dryer and clear the dryer clogging lint at its source! Just attach the Lint Lizard™ to the end of your vacuum, and its built-in fan nozzle reaches easily into your lint catcher and even your dryer vent outside. Keeping your dryer free of lint maximizes energy efficiency, saving you money… and nothing works like the Lint Lizard.

Now, for a limited time, you’ll get the incredible Lint Lizard™ for the super low price of $10.99 plus $6.99 shipping and handling. *Act now, and we’ll double your offer and we’ll include the Dust Lizard, just pay separate $6.99 fee. You also have the opportunity to qualify for free shipping when you upgrade your order to the deluxe. And remember, this offer is not available in stores, so the only way to get it is to order now!

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Here is the old fashion way. It is probably more effective too.

http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Home-Repair/Appliance-Repair/dryer-lint-cleaning-tips

Lint escapes through tiny gaps around the edges of the dryer drum and falls into the cabinet, especially when the exhaust vent or vent cap is clogged and airflow is restricted. The lint can get ignited by electric heating elements, gas burners or even a spark from the motor, and the flames then travel through the lint-lined exhaust vent. To make sure this doesn’t happen in your house, check the exhaust vent and the inside of the cabinet frequently.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Every once in awhile it does not hurt to remind people why we do this.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-temps.html

NASA Finds 2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record
01.19.12

The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.

We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting,” said GISS Director James E. Hansen. “So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record.”

The difference between 2011 and the warmest year in the GISS record (2010) is 0.22 degrees F (0.12 C). This underscores the emphasis scientists put on the long-term trend of global temperature rise. Because of the large natural variability of climate, scientists do not expect temperatures to rise consistently year after year. However, they do expect a continuing temperature rise over decades.

The first 11 years of the 21st century experienced notably higher temperatures compared to the middle and late 20th century, Hansen said. The only year from the 20th century in the top 10 warmest years on record is 1998.

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Go there and watch the video. More next week.

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It is a pain in the behind to cut blow holes in walls to blow in insulation. It is also tricky to work around windows and other internal factors like headers and footers,but if you are not tearing out the interior walls and are environmentally concerned, I still think it is the best bet. Here is a great article about it.

http://www.aboutsavingheat.com/cellulose.html

Fill your Walls & Ceilings, Not our Landfills!
We use blown-in cellulose for most of our insulation jobs, (except for crawl spaces, where moisture and the lack of hollow walls won’t allow it.) Blown cellulose is less expensive, safer to you as well as the environment and more effective and energy efficient than its leading competitor – fiberglass.

Cellulose fills walls and ceilings and stops air infiltration better!
The fibers of cellulose insulation are much finer than fiberglass. When cellulose is blown or dense-packed into your walls and ceilings, it takes on almost liquid-like properties that let it flow into cavities and around obstructions to completely fill walls and seal every crack and seam. No fiberglass or rock wool material duplicates this action. Liquid-applied foam plastics do, but they cost much more than cellulose.

In new construction cellulose insulation can be installed in walls using a spray process or several different dense-pack dry techniques that are also effective at sealing homes against air infiltration.

Cellulose is a naturally recycled product…

Cellulose insulation is made from recycled wood fiber, primarily newspaper. One hundred pounds of cellulose insulation contains 80 to 85 pounds of recycled newsprint. The remainder is made up of Borax and Boric acid, both non-toxic fire retardants.

Today more and more communities are addressing the challenge of waste disposal through “curbside recycling” and similar conservation programs. These efforts work only if there is demand for recycled products.

The federal government is attempting to create demand through such measures as the Environmental Protection Agency’s comprehensive procurement guideline for products containing recovered materials. Cellulose unquestionably meets all requirements for insulation specified by the guideline.

When you choose cellulose insulation you help solve the waste disposal problem and help fight air pollution. This may help your community hold down taxes or refuse disposal charges. It certainly contributes to a cleaner environment.

Paper that is not recycled ends up in landfills, where it may contribute to environmental pollution, or at incinerators where energy is wasted reducing it to ashes, soot, and smoke.

…And a responsible use of resources
Even if waste paper did not create a disposal problem, most people believe we have an obligation to make maximum use of the resources we consume.

Cellulose insulation does not “save trees,” but it makes maximum use of the trees we have already harvested.

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I am no hmtl warrior and their fonts to not transfer well, so go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Tomorrow I will do real energy efficient doors. Today though this is an old timey way to help the door out and 19 other standard “cut your bills” list.

http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/winterize-home-tips-energy-461008

19 Easy Home Winterization Projects

Make your home feel warmer without turning up the heat this winter. With these winterization tips, you’ll save energy without spending much money (and you might even qualify for $500-$1,500 in tax credits).

By The Daily Green Staff
1. Dodge the Draft(s)

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. Start simple and adopt that old Great Depression fixture — the draft snake, which you can easily make yourself. Just place a rolled bath towel under a drafty door, or make a more attractive DIY draft snake with googly eyes, felt tongues and the like. You can use any scraps of fabric — even neckties — and fill with sand or kitty litter for heft.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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