Links Here!! Links Here!! – I get asked all the time to post links

Over the years I have gotten 100s of requests to post links with other Blogs and Internet Sites that are related to the things that I post about; Sometimes tangentially. Sometimes very tangentially. Below I am going to try to post some of those with the text of the request where applicable or sometimes just the link.


I am only one guy by the way. That is it, Community Energy Systems and Energy Tough Love is just one guy with 900 bucks in the bank….so there is no way I can track down each post of mine and put the link on the page. Did I mention I was 63 years old. I would be dead by the time i did 10 or 20 post. Is some of this sarcastic? Well yah. But I never mean it spitefully. Please laugh with me not at me. Consider this:

Hello ,

My name is James Giraldo and I’m the Communications Manager on®.

I wanted to point out this page: which links to a broken kids energy page on

Our team has created a Kids Learning Center which is filled with free resources similar to the ones previously found on that page. Please take a look, and if you find any of the content useful consider linking to it on your page, or perhaps use it to replace the broken link so your visitors don’t end up on that broken page.

Here is a hyperlink to our kids learning center:

Thank you in advance for your help and attention. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns that I can assist with.

James G.
Communications Director
6860 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 228 | Plano, TX 75024

Or this:


I was reading a page on your site and I noticed you had link pointing to a page that is broken (no longer valid) which I thought you might want to fix.

The broken link can be found at the middle of the page.  The page that has the broken link is:

Attached is a screenshot with a circle around the broken link to make it easier to find.

Having broken links on your site isn’t good for your readers and also Google lowers your ranking score if you have them.  It would be awesome if you could replace the broken link with one of our related posts instead, if not, that is okay.

If you would replace it with our link we would share the post with 14,000+ followers in our niche.  We are up for collaborating more with you or negotiating more about it.

Thanks for reading my email and have a nice day ?


Or this:

We recently put together an in-depth resource (~10K words) about work boots, which received over 1000 social shares. It’s quite different to the other articles you see on the web about this topic.
Zoey Miller
“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” – Dalai Lama
Or this:
I just finished writing a guide that is even more detailed, updated and comprehensive on how to choose an air conditioner, according to science. It is more than 7,000 words and is packed with practical tips. You can find it here:
Either way, keep up the great work!



More when I get the chance.


Good News At Fukushima – Looks like they will start removing spent fuel rods

I do not believe in always presenting “bad news” about any given subject. Do I post happy news about coal? Not very often. Do I post good things about oil drilling? Not much. How about great stories about Nukes? No. But when a bad situation gets better, especially of the scope of what has gone on in Japan. Hell goods is hard not to report. Few people realize that removing the spent fuel rods from all three reactors is at least half the job.

Worst-hit reactor at Fukushima may be easiest to clean up

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — High atop Fukushima’s most damaged nuclear reactor, the final pieces of a jelly-roll shaped cover are being put in place to seal in highly radioactive dust.

Blown apart by a hydrogen explosion in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reactor Unit 3 is undergoing painstaking construction ahead of a milestone that is the first step toward dismantling the plant.

The operating floor — from where new fuel rods used to be lowered into the core — has been rebuilt and if all goes as planned, huge cranes will begin removing 566 sets of still-radioactive fuel rods from a storage pool just below it later this year.

It has taken seven years just to get this far, but now the real work of cleaning up the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant can begin.

“If you compare it with mountain climbing, we’ve only been preparing to climb. Now, we finally get to actually start climbing,” said Daisuke Hirose, an official at the plant’s decommissioning and decontamination unit.


Go there and read the good news. More next week.


Being Frugal Can Be Funny – Or so it seems from this blog

This Blog on frugality is pretty funny and maybe not for the Joe Sixpack crowd. Things like Retiring In Panama may miss them. But the post about living on food stamps was pretty informative and funny.

Festival of Frugality: Superheroes Are Frugal Too Edition

Hello and welcome to the 325th edition of the Festival of Frugality. The Festival of Frugality highlights personal finance posts that deal with how to pinch those pennies or save that dollar.

I am a sucker for a theme for my festivals or carnivals and while I was tempted to do a leap year facts edition it just wasn’t exciting enough for my blood. So superheroes it is. Because what’s more exciting than superheroes? It also occurred to me that superheroes are quite frugal and who hasn’t sometimes thought that superpowers are needed to stay on the path of frugality.

Editor’s Super Picks

Smart Family Finance has pretty convincing financial reasons to get rid of your junk. There are so may reasons to get rid of your “junk”. It’s nice to have one that will put cash in your wallet too.

Annabelle from Shopping Detox gives her city a frugal audit. This really has me thinking about my own town.

A. Blinkin from Funancials entertains us as usual with how do you judge value?



Go there and read about Wolverine and Batman at least. More next week.


New Energy Company Serves Illinois – Direct Energy in Illinois

Every once in awhile I mess around with Google. Kinda like when they had their I Feel Lucky option on their main page. I type in something into their main field like, energy improvements, or new energy or the like and usually something boring comes back like Siemens or some other energy company or a government page. But today I just typed in Energy and got the surprise of my life.  Apparently there is a new energy supply company in Illinois. I know nothing about them nor their claims but here is their data.

Company Information

Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest competitive energy suppliers of electricity, natural gas and related services. With approximately 6,000 employees, we are active in upstream production (electricity and natural gas) and downstream delivery. Direct Energy helps customers effectively manage all of their energy needs.

Where We Operate

Direct Energy operates in 10 Canadian provinces and 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, with more than six million customer relationships.

Our Operations

In North America, Direct Energy operates under four Lines of Business:

DE Business – For commercial and industrial customers (small, medium and large-sized businesses, government, public institutions, and national accounts): natural gas and electricity contracts, along with energy efficiency management and services.

DE Residential – For residential customers: natural gas and electricity pricing plans, including carbon-neutral or “green” plans with fixed- and variable-priced options of varying term lengths.

DE Services – For both residential and commercial/industrial customers: HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) installation and service, plumbing, water heaters, electrical services, protection plans, building automation, facility maintenance, energy audits, energy management consulting services. Offers business management and operational counseling to independent home services contractors.

DE Upstream & Trading – Gas-fired power generation, natural gas production, wind power purchase agreements, storage and transportation of gas, open market energy procurement (power/gas), proprietary trading, energy auctions, carbon credits and renewable energy credits.

Please note: not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction

Direct Energy is a leading supplier of Electricity and Natural Gas Products. Find out what fixed, variable, and pay-as-you-go plans are offered in your local area.

Home ServicesFrom heating and cooling equipment ser-vicing sales, to a wide array of protection plans to cover important aspects in your home. Find out what service we can offer you in your local area.
Please select your region.

Please select your region.


I learn something new everyday. More next week.


Algae To Fuel – What is the current status

Jack Lundee asked if he could do a guest post. I am not fond of algae as a fuel source. Well, I am neutral about it. I think it is counter productive to continue to lust after liquid fuels. Still given the second article I list it is plausible as they say on Myth Busters.

Fed-Funded Algae Fuel Research making a Strong Comeback

Algae fuel is a biofuel, which is derivative of algae. In 1978, Former President Jimmy Carter pulled the trigger on a 25 million dollar research project into algae fuel production. To make a long story short, the project was somewhat unsuccessful because of the inability of scientists to find a way to make the organisms produce lipids gifted enough to be turned into biofuels, that is, in a high volume, low cost style.

One of the biggest concerns during early research was the fact that burning this algae fuel still released CO2 into the air. Nonetheless, the burning varies much so in that it doesn’t produce any new CO2 emissions like that of fossil fuels. This was a minor concern however, as the fuel was never really able to be inexpensively mass produced.

Now, there are definite signs of hope in the field of algae-based biofuels, as a number of firms and fortune 500 companies are delving into the research, investing billions of dollars. Alternative energy and carbon emission reduction efforts are widespread, funded by large collaborate organizations like the Clinton Global Initiative.  Fathered by ex-President Bill Clinton and Doug Band ( ),  the CGI ( )  has made large strides in the San Francisco Bay area, reducing fleet emissions in large numbers. Even more recently, Google made an astounding investment of $38 million dollars into wind farm production.

Ultimately, Exxon Mobile has been one of the largest cooperators/investors into algae-based biofuels, setting aside nearly $600 million dollars as of 2009. In their quest for alternative energy, they joined with Synthetic Genomics Inc., to research and develop next-generation biofuels produced from sunlight.[ ]

But why algae? Here are some major reasons why algae would be a great substitute:

  • Grows in a wide range of climates
  • Lower water intensity than corn or cellulosic ethanols
  • Ability to potentially mitigate CO2
  • Liquid fuels formed are the only one of their byproducts
  • Byproducts are potentially the most valuable

All in all, the 40 percent lipid yield of some species (according to some studies) can produce up to 10,000 gallons of oil per annum (1 acre). This is far more productive than Soy or cellulosic ethanol, which range between 50 to 2700 gallons. [ ]

As in any study, there are drawbacks, and for most companies, it’s the failure to indentify the right strains of algae for high lipid concentration. Also, there are elements like contamination or predation, and dealing with the complicatedness of de-watering and oil withdrawal; all processes which have yet to be perfected.

On July 1, the department of energy (DOE) announced the investment of $24 million for approximately 3 different research groups. Their mission is to target all these obstacles in the mass production of algae-based biofuels. Sustainable Algal Biofuels Consortium, Consortium for Algal Biofuels Commercialization and Cellana LLC Consortium will all perform separate tasks in hopes of igniting an algae fuel based society.

Jack Lundee – Follower of all things green and progressive.


By Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation

The algae that keep salmon and shrimp a bright pink might keep jet airplanes and automobiles running someday.

It’s no secret that government, scientists and industry are devoting considerable resources and talent to developing renewable, cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly energy sources, the path to energy independence and to reducing the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels.

Click here to find out more!

One solution could come from the fatty acids produced by certain species of salt water algae.

“All photosynthetic plants take water, sunlight and carbon dioxide and make either sugar or fatty acids,” said Dr. William L. Roberts, a professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University. “We want the ones that produce a lot of fatty acids.”

He and his colleagues, four biologists and three engineers, are working on ways to produce and extract these fats from Dunaliella, a microscopic species of algae, and convert them into fuel on a large scale, much larger than is possible today. Their research is funded by $1.99 million over four years from the National Science Foundation as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The North Carolina State University project is one of several teams in the nation studying the potential of algae as an energy source, and with great promise. This year the Department of Energy has awarded more than $100 million for bio-fuels research, an investment that includes a recently announced $24 million to specifically address the challenges in the commercialization of algae-based fuels.

“This is going to be one of the most important and dominant industries of the future because we will run out of fossil fuel,” Roberts said.


More tomorrow


Residential Energy Audits – You have to start somewhere

Anytime is a good time to check out your domicile for energy consumption. Much of this can be simpler than people let on. Yes, there are differences between renters and homeowners. I think that everyone should do it EVEN if you do not pay your own bills. Maybe especially if you do not pay your bills. Somebody does. The point is that ALL energy is valuable if you are concerned about the health of the planet. Americans are energy hogs that need to go on a diet. There are websites that will help you do an audit. Your utility will probably do an audit for a small fee. There is even software out there that will do the audit and keep track of your energy use afterwards so you can see the effects of you energy saving efforts. I will cover all of that.

The first step is getting vary familiar with you energy environment and this is as simple as a piece of paper and a slender candle. Step one is to make a complete list of the energy using devices. This includes your furnace, your air conditioner, your major appliance, and even some minor appliances. On that paper write down the age of each appliance, the condition of each appliance and your guess as to how much of your energy load that device consumes. Please check the furnace and the air conditioning filters, especially if you just moved in. They need to be clean and that could be your first job.

Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit

You can easily conduct a home energy audit yourself. With a simple but diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house.

When auditing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades.

The following text comes from “A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,” which is at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website.

Heating & Cooling Equipment

Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. If you have a forced-air furnace, check your filters and replace them as needed. Generally, you should change them about once every month or two, especially during periods of high usage. Have a professional check and clean your equipment once a year.

Replace Old Equipment


If the unit is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing your system with one of the newer, energy-efficient units. A new unit would greatly reduce your energy consumption, especially if the existing equipment is in poor condition. Check your ductwork for dirt streaks, especially near seams. These indicate air leaks, and they should be sealed with a duct mastic. Insulate any ducts or pipes that travel through unheated spaces. An insulation R-value of 6 is the recommended minimum.


There are many places on the web that can help you with this.

Here is a tip that they won’t tell you. Call your HVAC and Appliance Dealer and ask them questions. If you don’t have an HVAC person and a local appliance dealer that you can trust, find one. You need to know this stuff in case of an emergency. If you are a renter ask your landlord who they use and let them know you are interested in saving energy. They should appreciate that. Once you determine who they are (ask for friends recommendations, compare prices etc.) then call them and ask them about your equipment and energy savings differences between what you have and what you could have. Also ask them about percentages of usage between your different equipment.


If you live in Springfield and you want an audit done for you CWLP offers one cheap and if you follow their recommendations they will rebate the cost.


Energy Efficiency – What does Google tell us

Just for kicks I typed Energy Efficiency into the Google Search engine and guess what turned up? You would think it would be pages devoted to helping you out. What you get instead are major corporations that…well are a big part of the problem.|7518|energy%20efficiency||S||3614129274&gclid=CK7kwYnOgJ4CFSUMDQodHCfhow



American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) envisions a modernized, more energy-efficient America. Through targeted investments, the ARRA seeks to update and renovate our infrastructure, making us more energy-efficient and self-sustaining far into the future.

At Eaton, we have been living this vision and are ready to do whatever it takes to help the country get back to work.

link arrowBrowse Products by Category
link arrowEaton’s ARRA Buy American Provisions


Eaton has the power management solutions you need to make your products and business more productive, efficient and sustainable.  From electrical power quality and distribution systems to innovative solutions in power control systems for performance, fuel economy and safety, Eaton has the solutions that power businesses across nearly any application.

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Network Power Grid
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Sustainability can be a source of innovation and value, but companies must make it their own — figuring out how green can enhance their unique business situation.
A major shift is underway in how large companies are thinking about energy and the environment. Once seen simply as costs associated with regulatory compliance and risk reduction, now some of the world’s smartest corporate leaders are using sustainability to win – making it a source of innovation that creates better products, stronger profits, and greater enterprise value.
“If you just create a green ghetto in your company, you miss it. You have to figure out how to integrate green into the DNA of your whole business.”
–GreenOrder’s Andrew Shapiro, quoted in Thomas Friedman’s New York Times magazine cover story, “The Power of Green” (2007)
  There are many reasons for this, including the need for energy security, concerns about climate change, increased transparency, and changing consumer preferences.
What’s clear is this: Companies today need a robust sustainability strategy and implementation plan – just as, a decade earlier, they had to reinvent themselves in response to globalization and the digital revolution.The historical comparisons are instructive. The most successful companies in the 1990s realized that the Internet could not be relegated to the IT department, but rather required a strategic response across the company. Sustainability is a similarly transformative trend that affects company functions ranging from research and product development to human resources and sales.GreenOrder has the hands-on experience and diverse expertise to deal with this complex challenge and craft game-changing green initiatives in response.
How does a business make green part of its unique “genetic” identity?StrategyIt starts with the right strategy. GreenOrder has helped to create some of the most successful green initiatives in business history, including GE’s award-winning ecomagination initiative. We know how to align sustainability with a company’s business goals.


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LRN has a singular mission: to help inspire principled performance in business. We believe that a corporate culture that governs according to shared values is the ultimate driver of productivity, profit and long-term value. Companies with a reputation for responsible conduct attract and retain the best employees, customers, partners and investors – yielding long-term, sustainable competitive advantage.We provide everyone in an enterprise with the knowledge, tools and solutions they need to make better decisions, take better actions and work according to higher standards of business conduct. Our offerings mitigate the risk of costly ethical lapses and compliance failures, while building trust and earning the company a reputation for lawful and ethical conduct.Experience and expertise
Our dedicated team of nearly 300 business professionals brings a wealth of diverse experience and expertise – ranging from law and philosophy to education and multimedia, as well as software and technology – to develop innovative solutions that address critical business needs.We also maintain extensive relationships with subject-matter experts from business, government and academia who focus on governance, ethics, compliance and culture management issues. We also draw upon our proprietary expert legal network.Like-minded community
We are proud to be at the center of a community of like-minded organizations that have a common vision for acting lawfully and ethically, according to higher standards of business conduct. Our community includes companies of all sizes and industries as well as affiliations with professional associations and trade organizations with the shared purpose of promoting responsible conduct among employees, clients, suppliers and shareholders.

Our long-term partnerships with more than 350 client companies, including some of the most respected and successful businesses in the world, have enabled us to create an active and growing community with a common interest. Together we acquire and disseminate proven strategic and tactical insights and develop solutions based on real-world experiences. Over our history, we have provided millions of people in more than 100 different countries with the knowledge they need to foster a better understanding of the legal, ethical and cultural considerations that impact their culture and their business.

Looks like it is all GREEN WASH TO ME


Oil Bubble – No way! There would have to be a Market in Oil for there to be a Bubble

There is no such thing as supply and demand in the liquid carbon fuel markets so it is tough to argue that there was a “Bubble” per se in the run up to 140 $$$ oil. For instance, oil spikes and gas hikes are being blamed on a “weak dollar” but in fact should be attributed to the fact that 2 major refineries in the US have been shut down and a 1000 workers laid off. In the case of the oil spike, speculators clearly ran up the price. Nearly 25% of the oil mysteriously “disappeared” from the market, only to reappear as the market fell. Those are the classic “finger prints” of a speculator driven rip off. But some people want to fog the headlights with argle bargle.

An oil bubble

Following on last week’s topic, some have suggested that maybe, like the housing bubble in the US, the spike in oil prices and their subsequent collapse could have been an oil price bubble that also pulled up the prices of natural gas.

First, we should examine the phenomena that govern the life cycle of the economic bubble-its start, growth and eventual collapse. There is no consensus on what causes a bubble. Further, one view is that a bubble can only be identified after it has manifested itself in all of its stages. It is not clear-cut since even now after the collapse of oil prices there are still questions as to whether there was an oil economic bubble. (Did we have a housing bubble?).

One thesis is that high market liquidity is necessary, though not a sufficient condition for its start. This encourages people to invest in a particular asset both to preserve the value of their money in the face of inflation, but also to sometimes sell at a higher rate later to make, as it were, a killing.

What was of particular concern in the US housing bubble is that people were persuaded to enter into mortgages that they could not really afford while the prices of the assets were rising. High liquidity encourages mark-up inflation across the board and investing in a bubble suggests that such activities may also be seen as hedges against headline inflation.

At the peak of the bubble the price fetched by the asset is far greater than the real market value, even to produce it from scratch. When the bubble bursts, prices fall and many are left with an asset, say, houses, for which they hold inverted mortgages whose values are far in excess of what the asset is worth.

Also, the mortgagee may not be able to service these assets and we have heard stories of people returning the keys of houses to the banks and walking away in the aftermath of a bubble. Looking back at the investment frenzy of the bubble many commentators have remarked on the herd instinct of the investors -more like a stampede as the herd races towards a cliff.

Last week’s article demonstrated that because of the absolute elasticity of the supply of paper-oil on the futures market, this market on its own, without reference to the economic fundamentals of the physical-oil market, cannot support a bubble. Therefore, the evidence, if any exists, has to be sought in the physical market.

In order for speculators to influence the trend price of physical-oil, futures and index investors have to continue to buy large quantities of physical-oil and hold these quantities off-market. There is no evidence that this occurred and if it did it would have to be immense quantities to manipulate a worldwide physical market as large as the present crude oil market.

Yet because of Peak Oil a bubble in oil prices could be established. Oil inventories were not excessive and any increase that there was can be explained away by the fact that oil use, particularly in China and India, also increased, impacting positively on the associated inventories.

Another test for an oil bubble (Stuart Sandiford in the Oil Drum, “Is Oil in a Price Bubble”) is the rate at which the asset price increased and if this was faster than exponential growth a bubble is in the making.


dot dot dot (as they say)

If one were to examine the depreciation of the US dollar (the currency in which oil/gas prices are quoted) then with the US dollar now pegged at 1.09 Euros, the lowest it has been for seven months, it is clear that oil price adjustment is in part related to producers trying to counteract the depreciating US dollar and (temporary) stockpiling.

As the US dollar depreciates the TT dollar (tied to it) also depreciates, compounding its local depreciation against the US dollar. Thus our foreign revenues will reflect this US dollar depreciation, stockpiling and the resulting price volatility.



OK So Is It 10 Easy Tips Or 20 – You know we are at a tipping point when every

publication is falling over itself to produce TIPS.


Whenever you save energy, you not only save money, you also reduce the demand for such fossil fuels as coal, oil, and natural gas. Less burning of fossil fuels also means lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary contributor to global warming, and other pollutants.You do not have to do without to achieve these savings. There is now an energy efficient alternative for almost every kind of appliance or light fixture. That means that consumers have a real choice and the power to change their energy use on a revolutionary scale.The average American produces about 40,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. Together, we use nearly a million dollars worth of energy every minute, night and day, every day of the year. By exercising even a few of the following steps, you can cut your annual emissions by thousands of pounds and your energy bills by a significant amount!

Home appliances

  1. Turn your refrigerator down. Refrigerators account for about 20% of Household electricity use. Use a thermometer to set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible. Make sure that its energy saver switch is turned on. Also, check the gaskets around your refrigerator/freezer doors to make sure they are clean and sealed tightly.
  2. Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot. Switching from hot to warm for two loads per week can save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year if you have an electric water heater, or 150 pounds for a gas heater.
  3. Make sure your dishwasher is full when you run it and use the energy saving setting, if available, to allow the dishes to air dry. You can also turn off the drying cycle manually. Not using heat in the drying cycle can save 20 percent of your dishwasher’s total electricity use.
  4. Turn down your water heater thermostat. Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 is usually fine. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 440 pounds for a gas heater. If every household turned its water heater thermostat down 20 degrees, we could prevent more than 45 million tons of annual CO2 emissions – the same amount emitted by the entire nations of Kuwait or Libya.


For more see the article

10 Ways to Conserve Energy

Tips to Help You Save!

1. Replace old light bulbs with energy saving fluorescent bulbs. They may cost more, but will save you much more in the long run.

2. Turn off all electronic devices that are not in use. Not only turn them off but try to remember to unplug them. You will be surprised how much you will save with this simple step!

3. Air dry your dishes. When washing in a dish washer, the heat generated during the wash cycle is more than enough to dry your dishes.

4. Clean or replace air filters regularly. This can vary depending on the filter you are using. It’s important to follow the instruction found on the packaging. If you no longer have it, here are some basic guidelines:

  • Deep Pleated = Once or twice a year
  • Ordinary Flat or Pleated = 2-3 Months
  • Traditional Fiberglass/Polyester = Monthly

It is also important that your air filter fits properly and air is moving through it and not around it.

5. Close vents and doors in unused rooms. No need to cool or warm areas that people are not in.


Seems like the lists just go on and on:

5 Lesser Known Ways To Conserve Energy
By Jennifer Carpenter

The truth is definitely becoming clearer. Thanks to widespread news coverage and Al Gore’s book and documentary, people are becoming more and more aware that energy needs to be conserved, even if it means inconvenience. Recycling isn’t something only “tree-huggers” do anymore. Even big companies are getting into the habit of recycling and reusing their waste products. My local Wal-mart has barrels set up to collect used plastic bags and one of the local grocery stores uses their cardboard boxes instead of bags for their customers to carry their purchases home.

With all the basics covered; changing light bulbs, recycling your paper, plastic and metal goods, and turning off the faucets when brushing your teeth, you are doing a great job of conserving the Earth’s natural resources. But there is more that you could be doing. Follows is a list of lesser-known ways to conserve energy in the comfort of your own home.

  1. Replace the filters on your air conditioner every month that you are using it. By running the machine with a clean filter, it doesn’t have to work as hard and doesn’t need to use more energy to achieve the keep the rooms cool.
  2. Turn down the water temperature on your water heater. By lower the temperature of the water to 120 degrees, the heater won’t have to use as much energy to heat up the water to a warmer temperature. It’s also safer to have the water heater lower if you have young children in the house, as the hot water won’t scald them if the heater is turned to 120 degrees or cooler.
  3. Avoid over checking your food while it is cooking in the oven. Every time you open the oven door while it is on, the temperature inside the oven drops as much as 30 degrees. The oven then has to expend energy to bring the temperature back up. By reducing the number of times you open the door to check on your meal, you can save energy.
  4. Avoid washing your clothes in hot water. Most clothes that are not stained can be cleaned in cold water (it’s also better for the dyes and less harsh on the fabric). Clothes that are dirty but not overly stained can be pretreated and washed in warm water. Hot water is really only necessary for heavily stained clothes or if you are trying to eliminate pests such as lice. Many detergent companies are formulating their products to work as well in cold water as in warm and hot in order to help consumers conserve energy.
  5. Adjust the blades on ceiling fans for seasonal changes. The fan company (and occasionally the blades themselves) will inform you of the optimal position for your fan blade to keep the air circulating during the summer and winter months.

Doing these five things may seem like an inconvenience, especially when all our lives are so busy already. Just remember that we only have one planet and it is up to us to treat the best way we can.

Jennifer Carpenter is a work at home mother of three, two teens and a preschooler. She writes about parenting, social, health, and financial issues from her home in Warwick, RI. Jenn also hosts a website discussing the different ways she is making money online and achieving her financial freedom.

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Everyone’s always making lists…but do they do it themselves?


Energy And Environmental Blog’s – What my competito….friends have been up to lately

This site is not for the average reader or for the weak at heart. This is hard core energy news with BLOGS by people who DO, teach not…. as Yoda might say:

Interesting ideas and viewpoints are constantly emerging on  We have enhanced the topics available for categorizing blogs so that you can easily reflect the dynamic conversations taking place within the global power industry.

To assist in this transition, existing blogs have been recategorized into the appropriate topics.  We encourage you to review the recategorization to make sure the topics best reflect the content of your blog and update the categories if appropriate.

As always, we encourage you to start a new blog on one of the engaging new topics!  If you have any questions, please contact

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To Dr. Chu: Align Stimulus to Clean Energy Reform

02/08/2009 at 08:22 PM   |   Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio – Electricity Without Price Controls Blog

A system architect should lead a high leverage clean energy reform transformation of the power industry for DOE to distribute as soon as possible the …

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Bacteria to Power Up the Carwash? – By Lance Winslow

02/06/2009 at 08:29 PM   |   Lance Winslow – Lance Winslow’s Online Energy Think Tank Blog – Articles by Lance Winslow Blog

By Lance Winslow   Alternative energy is bolder rage and it makes sense to take this technology and apply it to his many possible industries …

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VENDORS UPBEAT – Really!!! – Distributech Musings

02/06/2009 at 01:00 AM   |   Martin Rosenberg – From the Editor’s Desk Blog

Before we get to the meat of this posting, I offer a snippet from a conversation I snagged early this week with Neal Schmale, president and chief oper..


When this guy is on he is really on, but again this site is only for the hard core wonk:

December 01, 2008

EPA Raises Raises Requirements for Renewable Fuels

An item of interest to ethanol producers and other supporters of ethanol is this announcement by EPA, as further clarified by this announcement by EERE:


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on November 17 that the 2009 renewable fuel standard (RFS) will require most refiners, importers, and non-oxygenate blenders of gasoline to displace 10.21% of their gasoline with renewable fuels such as ethanol. That requirement aims to ensure that at least 11.1 billion gallons of fuels will be sold in 2009.  . . . While the RFS requirement is increasing by about 23%—from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 11.1 billion gallons in 2009—the percentage requirement is increasing by nearly one third, from 7.76% in 2008 to 10.21% in 2009.


He also only posts when he feels like it. The last post was in December. Did the Obama Election scare you away?

Then there is the worldwide wonks. Don’t look if you do not really really care.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Let engineers make Britain great again

The Guardian has a fairly technocractic article on the low value accorded to engineers in Britain and the value of implementing some large scale and tecnically complex infrastructure to rebuild the economy on “solid foundations” – Let engineers make Britain great again.
Orson Welles said film-making was the biggest electric train set a boy ever had. He was wrong. A new high-speed train line would be, if the boy or girl grew up to engineer it.

But in Britain, the train set is broken and has been packed away in the attic. We’re not proud of industry and we certainly don’t want our kids to grow up to be engineers. It’s a tragedy. It never used to be this way. We need to rediscover the power of engineering, its impact and contribution. It can stimulate young minds and it can stimulate the economy. …

So the young are innately curious about how and why things work. Yet what happens between childhood and adulthood? We stamp it out of them. Engineering gets stigmatised and we encourage our kids to become “professionals” – lawyers, accountants, doctors. Unlike in France or Germany, engineers are a bit of a nonentity here. Engineering is almost a dirty word. We’re told it’s “old industry” and that we are a “post-industrial nation”.

Part of the problem is that engineers are not accorded the status they deserve. We celebrate designers and architects, but forget the clever people who turn the theory into reality. The Millau bridge in France was designed by Norman Foster, but it was French engineer Michel Virlogeux who made it work. A magnificent achievement, but whose name do people remember? In 2005, Ellen MacArthur became the fastest person to sail round the globe, but little was made of Nigel Irens, who engineered her trimaran. …

Damn it man…Engineers are important…but so are their mothers and they never mention them.

So YOU think YOU are into renewable energy, huh. Better eat your Wheaties for this one.


CPUC Says CSI Doubled Installations in 2008


The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a quarterly staff progress report on the California Solar Initiative, showing that in 2008 Californians installed twice as many megawatts (MW) of solar power than the year before, and that demand for new solar projects continues to hit record levels.

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 Fraunhofer Sets CPV Efficiency Record of 41.1%


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) have achieved a record efficiency of 41.1% for the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a concentrating solar PV system.

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Texas Approves US $5B for Transmission


In 2006 Texas overtook California to lead the nation in installed wind power generating capcity. Now, just three years later, wind turbines generating 8005-megawatts (MW), more than all the turbines spinning in California, Iowa and Minnesota, have outstripped the capacity of the high-voltage grid to move the power from windy west Texas to major cities where it’s needed.

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Crude Reality: Oil Bulls See Hope in Stimulus Package

Crude oil futures in New York are still climbing Monday, jumping more than 5% in early trading before settling down to a more modest 1.5% increase.

What’s driving the uptick? There are theories for all tastes.

On the supply side, OPEC now says it is doing better at sticking to reduced production targets than most outside analysts give the cartel credit for. OPEC’s secretary general said today the cartel has already cut 80% of the 4.2 million barrels it’s meant to take off the market, and the cartel is ready to cut again at its March meeting.

On the demand side, President Obama’s cheerleading for the $800-odd billion stimulus package and signs the Senate could pass its version tomorrow are giving bulls hope there’s a quick fix in store for the battered U.S. economy that will rekindle demand for oil. Given that natural-gas futures are also up on Monday—the first four-day winning streak for gas since last autumn—there’s something to be said for the idea of a light at the end of the tunnel for the U.S. economy.

But the imminent passage of the stimulus package could be bullish for oil prices—without ever stimulating a lick of oil demand in the U.S.


Fun stuff huh? Then there is the LONGEST running serious Energy Bog oh blog started in 2005

Sustainable Energy Blog

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Insuring electric cars

Submitted by Bruno De Wachter on Thu, 2009-02-05 06:30.


Cheaper or more expensive than conventional cars?

When the cost of a plug-in vehicle is mentioned, it mostly refers to the purchasing and maintenance expenses. Sometimes, tax reductions given to electric vehicles (EVs) are taken into account, but the insurance cost is rarely discussed. This is somewhat strange, since the insurance on a conventionally fuelled car accounts for roughly one quarter of its fixed cost of ownership. So, what happens to this cost when switching from a conventional car to an EV?


Tomorrow I will try my hand at Alternative Energy Blog sites. They are funner.