Author Topic: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner  (Read 46009 times)

rockeTree

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #500 on: May 06, 2024, 07:55:55 AM »
Looks like heat pump water heaters are getting a boost from regulation in the US:

https://cleantechnica.com/2024/05/01/doe-finalizes-efficiency-standards-for-water-heaters-to-save-americans-over-7-billion-on-household-utility-bills-annually/

"The standards would require the most common-sized electric water heaters to achieve efficiency gains with heat pump technology, helping to accelerate the deployment of this cost-effective, clean energy technology while also reducing strain on the electric grid. Over 30 years of shipments, these updated standards are expected to save Americans $124 billion on their energy bills and reduce 332 million metric tons of dangerous carbon dioxide emissions—equivalent to the combined annual emissions of nearly 43 million homes."

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #501 on: May 06, 2024, 08:42:14 AM »
I am more on SmashYOurSmartPhone's side on this one.  I am from fly over country, but have lived in large metropolis city for the last 13 years.  Past two car purchase's were hybrid's which I love.  I am all for sensible energy decisions.  However, when the "clean" energy is double or more the cost, this is not a viable solution for most people.  I do want solar and will have it eventually, but it is not in anyway b/c it is cheaper.  I want it for the prepayment of my life's expenses and contingency plans.  But, I can afford to buy it in cash.  Most people can't.  It is very anti-mustachian to put that on people.  Get a bike; shorten your commute; turn the AC temp. up; turn the heat temp. down.  These have a real positive impact, and only "cost" people to adapt versus mandating something that a paid bureaucrat or lobbyist says is going to save the planet.  I just can't get excited about this topic anymore.  It is more religion than life efficiency.  People are being played by greedy people who benefit from climate change/green energy agenda.

Clean energy is "double the cost" because of the massive, and I mean massive subsidies that go to dirty energy. https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/9/21/17885832/oil-subsidies-military-protection-supplies-safe -- looking at only the military (and associated post-military) costs we pay because of our addiction to oil, that's $1/gal. And that's only one of many subsidies. There's a reason Europe is paying $8/gal for gas -- and yes a bunch of that (~$2/gal) is tax but even without the tax, that high of a gas price and you would see a very quick end to the massive SUVs and pickups we have here.

Please note none of the subsidies there were climate change.

All I'm asking is a conservative-approved "level the playing field" and let the market decide. Subsidize renewables to the level fossil fuels are and then we'll talk about how renewables/save-the-planet is a religion.

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #502 on: May 06, 2024, 08:53:39 AM »
I am more on SmashYOurSmartPhone's side on this one.  I am from fly over country, but have lived in large metropolis city for the last 13 years.  Past two car purchase's were hybrid's which I love.  I am all for sensible energy decisions.  However, when the "clean" energy is double or more the cost, this is not a viable solution for most people.  I do want solar and will have it eventually, but it is not in anyway b/c it is cheaper.  I want it for the prepayment of my life's expenses and contingency plans.  But, I can afford to buy it in cash.  Most people can't.  It is very anti-mustachian to put that on people.  Get a bike; shorten your commute; turn the AC temp. up; turn the heat temp. down.  These have a real positive impact, and only "cost" people to adapt versus mandating something that a paid bureaucrat or lobbyist says is going to save the planet.  I just can't get excited about this topic anymore.  It is more religion than life efficiency.  People are being played by greedy people who benefit from climate change/green energy agenda.

Clean energy is "double the cost" because of the massive, and I mean massive subsidies that go to dirty energy. https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/9/21/17885832/oil-subsidies-military-protection-supplies-safe -- looking at only the military (and associated post-military) costs we pay because of our addiction to oil, that's $1/gal. And that's only one of many subsidies. There's a reason Europe is paying $8/gal for gas -- and yes a bunch of that (~$2/gal) is tax but even without the tax, that high of a gas price and you would see a very quick end to the massive SUVs and pickups we have here.

Please note none of the subsidies there were climate change.

All I'm asking is a conservative-approved "level the playing field" and let the market decide. Subsidize renewables to the level fossil fuels are and then we'll talk about how renewables/save-the-planet is a religion.

Based on our experience rapidly transitioning in Colorado, adding renewables is cheap.  The general math is that you can get a grid to 70%-85% renewables with a roughly comparable cost structure to a dirty grid.

The expensive part is the early retirement of other fossil fuel plants.  They are large fixed assets where value is recognized over many decades. 

Last time I looked, the LCOE for solar was in the neighborhood of $0.03/kWh.  Wind was around $0.05/kWh.  Coal is around $0.09/kWh.  Gas is somewhere between those numbers.  I don't even know the assumptions on nuclear anymore, but it's probably in the neighborhood of $0.2-$0.3/kWh.

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #503 on: May 06, 2024, 10:51:48 AM »
I do want solar and will have it eventually, but it is not in anyway b/c it is cheaper.

It is when you do the work yourself.  Depending on what you design, you should be able to do it in the $1-$1.50/W range before any incentives, and before people insist it's impossible, I know a number of people who've done exactly this or are in the middle of doing it currently.  Yes, it's a new set of skills, but if you're going for a basic grid tie system, there's no shortage of online plans companies that will lay out the exact wiring diagram you need, and while I find microinverters exceedingly distasteful, they're certainly easy enough to wire up and they deal with the bought-and-paid-for-by-Enphase rapid shutdown requirements well enough.  But, really, if you can do a ground mount, do a ground mount.  Cheaper, safer, easier to maintain, just requires a bit more unshaded space.  And you'll save tens of thousands of dollars over paying a solar company to do it.  Then, when they go out of business, you'll have to learn the system anyway to maintain it.  Far easier to just learn what you need to learn to do the work yourself in the first place.

Quote
Get a bike; shorten your commute; turn the AC temp. up; turn the heat temp. down.

You're asking people to be uncomfortable?????  It's their God-given right to never have to experience anything but 72 degrees, year round, summer, winter, indoors, in a car...   What if they get wet?  Or cold?  Or... horror of horrors, sweat?????

Part of the reason I have no particular faith in our ability to do much of anything about our problems is that the obvious solutions of "use less energy in the first place" are, to quite a few people, "literally unthinkable."  And most of the people who are Very Concerned About Climate Change are the worst - they demand, if you drill through the layers of crap, that someone else do something so they can continue using as much energy as they want, at any point in time they want it, at the same cost as now, but "green" and low carbon guilt.  The jet-setting sorts who fly their private jets to climate conferences as massively energy wasting resorts, and then have to have their pilots go relocate the jet to another airport because of parking space problems (a low altitude repositioning flight uses a good fraction the fuel of a long high altitude cruise for most jets), are among the worst at this.

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People are being played by greedy people who benefit from climate change/green energy agenda.

Or simply those who have a product to sell.  Look at the number of Tesla buyers in the early days who more or less said, "Well, I'd never buy a $100k luxury car, but I had to buy this to save the planet!"  Tolerably often, supercommuters who were doing hundred+ mile days, every day, between their large homes and their tech offices.

"We can solve the problems of unchecked consumerism by buying more products, but green!" is nonsense on the face, but it's certainly a common enough position that many people don't see the problem of, because it allows them to buy more shiny new products that will eventually be burning in an "ewaste recycling pile" somewhere in Africa.

Based on our experience rapidly transitioning in Colorado, adding renewables is cheap.  The general math is that you can get a grid to 70%-85% renewables with a roughly comparable cost structure to a dirty grid.

Yes, though management of a grid with that high a renewable generation base gets tricky.

Quote
Last time I looked, the LCOE for solar was in the neighborhood of $0.03/kWh.  Wind was around $0.05/kWh.  Coal is around $0.09/kWh.  Gas is somewhere between those numbers.  I don't even know the assumptions on nuclear anymore, but it's probably in the neighborhood of $0.2-$0.3/kWh.

Those aren't the right numbers to compare, though.  Coal and nuclear are dispatchable resources, that can be used on demand, any time of day or night.  Wind and solar are not, so if you demand a "All the power any time you throw the switch" sort of reliability, adding storage into solar and wind is required, and a LOT of storage, unfortunately.

The alternative is to use less energy when the sun isn't shining, pack energy consumers into the normal availability of energy, both daily and seasonally.  But that might involve not keeping your house at 80 degrees all winter long, or something, so it won't be considered as a solution.  Find some off-grid sorts to talk to, and they'll go on about the perks of things like "Sweaters" in the winter.


AlanStache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #504 on: May 06, 2024, 11:24:12 AM »
...
Quote
Get a bike; shorten your commute; turn the AC temp. up; turn the heat temp. down.

You're asking people to be uncomfortable?????  It's their God-given right to never have to experience anything but 72 degrees, year round, summer, winter, indoors, in a car...   What if they get wet?  Or cold?  Or... horror of horrors, sweat?????

Part of the reason I have no particular faith in our ability to do much of anything about our problems is that the obvious solutions of "use less energy in the first place" are, to quite a few people, "literally unthinkable."  And most of the people who are Very Concerned About Climate Change are the worst - they demand, if you drill through the layers of crap, that someone else do something so they can continue using as much energy as they want, at any point in time they want it, at the same cost as now, but "green" and low carbon guilt. 
Quote

...

Last time I looked, the LCOE for solar was in the neighborhood of $0.03/kWh.  Wind was around $0.05/kWh.  Coal is around $0.09/kWh.  Gas is somewhere between those numbers.  I don't even know the assumptions on nuclear anymore, but it's probably in the neighborhood of $0.2-$0.3/kWh.

Those aren't the right numbers to compare, though.  Coal and nuclear are dispatchable resources, that can be used on demand, any time of day or night.  Wind and solar are not, so if you demand a "All the power any time you throw the switch" sort of reliability, adding storage into solar and wind is required, and a LOT of storage, unfortunately.


Car free/car light: It seems that a large percent of people that once they try it or see it they like it and prefer it.  Car dependency has been the only "option" for generations to where it seems natural for many.  I am somewhat hopeful that as more people see it first or second hand it will enter a compounding effect where we can get real change. 

I thought nuclear could not be varied much in how much power it could produce over shot times.  Base load sure its great, I am probably-mostly-pro-nuclear but I thought I heard that it would benefit greatly from energy storage tech like renewables because it is still producing goobs of power at night when no one wants it.  So again storage and transmission.

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #505 on: May 06, 2024, 11:38:43 AM »
Car free/car light: It seems that a large percent of people that once they try it or see it they like it and prefer it.  Car dependency has been the only "option" for generations to where it seems natural for many.  I am somewhat hopeful that as more people see it first or second hand it will enter a compounding effect where we can get real change.

Certainly, and ebikes are a great transition technology - they are a car replacement for many people, on far less resources and energy use than even an efficient electric car (20-30 miles of assisted riding on 500Wh of battery pack is totally doable, and even further if you're just using it to assist with getting up to speed from a stop, or up particular hills, where the bulk of the time savings are made).

Quote
I thought nuclear could not be varied much in how much power it could produce over shot times.  Base load sure its great, I am probably-mostly-pro-nuclear but I thought I heard that it would benefit greatly from energy storage tech like renewables because it is still producing goobs of power at night when no one wants it.  So again storage and transmission.

It depends on the reactor technology.  The standard boiling water reactors are mostly designed for base load, but there are some designs that are better suited to load following, and some of the thermal storage technologies look promising - basically, during low energy periods of time, heat up rocks/sand/molten salts/etc, and use the energy stored in those materials to heat water to increase power beyond reactor output during high demand times.  They use nothing complex to store the energy, though molten salts tend "hellishly corrosive" in any practical use case.

Storage and transmission improvements get you better utilization of the resources we have, certainly, but if you've got a heavy winter storm in a region of the country for a week, it's going to be very hard to meet demand purely on renewables and storage.  Battery packs are great for daily cycling to handle morning/evening peaks, but they're not well suited to seasonal energy storage - and this is where a "pure electric" sort of system breaks down, as electricity isn't cheap to store.  You can store natural gas, and vast amounts, in "moderate pressure caverns and high pressure storage tanks."  Wood can be easily piled and stored.  But electricity can't be left in a heap somewhere for a long while.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #506 on: May 06, 2024, 04:33:13 PM »
Please note none of the subsidies there were climate change.

Speaking of subsidies, what comes across my feed today but https://www.propublica.org/article/oklahoma-oil-cleanup.

GilesMM

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #507 on: May 06, 2024, 08:31:02 PM »
Please note none of the subsidies there were climate change.

Speaking of subsidies, what comes across my feed today but https://www.propublica.org/article/oklahoma-oil-cleanup.


Oil and gas extraction can be messy. Land owners are often excited to learn of potential drilling on their land, but often overlook the risks, especially when dealing with tiny fly-by-night operators.  I hope the people in the article can move on.  Sounds terrible for them.  The state of Oklahoma seems deeply negligent as a regulator but that's hardly as surprise given their history as a poor state with a little bit of oil and gas and not a lot else.

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #508 on: May 07, 2024, 05:39:32 PM »
Please note none of the subsidies there were climate change.

Speaking of subsidies, what comes across my feed today but https://www.propublica.org/article/oklahoma-oil-cleanup.


Oil and gas extraction can be messy. Land owners are often excited to learn of potential drilling on their land, but often overlook the risks, especially when dealing with tiny fly-by-night operators.  I hope the people in the article can move on.  Sounds terrible for them.  The state of Oklahoma seems deeply negligent as a regulator but that's hardly as surprise given their history as a poor state with a little bit of oil and gas and not a lot else.


Colorado has the exact same issues. There have been some attempts to add regulations, but only time will tell if they’re effective.

The industry has developed a practice of big reputable companies developing the wells, being “hands on” with owners, and acting responsibly. Then they sell the wells to the smaller fly-by-night operators once production starts to decline. These smaller operators frequently declare bankruptcy, leaving the mess with no one responsible.  This is consistent behavior across time and across companies.

Colorado has recently sued in one of these cases. A bunch of low-producing wells were transferred into a company that was allegedly designed to go bankrupt to avoid well-plugging costs.

Avoiding responsibility for environmental cleanup is literally part of these companies business model. They just transfer the responsibility to a company that doesn’t have the resources to plug wells.



AlanStache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #509 on: May 07, 2024, 06:07:50 PM »
Seems like baseball bats applied to kneecaps should be part of the states strategy. 

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #510 on: May 07, 2024, 09:24:59 PM »
Here's a map of 120,000 abandoned wells across the United States.  Many more are undocumented. 

https://www.edf.org/orphanwellmap

Just Joe

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #511 on: May 12, 2024, 09:52:53 PM »
We replaced our old car with a used EV. New car is 3 years old and low mileage. ~50% discount since new.

Was mostly planning to carpool with DW like we have for years and years in the old car but the EV worked so well on a long trip over the weekend that we'll likely use it for out of town trips too.

Too small for us plus our grown offspring but as long as it was the two of us, or maybe three of us - perfectly good for trips to the big metro city where we go for entertainment and shopping a few times per year.

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #512 on: May 13, 2024, 07:18:33 PM »
I got bored last week and I needed a project.

Figuring out how the gas fireplace was installed turned into trying to remove it. Trying to remove it turned into a mess, so I just removed the whole fireplace and the surround.

I submitted a request to the utility to remove my gas meter. I haven’t heard back, but hopefully that happens in the next few weeks.

I’ve picked out an electric fireplace to replace it, and it happened to be $150 off at Lowe’s. The overall project should cost me somewhere in the ballpark of $700 and I’ll be off natural gas forever.

The most challenging part will be a marital disagreement on what the surround should look like.

I’m confident in my interior DIY skills, but my work on the exterior siding vent leaves something to be desired. I put a temporary fix up, but may need a professional to do it right.

lcmac32

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #513 on: May 22, 2024, 07:52:13 AM »
It is when you do the work yourself.  Depending on what you design, you should be able to do it in the $1-$1.50/W range before any incentives, and before people insist it's impossible, I know a number of people who've done exactly this or are in the middle of doing it currently.  Yes, it's a new set of skills, but if you're going for a basic grid tie system, there's no shortage of online plans companies that will lay out the exact wiring diagram you need, and while I find microinverters exceedingly distasteful, they're certainly easy enough to wire up and they deal with the bought-and-paid-for-by-Enphase rapid shutdown requirements well enough.  But, really, if you can do a ground mount, do a ground mount.  Cheaper, safer, easier to maintain, just requires a bit more unshaded space.  And you'll save tens of thousands of dollars over paying a solar company to do it.  Then, when they go out of business, you'll have to learn the system anyway to maintain it.  Far easier to just learn what you need to learn to do the work yourself in the first place.

I appreciate the feedback.  I have often thought ground mount solar is the best option.  Easier to install, maintain, clean, adjust angles, etc.  I am sure I can do it.  Not sure I will in current location, but when I relocate to LOCL in 5-7 years, it is on.

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #514 on: May 22, 2024, 08:01:47 AM »
It is when you do the work yourself.  Depending on what you design, you should be able to do it in the $1-$1.50/W range before any incentives, and before people insist it's impossible, I know a number of people who've done exactly this or are in the middle of doing it currently.  Yes, it's a new set of skills, but if you're going for a basic grid tie system, there's no shortage of online plans companies that will lay out the exact wiring diagram you need, and while I find microinverters exceedingly distasteful, they're certainly easy enough to wire up and they deal with the bought-and-paid-for-by-Enphase rapid shutdown requirements well enough.  But, really, if you can do a ground mount, do a ground mount.  Cheaper, safer, easier to maintain, just requires a bit more unshaded space.  And you'll save tens of thousands of dollars over paying a solar company to do it.  Then, when they go out of business, you'll have to learn the system anyway to maintain it.  Far easier to just learn what you need to learn to do the work yourself in the first place.

I appreciate the feedback.  I have often thought ground mount solar is the best option.  Easier to install, maintain, clean, adjust angles, etc.  I am sure I can do it.  Not sure I will in current location, but when I relocate to LOCL in 5-7 years, it is on.

Ground-mount solar is absolutely fantastic in areas where appropriate land is cheap and/or otherwise not utilized. For solar I always start by asking people if ground-mount is an option. Unfortunately for many, it isn't, as space is often constraining and large lot sizes come with their own environmental tradeoffs (e.g. lower population densities, higher upkeep, potentially higher footprint).

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #515 on: May 22, 2024, 11:33:24 AM »
I am not sure what has happened with quoting, I will try to get it correct?

I appreciate the feedback.  I have often thought ground mount solar is the best option.  Easier to install, maintain, clean, adjust angles, etc.  I am sure I can do it.  Not sure I will in current location, but when I relocate to LOCL in 5-7 years, it is on.

It is, by far.  And the best part of a ground mount install is that it will never cause a roof leak!  But, yes, far easier to install and maintain, and if you have a spot with no shade, you don't need per-panel rapid shutdown electronics, you can just run a 600V string (for residential purposes, you are limited to 600V) to a string inverter, which is far cheaper than microinverters per watt.  You can also easily do multiple facings of panels (think a southeast and southwest facing string), and load these into the separate inputs of a string inverter, for more panel area per inverter and a longer period of solar production (useful with the way net metering is changing).

Ground-mount solar is absolutely fantastic in areas where appropriate land is cheap and/or otherwise not utilized. For solar I always start by asking people if ground-mount is an option. Unfortunately for many, it isn't, as space is often constraining and large lot sizes come with their own environmental tradeoffs (e.g. lower population densities, higher upkeep, potentially higher footprint).

Larger lot sizes open up a range of options for things like solar heating too, though.  Go put a big solar thermal collector on a roof in an urban area and see how long before the HOA starts shrieking about unapproved things on the roof.  I think it's easier to be low emissions on a larger lot, personally.

Does burning things still count as a problem if you're doing net-carbon-negative things like biochar? ;)

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #516 on: May 22, 2024, 01:21:55 PM »

Does burning things still count as a problem if you're doing net-carbon-negative things like biochar?

Well, "it depends".  If you're still burning a lot of fossil fuels and have a high environmental footprint then doing net-carbon-negative things like using biochar isn't going to green your way out of this. As an example, with green energy building the first focus is always to reduce the energy needs of the building - power generation is a secondary focus in order to reach net-zero/net-negative.  Sure, nowadays you can pretty easily achieve "net-zero" just by tossing up an oversized PV array, but you've missed the green credentials if the building still requires more energy than an equivalent-sized building.  Which is why standards for LEEDs/Passivhaus are extremely focused on building tightness and R-values and manualJ calculations.

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #517 on: June 03, 2024, 06:51:03 AM »
Well, we just had a hail storm roll through Denver that I think took out my roof.

I had been waiting for the roof replacement for solar (it already wasn’t in great shape), so it looks like we might be getting solar this year.

We still need to get it assessed, but my untrained eye can see hail marks.

For other semi-related updates, my wife is considering pulling back from her high income job in the next year or two.  We’re going to use some of this income to do some projects on our longer term want-list. This includes replacing old carpets, and upgrading our old electric stove to induction. I might even justify a heat-pump washer/dryer combo.

Plans haven’t been finalized yet, but we’ll probably do some type of coast-FIRE, where we keep some lower income work to enjoy life more. I think we can make it so income covers expenses, and we let the stache continue to grow over time.  I think this will be psychologically easier if we take care of some of the bigger house items before we pull the trigger.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2024, 07:10:41 AM by NorCal »

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #518 on: June 03, 2024, 07:48:50 AM »
Well, we just had a hail storm roll through Denver that I think took out my roof.

I had been waiting for the roof replacement for solar (it already wasn’t in great shape), so it looks like we might be getting solar this year.



Oh boy!  So I am sorry (about the hail damage) and... congrats on the potential solar.

A few things I have learned from my recent experience with home-owners claims - first, recognize that if they offer you a payout recognize that this is simply an initial offer, which you can counter. You can contest their payment and few people do, but a large chunk that do wind up getting their insurance checks increased.  Second, document everything, including the hail marks that's visible to your untrained eye, and each and every item that may have gotten damaged, even its something you don't care too much about and costs $4 to replace. Its especially important to have a local, certified contractor give you an estimate for the full replacement cost of all damaged sections of your roof.

GilesMM

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #519 on: June 03, 2024, 07:54:31 AM »
Well, we just had a hail storm roll through Denver that I think took out my roof.

I had been waiting for the roof replacement for solar (it already wasn’t in great shape), so it looks like we might be getting solar this year.

We still need to get it assessed, but my untrained eye can see hail marks.

For other semi-related updates, my wife is considering pulling back from her high income job in the next year or two.  We’re going to use some of this income to do some projects on our longer term want-list. This includes replacing old carpets, and upgrading our old electric stove to induction. I might even justify a heat-pump washer/dryer combo.

Plans haven’t been finalized yet, but we’ll probably do some type of coast-FIRE, where we keep some lower income work to enjoy life more. I think we can make it so income covers expenses, and we let the stache continue to grow over time.  I think this will be psychologically easier if we take care of some of the bigger house items before we pull the trigger.


Make sure your insurance covers your solar, once installed, as that could be damaged by hail the same way your roof was.

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #520 on: June 03, 2024, 08:18:38 AM »
Our solar finally got up and running a week and a half ago and we've already produced over 1 MWh. We haven't had a full day under 100 kWh yet!

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #521 on: June 03, 2024, 08:37:44 AM »
Our solar finally got up and running a week and a half ago and we've already produced over 1 MWh. We haven't had a full day under 100 kWh yet!

that's pretty awesome - how big is your array?
 We had a smallish 6.8kw array on our last home, and we had some days where we'd eclipse 30kWh

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #522 on: June 03, 2024, 08:50:18 AM »
Our solar finally got up and running a week and a half ago and we've already produced over 1 MWh. We haven't had a full day under 100 kWh yet!

that's pretty awesome - how big is your array?
 We had a smallish 6.8kw array on our last home, and we had some days where we'd eclipse 30kWh

38x 410W panels (15.6 kW). I think the peak output we've seen so far is ~13.4 kW so we're probably already past the time of year where we'd see maximum production.

It's really cool to see our EV charging (9.6 kW) fitting under the solar production curve.

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #523 on: June 03, 2024, 09:04:17 AM »

It's really cool to see our EV charging (9.6 kW) fitting under the solar production curve.

Yeah, as we design our new system that's one of our goals - get daytime production to be above 9.6 kW at least during some days.  We've landed on that requiring at least a 12 kW system, which is probably around what our rooftop allows without having to get too wild and creative.

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #524 on: June 03, 2024, 02:19:54 PM »
Getting solar has been a different mentality shift than I was expecting. I figured that I wouldn't think much about our electric usage other than optimizing a bit to use stuff when the sun is up, as solar should effectively wipe out our bill. But in practice I'm now thinking a lot more about our usage. Partly because the app visualizes everything in 15-minute increments so it is a lot more apparent when and what is drawing power. Previously it was just a vague nebulous energy disappears somehow. But also every kWh we export to the grid gets us 7 cents. So there is still a cost associated with using more energy, it's just in the form of missing out on income instead of bill savings. Somehow that feels more motivating (even though direct savings are worth double our export rate).

We've been exporting ~40 kWh per day, so that does add up.

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #525 on: June 03, 2024, 03:02:28 PM »
Getting solar has been a different mentality shift than I was expecting. I figured that I wouldn't think much about our electric usage other than optimizing a bit to use stuff when the sun is up, as solar should effectively wipe out our bill. But in practice I'm now thinking a lot more about our usage. Partly because the app visualizes everything in 15-minute increments so it is a lot more apparent when and what is drawing power. Previously it was just a vague nebulous energy disappears somehow. But also every kWh we export to the grid gets us 7 cents. So there is still a cost associated with using more energy, it's just in the form of missing out on income instead of bill savings. Somehow that feels more motivating (even though direct savings are worth double our export rate).

We've been exporting ~40 kWh per day, so that does add up.

This was our experience as well. Previously we had been energy conscious, but there’s something that’s almost addictive about checking the electricity generation screen. Plus, we became way more interested in how many hours of sunlight there was in a day/week/month and we started noticing the difference between days with high cloud cover one might call “sunny” to the truly blue-bird sky’s with little/no atmospheric absorption. Plus, our DD started noticing how energy was generated/consumed ( she got a kick out of seeing when we turned out heat pumps on).


NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #526 on: June 03, 2024, 04:22:06 PM »
Getting solar has been a different mentality shift than I was expecting. I figured that I wouldn't think much about our electric usage other than optimizing a bit to use stuff when the sun is up, as solar should effectively wipe out our bill. But in practice I'm now thinking a lot more about our usage. Partly because the app visualizes everything in 15-minute increments so it is a lot more apparent when and what is drawing power. Previously it was just a vague nebulous energy disappears somehow. But also every kWh we export to the grid gets us 7 cents. So there is still a cost associated with using more energy, it's just in the form of missing out on income instead of bill savings. Somehow that feels more motivating (even though direct savings are worth double our export rate).

We've been exporting ~40 kWh per day, so that does add up.


I had a similar mental shift after getting a home energy monitor.

Knowing exactly how much my HVAC or dryer were using put a lot of things into perspective. I knew exactly what usage was going where, and I could visualize the difference between a 5kW oven and an 11W LED bulb.

It’s enough of an impact that I usually recommend a monitor as one of the first tasks for someone looking at energy efficiency. It helps find the areas to focus on, and identifies usage patterns that can be optimized on TOU plans.

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #527 on: June 03, 2024, 04:42:00 PM »
[

It’s enough of an impact that I usually recommend a monitor as one of the first tasks for someone looking at energy efficiency. It helps find the areas to focus on, and identifies usage patterns that can be optimized on TOU plans.

Is there a whole house monitor you recommend? I’ve used Kill-a-watt type meters before and done some internet searching for various whole panel monitors but they seem to vary greatly in cost, installation complexity, software and support.

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #528 on: June 03, 2024, 06:15:59 PM »
[

It’s enough of an impact that I usually recommend a monitor as one of the first tasks for someone looking at energy efficiency. It helps find the areas to focus on, and identifies usage patterns that can be optimized on TOU plans.

Is there a whole house monitor you recommend? I’ve used Kill-a-watt type meters before and done some internet searching for various whole panel monitors but they seem to vary greatly in cost, installation complexity, software and support.


Look at both Emporia and Sense.

The Sense can be infuriating with poor device detection. However, the UI is much better, and it had better tools for tracking down always-on devices and visualizing behavior.

The Emporia is better for tracking usage at the circuit level, but it gives less actionable information.

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #529 on: June 04, 2024, 02:24:29 AM »
The best that I've used is the Iotawatt https://iotawatt.com/. The original owner stopped producing them, but it looks as if someone else has taken over now.

The Iotawatt is self contained in that it logs data locally and has a web server so you can visualise data without any external logging/visualising software. It Does let you send the data elsewhere as well so you can have offsite backups, or access for visualisation. It doesn't use the cloud, which would rule the Emporia out for me.

The Brultech monitors are good; the GEM lets you monitor up to 32 circuits but it doesn't have local logging so you need a separate solution for that. (I use a local instance of EMONCMS running on a RaspberryPi.) They're also a bit pricey.

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #530 on: June 10, 2024, 03:47:45 PM »
Hm.  The Iotawatt seems like it may actually be something I'd consider.  I've avoided home energy monitor solutions as I'm allergic to smartphone based "cloud only" offerings, and I didn't feel like doing the work to build my own from scratch.

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #531 on: June 13, 2024, 09:15:44 AM »
Plumbers who were utterly baffled by my heat pump water heater install a while back just sent around a marketing email pushing them, their expertise, the various incentives and rebates they can now handle for you. Love to see it.

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #532 on: June 13, 2024, 01:46:02 PM »
Plumbers who were utterly baffled by my heat pump water heater install a while back just sent around a marketing email pushing them, their expertise, the various incentives and rebates they can now handle for you. Love to see it.


They are not much trickier to set up than any other water heater. Hookup some water, hookup some electricity or gas and bob's your uncle.

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #533 on: June 13, 2024, 02:35:26 PM »
We are all electric now. The natural gas furnace, water heater and fireplace were removed a couple of weeks ago. We have owned an EV since March 2018. 10kW PV system since November 2015. Induction since 2021.

So far so good.

There were warnings about the heat pump hot water tank vs natural gas because of the length of time to refill vs the tank temperature. We have a slightly larger tank as we have 2 adult offspring that still move home for stretches. They don't shower the way they used to when they were in high school. And between working from home and jobs that involve labour, there isn't the demand for 4 showers in less than an hour every weekday morning.

We have never had AC in this house so it will be nice to chill down the upstairs next week when our first heat wave happens.

We had a contractor do the install because it was apparent that all the air handling throughout the house needed a major upgrade. And we needed a building permit because we were doing a fuel switch. Getting all the installation done correctly was way beyond our capacity. We are taking care of patching all the holes in the walls and ceilings.

We have not terminated our Enbridge account. We get a grant through Enbridge after we pass a follow up energy audit. We still have some air sealing and insulating to take care of before that. Once we have the grant refund, then we will close the gas account.   

We might install a small wood burning insert at a later date, but I am going to see how I feel after at least one winter. We don't have as many ice storms as where I grew up, but I still have the irrational fears about extended periods without electricity.

We still have a propane tank BBQ but we rarely use it.

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #534 on: June 13, 2024, 07:58:04 PM »
Plumbers who were utterly baffled by my heat pump water heater install a while back just sent around a marketing email pushing them, their expertise, the various incentives and rebates they can now handle for you. Love to see it.

This is exactly why I say individual choices matter.

It’s not the emissions impact from your individual household. It’s:

-Individual contractors deciding whether to invest in learning new technologies because their customers are demanding it.
-Businesses, landlords, downtowns etc deciding whether to install more EV chargers because people are actually using them.
-Community colleges deciding to invest in teaching heat pumps in their hvac programs and EV chargers in their electrical programs, because employers are demanding those skills.  I consider my father an inspiration on this front, as he started one of the first solar installer programs at a community college.
-Home builders deciding to make net-zero or near-net zero homes an option because customers are demanding them.

Every decision we make as consumers has knock-on effects of what businesses are willing to supply and promote.

NorCal

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #535 on: June 13, 2024, 08:10:37 PM »
Here’s some news from Colorado. The PUC approved an electrification plan to start shifting customers off of the natural gas network.

This is absolutely needed, but it’s also going to be expensive. Gas rates are going up 7% over the next four years to pay for this alone. On top of other increases.

The equation on operating costs for electric vs gas in CO is about to shift dramatically in favor of electric.

https://coloradosun.com/2024/06/12/natural-gas-clean-heat-plan-colorado-xcel/