Author Topic: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner  (Read 1161 times)

RWD

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#StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« on: December 31, 2021, 08:30:50 PM »
I want to get serious about plans for electrifying our life. The climate is an important issue for my wife and me. I believe the first step as individuals is to stop burning stuff directly. It is not possible for us to just flip a switch for this change so I intend to make all future decisions with this goal in mind. Even though 2030 feels like a long ways away if we were to buy something new that burns gas there's a good chance we would still be using it in 8 years. So best to start working towards this now.

We just sent in the paperwork today to replace our daily driver with an EV. Our fun car we will replace eventually when there is an EV equivalent.

Our house uses natural gas for the furnace, water heater, stove, oven, and fireplace. We don't intend to live here much longer so I don't think it is worthwhile to try and convert these to electric. But I want to insist on 100% electric for our next house purchase (could compromise if we need to rent in the short term). It's possible we will want/have to build our own house to meet our goals. Including solar panels with battery backup would be ideal.

That's about it for stuff we are directly burning today. We already don't own any gas power tools, lawn mower, barbecue grill, or the like. I guess we still have some candles leftover from like a decade ago.

We think about indirect burning sources as well (general carbon footprint) though that is not my intention for the focus of this thread. I also think directly electrifying everything will improve our quality of life too, ignoring planetary benefits.

less4success

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2021, 08:37:16 PM »
I also think directly electrifying everything will improve our quality of life too, ignoring planetary benefits.

We switched our house from an oil furnace to a heat pump, and also switched our lawn mower from gas to electric. Not having to deal with fuel is great!

Midwest_Handlebar

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2022, 01:13:49 PM »
I'm in. Since we bought our house in 2015 I spay foamed the attic ductwork and whole house fan opening (It was creating a chimney effect). Also, finished the basement walls with R-19 and replaced some windows with triple pane. Replaced the 20 year old refrigerator and washer/dryer with efficient versions, and all lighting to LED. Was able to reduce the existing heat pump balance point from 30F to 20F and reduce natural gas usage by 60%, and electric by 20-30% percent. Also reduced gasoline consumption by 75% through COVID work arrangements and a 2017 Chevy Volt this year.

All of these changes have had a positive ROI and save us roughly $2,000 a year. https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/ has been a great resource for me when evaluating potential projects I've looked at in the past.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2022, 01:26:05 PM by Midwest_Handlebar »

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2022, 06:20:03 PM »
If you ignore the ICE car we still have and the grill (wood charcoal), we're already there. We were back in the late 2000s when we took our first house from 1960s furnace+ac to ground sourced heat pump. The new house we turned off the gas service, because ain't no way I'm paying $20 a month to maybe light a gas log in the fireplace.

I don't expect to quit grilling (but I don't do it that much, a half-doz or less times a year). I guess we also expect to continue to have the occasional wood fire in the back yard (x-mas tree trunk + branches that come down), and rarely (but do) burn candles. I do expect the ICE car to go eventually, possibly to college with DS... possibly not. Rust's happening. Probably a ton of life in the ~90k miles honda engine, but the body is suffering the curse of the salt belt.

I don't miss gas. If you think you'll miss gas in the kitchen, get an induction stove. Sooooooo nice. You do get what you pay for though, our new, cheaper model isn't as nice (lower power, cheaper materials, less good UX for controls).

CCCA

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2022, 07:30:28 PM »
I like this. Not sure when itíll get done but Iíve been eyeing heat pumps as we already have solar panels that are producing an excess of what we use.

Maybe in a few years as the various appliances start to wear out. We do want camper van so not sure when that will have electric options but we can certainly get rid of much if our fossil fuels.

One thing I noticed after we got an indoor air purifier and sensor because of all the wild fires in California is that cooking with a gas stove isnít great for indoor air quality. The sensor always gets much worse during dinner prep so switching to induction will hopefully improve the air quality quite a bit.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2022, 03:22:05 AM »
I'm on a gradual mission to end my reliance on mains gas. Split system heat pumps were installed in 2020 to replace a gas wall heater, and I have an induction cooktop ready to go in once I arrange for a plumber and electrician to replace the gas unit.

Water heater is a bit trickier, Resistive units use a lot of electricity and I'm struggling to find a well reviewed heat pump unit that isn't $5000. That and the previous unit was installed in 2017. Once I can find a decent value heat pump unit I'll do it, although the payback period is longer than I expect to be in this place.

I'll keep using the gas BBQ grill but the usage of that is miniscule compared to heating the home or water. An EV is something I'm looking at getting later on, hopefully prices will come down of new ones by then.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2022, 03:23:38 AM by alsoknownasDean »

LD_TAndK

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2022, 02:55:54 PM »
I'm in for this. I came to the realization earlier this week that our next vehicle should be electric, no excuses. Our only car is an efficient sedan with at least 6 years of life left. By that time I doubt we'll be making any sacrifices by buying an EV.

House is already all electric. Yard tools are electric, I use them a ton for volunteer work, so this is actually a big emissions savings, especially when the organization provided gear is all 2-stroke.

I used about 10 lbs of propane on the grill last year. This is the CO2 equivalent of burning less than 2 gallons of gasoline so it is a very low priority.

MrsSpendyPants

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2022, 03:16:53 PM »
If you're switching to all electric, make sure you are using an electric supplier that is using renewable sources.  No reason to switch to electric if your electric generation is coming from coal - that makes it worse than using natural gas.

Midwest_Handlebar

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2022, 07:34:58 PM »
In the majority of instances going all electric produces less CO2 than using natural gas, even if your power is coming from coal. As more and more coal power is being closed this becomes increasingly universal in the US.

Good article outlining the CO2 reductions of all electric houses:
https://www.paloaltoonline.com/blogs/p/2019/10/06/electric-vs-gas-heat-which-wins
« Last Edit: January 02, 2022, 07:46:07 PM by Midwest_Handlebar »

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2022, 07:44:33 PM »
Iím in

Ironically we were further along in our previous, much older house, but have plans to transition away from fossil fuels over the next 18 months
  • air-sealing and adding exterior insulation to home (reduce first!) - ongoing to summer 2022
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  • Replacing oil boiler with hot-water electric heat pump & underfloor heating - spring 2023?

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2022, 09:36:07 PM »
Awesome to see others are enthusiastic about this as well!


I don't miss gas. If you think you'll miss gas in the kitchen, get an induction stove. Sooooooo nice. You do get what you pay for though, our new, cheaper model isn't as nice (lower power, cheaper materials, less good UX for controls).
I definitely want to consider induction for a future stove. Though I'm pretty sure our current cookware would need to be mostly replaced at the same time (they aren't magnetic on the bottom). Which is unfortunate because we spent a lot on it when we got married...

Ironically we were further along in our previous, much older house [...]
Similar story for us. When we bought our first house the year we got married I insisted on an all-electric house because I had bad experiences with gas at my parents' house growing up (e.g. gas line being hit during construction and whole neighborhood being evacuated). The house we ended up with was built in 2006 (we purchased in 2008) to some energy efficiency standard (don't remember what it was called), had heat pump for HVAC, electric hot water tank, convection oven, glass stovetop, etc.. Never had any problems and our electric bills were very reasonable.

When we moved states I compromised because it was so hard to find a house that was all electric in this area. But I've hated everything about the house that is gas powered. Plus even though it's a newer house (built 2012) it doesn't seem to be as well insulated as our previous house. I didn't realize how much I had taken for granted, but we won't make the same mistakes again.

jeninco

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2022, 11:20:52 AM »
I have a question for all y'all. We live in a place where winters sporadically get very cold, and our power goes out ... I'd say "not infrequently": a couple of times/year, typically. (we periodically get heavy winds, and have above-ground power lines.)

For instance, our power went out on Thursday mid-day. The crews were busy with higher-priority areas, but by the time it was restored (a neighbor's tree was all wrapped up in the line, and had taken town a pole and pilled apart the next pole) it was Saturday late evening, and our (reasonably well insulated, compared to our neighborhood) house was down to 48 degrees. Which I think we can agree is pretty cool for indoors. (to be fair, Friday evening and Saturday day were 6F up to 16F).

We were already preparing to meet with an architect to talk about how close we can get the place to net zero (and a few other changes while we're at it), but golly, it was really nice having gas hot water and a gas cooktop while the heat was out. I'm seriously re-considering my thoughts about an induction cooktop in favor of retaining the current gas range. Also, if we put in geothermal heat pump/solar panel system, is there a way to keep it running during the ensolation hours? Or would we need a whole-house battery for that?

Clearly, better insulating the place (and a little better passive design) would help, but when the power is out for multiple days in the winter I'd like not to be freezing our asses off...

YttriumNitrate

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2022, 11:29:51 AM »
We were already preparing to meet with an architect to talk about how close we can get the place to net zero (and a few other changes while we're at it), but golly, it was really nice having gas hot water and a gas cooktop while the heat was out.
Not sure about the water heater, but a backup propane camping stove can be bought for about $30.

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2022, 11:50:34 AM »
I have a question for all y'all. We live in a place where winters sporadically get very cold, and our power goes out ... I'd say "not infrequently": a couple of times/year, typically. (we periodically get heavy winds, and have above-ground power lines.)

For instance, our power went out on Thursday mid-day. The crews were busy with higher-priority areas, but by the time it was restored (a neighbor's tree was all wrapped up in the line, and had taken town a pole and pilled apart the next pole) it was Saturday late evening, and our (reasonably well insulated, compared to our neighborhood) house was down to 48 degrees. Which I think we can agree is pretty cool for indoors. (to be fair, Friday evening and Saturday day were 6F up to 16F).

We were already preparing to meet with an architect to talk about how close we can get the place to net zero (and a few other changes while we're at it), but golly, it was really nice having gas hot water and a gas cooktop while the heat was out. I'm seriously re-considering my thoughts about an induction cooktop in favor of retaining the current gas range. Also, if we put in geothermal heat pump/solar panel system, is there a way to keep it running during the ensolation hours? Or would we need a whole-house battery for that?

Clearly, better insulating the place (and a little better passive design) would help, but when the power is out for multiple days in the winter I'd like not to be freezing our asses off...

The economic answer is that a generator will be the most cost effective solution for occasional power outages lasting up to several days. Itís arguably better environmentally than a large battery backup because those batteries are very energy intensive to produce. And donít forget you can still achieve net zero even with a gas or propane backup so long as you are producing and excess of power elsewhere.

Sizing said generator is another conversation but it can be fairly smart if all you want to power is a fridge, some lights and a stove. Heating/cooling adds substantial load but there are options like only heating one zone.

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2022, 03:24:45 PM »
[...] but golly, it was really nice having gas hot water and a gas cooktop while the heat was out.
Our gas fireplace and hot water heater (tankless) won't work without electricity. Even if the gas fireplace is already on when the power outage starts it will automatically shut off (probably safety reasons?). I haven't tested the stove top but I suspect it might not work either in an outage. Furnace for house heat obviously also needs electricity.

I agree with nereo that a generator is the cost effective option. I personally will be looking into battery backup. Also, a good number of upcoming EVs are supposed to support bi-directional charging which would allow you to power your house during an outage provided you have the right supporting equipment.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 03:30:55 PM by RWD »

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2022, 05:44:40 PM »
I definitely want to consider induction for a future stove. Though I'm pretty sure our current cookware would need to be mostly replaced at the same time (they aren't magnetic on the bottom). Which is unfortunate because we spent a lot on it when we got married...

Royal prestige, by chance? In any case, if your pots are in decent condition... ask them if they'll exchange what you have for an induction capable set. Technically, we stepped down the "quality" ladder (7 ply to 5 ply pots) but we got it swapped for the cost of shipping (before that was obscene) -- and it was new-in-plastic pots, not banged-up returns!

And with induction being better at even heating, I don't much care about stepping down in "quality".

Midwest_Handlebar

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2022, 06:23:27 PM »
I have a question for all y'all. We live in a place where winters sporadically get very cold, and our power goes out ... I'd say "not infrequently": a couple of times/year, typically. (we periodically get heavy winds, and have above-ground power lines.)

For instance, our power went out on Thursday mid-day. The crews were busy with higher-priority areas, but by the time it was restored (a neighbor's tree was all wrapped up in the line, and had taken town a pole and pilled apart the next pole) it was Saturday late evening, and our (reasonably well insulated, compared to our neighborhood) house was down to 48 degrees. Which I think we can agree is pretty cool for indoors. (to be fair, Friday evening and Saturday day were 6F up to 16F).

We were already preparing to meet with an architect to talk about how close we can get the place to net zero (and a few other changes while we're at it), but golly, it was really nice having gas hot water and a gas cooktop while the heat was out. I'm seriously re-considering my thoughts about an induction cooktop in favor of retaining the current gas range. Also, if we put in geothermal heat pump/solar panel system, is there a way to keep it running during the ensolation hours? Or would we need a whole-house battery for that?

Clearly, better insulating the place (and a little better passive design) would help, but when the power is out for multiple days in the winter I'd like not to be freezing our asses off...

I would look into EV inverter kits that would allow you to heat your house from your car's battery in case of a power outage. Something like this: https://evextend.com/

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2022, 07:33:22 PM »
I have a question for all y'all. We live in a place where winters sporadically get very cold, and our power goes out ... I'd say "not infrequently": a couple of times/year, typically. (we periodically get heavy winds, and have above-ground power lines.)

For instance, our power went out on Thursday mid-day. The crews were busy with higher-priority areas, but by the time it was restored (a neighbor's tree was all wrapped up in the line, and had taken town a pole and pilled apart the next pole) it was Saturday late evening, and our (reasonably well insulated, compared to our neighborhood) house was down to 48 degrees. Which I think we can agree is pretty cool for indoors. (to be fair, Friday evening and Saturday day were 6F up to 16F).

We were already preparing to meet with an architect to talk about how close we can get the place to net zero (and a few other changes while we're at it), but golly, it was really nice having gas hot water and a gas cooktop while the heat was out. I'm seriously re-considering my thoughts about an induction cooktop in favor of retaining the current gas range. Also, if we put in geothermal heat pump/solar panel system, is there a way to keep it running during the ensolation hours? Or would we need a whole-house battery for that?

Clearly, better insulating the place (and a little better passive design) would help, but when the power is out for multiple days in the winter I'd like not to be freezing our asses off...

I would look into EV inverter kits that would allow you to heat your house from your car's battery in case of a power outage. Something like this: https://evextend.com/

The question for me always comes back to ďhow long and how muchĒ can you power from your carís battery. 

If itís a ~3 day affair needing heat, hot water and cooking, thatís pushing what an EVís battery can delivery on even mild days. If itís longer (or the nights colder) then the battery will be depleted long before the power is restored, and you are left with a car you canít drive (which is in itself a risk, as power outages often coincide with natural disasters).

Iím not saying one shouldnít take advantage of the large battery in their car to power their home, only that it shoulnít be the only emergency energy source one has on hand.

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2022, 07:40:47 PM »
I definitely want to consider induction for a future stove. Though I'm pretty sure our current cookware would need to be mostly replaced at the same time (they aren't magnetic on the bottom). Which is unfortunate because we spent a lot on it when we got married...

Royal prestige, by chance? In any case, if your pots are in decent condition... ask them if they'll exchange what you have for an induction capable set. Technically, we stepped down the "quality" ladder (7 ply to 5 ply pots) but we got it swapped for the cost of shipping (before that was obscene) -- and it was new-in-plastic pots, not banged-up returns!

And with induction being better at even heating, I don't much care about stepping down in "quality".

Yes, Royal Prestige is what we have (the 9-ply version). They were actually recalled back in 2013 but I never sent them in for repair... Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely have to look into the possibility of exchanging them.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2022, 09:33:08 PM »
Yes, Royal Prestige is what we have (the 9-ply version). They were actually recalled back in 2013 but I never sent them in for repair... Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely have to look into the possibility of exchanging them.

I'm pretty sure 7-ply was top-end at the time we got ours in 2005. It is worth asking, they gave us absolutely no trouble exchanging for induction-capable. I *suspect* that getting our pots back in good condition let them use them as refurbs/replacement for the occasional pot they need to replace on warranty, and that's why they did it, but that's speculation.

That said if they say no, you might be able to craft your own exchange using ebay/criagslist/fb marketplace, selling yours and buying one level down. DW expanded our starter set via ebay back in the day and while it wasn't pennies on the dollar, it was dimes on the dollar with some patience.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 09:35:16 PM by AccidentialMustache »

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2022, 09:35:04 PM »
Yes, Royal Prestige is what we have (the 9-ply version). They were actually recalled back in 2013 but I never sent them in for repair... Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely have to look into the possibility of exchanging them.

I'm pretty sure 7-ply was top-end at the time we got ours in 2005. It is worth asking, they gave us absolutely no trouble exchanging for induction-capable. I *suspect* that getting our pots back in good condition let them use them as refurbs/replacement for the occasional pot they need to replace on warranty, and that's why they did it, but that's speculation.

We got ours in 2007. How did you contact them? E-mail? Phone?

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2022, 09:35:56 PM »
We got ours in 2007. How did you contact them? E-mail? Phone?

DW did it, so I'd guess E-mail. She hates the phone.

Syonyk

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2022, 10:30:34 PM »
...and I'm struggling to find a well reviewed heat pump unit that isn't $5000. That and the previous unit was installed in 2017.

What's wrong with the Rheem units and such?  $1400 or so last I looked, and you can get both a federal tax credit and potentially power company credits for it.  In my area, they can be had after credits for around $700, if you do the install yourself.  Downside is that you may need more venting, and they're not silent.  I'll need to vent our water heater closet door (fun with a saw, I suppose), and probably schedule the thing to only run during the day, because they're noisier than the combustion or resistive type.  That works better with our solar production curves as well, though - no point in reheating morning shower use water with grid power only for solar to kick in hard an hour later.  Of course, that probably means the stupid thing needs an internet connection, which I've no interest in granting random appliances.

As for backup power, a generator and manual transfer switch is the right option.  I tried, very hard, to make integrated battery and backup make sense for my home solar, and even ignoring the fact that the plans review person doesn't like batteries so won't approve them (even for people who do solar for a living), it would have been exceedingly expensive for what capability I gained.

I would look into EV inverter kits that would allow you to heat your house from your car's battery in case of a power outage. Something like this: https://evextend.com/

Careful.  I really don't like that idea unless you've got a PHEV and onsite fuel storage.  First, most of those inverters are only 120V/1500W or so - the DC-DC converter in most EVs won't let you pull more off the 12V system, so you're limited to single phase loads, which will run a fridge or freezer, but probably won't turn a furnace blower (they're typically 240V), and definitely won't heat the house meaningfully.

You also then have the problem of running your EV battery out, and if it's an EV, not a PHEV... then you have a problem if the power remains out.  You can do some cross tie, but a PHEV is a far better option for that sort of use.  Rather off topic for this thread, though.

=============

As far as not burning stuff by 2030, though, I'm certainly not going to get there.  Too many things that run infrequently but are critical for property maintenance run on gas and aren't easily converted to anything else (80 year old tractor), and the frequency of use of a lot of the liquid fuel vehicles just doesn't justify the costs and emissions of replacing them with an electric that won't be used much.  Replacing 15 gallons a year of tractor gas with electric just isn't reasonable at any level, and the same goes for a variety of other things used around the property.  I'll run bio blends for diesel if I can find it in the truck, though that's hard to come by out here, sadly.  But to replace a "1500 mile/yr" truck with an electric at the cost of our house just doesn't make any sense for that use case.  I'm aiming for net negative emissions with solar overproduction and such, but liquid fuels are just too useful to eliminate them for no good reason.

Also, I can't heat my office during an inversion without at least a bit of propane, kerosene, or candles.  I use all of the above depending on demand in there.  I go through a couple gallons of propane a year for winter heat.

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2022, 04:58:58 AM »
We are moving toward removing all delivered fuels, but intend to continue to heat with wood. We scavenge downed wood and are using it as primary heat. I think we can adjust this when we have the oil furnace replaced with a heat pump.

 I hope to get solar panels on the roof and battery backup. We donít have power outages but I have it in my head that the batteries are necessary for a resilient all renewable grid and I want to be part of that.

The induction cook top is further down the list. But likely more accessible than the batteries and rooftop solar panels.

I am not sure about when the car will happen. I have lately been saying as soon as there is an all electric minivan. But if that is today, then I would say I am not quite ready to spend the money for a new vehicle.

And that is the crux of all this for me. How much money are we willing to borrow/take out of savings to achieve this important goal? Is reducing carbon footprint more important than financial independence?

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2022, 05:21:46 AM »

And that is the crux of all this for me. How much money are we willing to borrow/take out of savings to achieve this important goal? Is reducing carbon footprint more important than financial independence?

Weíve had this extensive discussion as well.  Hereís where weíve landed.
For starters, the changes which will have the biggest impact typically didnít involve all that much (if any) capital. Air sealing takes lots of time to chase down leaks (and a free* thermal audit, sponsored by the State).  Choosing to use less (always the first ďRĒ) and drive less and shift towards things with a lower footprint similarity has a negligible cost, but a significant reduction in use.

Larger capital expenses weíve largely planned along end-of-useful-life timelines. Examples: as our cars start to rust out weíve pledged to replace them with PEHV/BEVs (one down, one to goÖ) The oil-fired boiler which came with the house might get replaced ~5 years earlier than we otherwise would with an electric hot-water heat pump coupled to underfloor heating.  Replacement was near - we are just doing it deliberately and a bit sooner. 

Ultiamtely weíve realized lifestyle choices (and changes) actually dovetail very well with this challenge. By not taking airplane-vacations we save more than enough to upgrade our electrical service (a needed first step in electrifying our ~100 year old home). By focusing on using less and buying less we have an even larger surplus of money floating about.

Thankfully, this gauntlet challenge allows a long runway (by 2030!) to. Plan for and replace a lot of your fossil-fuel burning appliances. 

Abe

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2022, 05:34:27 AM »
We are moving toward removing all delivered fuels, but intend to continue to heat with wood. We scavenge downed wood and are using it as primary heat. I think we can adjust this when we have the oil furnace replaced with a heat pump.

 I hope to get solar panels on the roof and battery backup. We donít have power outages but I have it in my head that the batteries are necessary for a resilient all renewable grid and I want to be part of that.

The induction cook top is further down the list. But likely more accessible than the batteries and rooftop solar panels.

I am not sure about when the car will happen. I have lately been saying as soon as there is an all electric minivan. But if that is today, then I would say I am not quite ready to spend the money for a new vehicle.

And that is the crux of all this for me. How much money are we willing to borrow/take out of savings to achieve this important goal? Is reducing carbon footprint more important than financial independence?

I think if you have to ask the last question the answer is probably no.

Regarding solar - thatíll save you money in the long run and you can get a loan to spread out the cost. Batteries I would wait on unless you have a pressing need for backup power, in which case a good generator is much more cost effective and probably less carbon output to build / run than batteries over their lifetimes (different story if itís used regularly).

Car - can probably wait and get a used electric vehicle in a few years when prices settles out.

Cooktop - no strong opinions on this. Again I wouldnít spend that money if itís a concern.


Overall this is a dilemma everywhere - when do we switch? Now and throw away useful, functional equipment? Or wait and mitigate pollution by using everything less, then replace when the current equipment reaches the end of its lifespan. On a societal level, commercial buildings are far more wasteful (by and order or 5-10x, depending on external wall and other factors) than residential housing. Pushing your employer to mitigate this is probably more meaningful and economic than at home.

BikeFanatic

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2022, 07:23:47 AM »
@RWD I too am thinking battery back up instead of generator. However the blower fan I didnít think of that. I was thinking I would only need a smaller battery for refrigerator a couple lights and the electric ignition for the furnace and stove. if you look into it further I would be interested in a thread on that.

I loose power a couple to a few times a year due to high winds and frequent storms.  In spring summer fall you can survive indefinitely but in winter many people will either shut the water off at the mains or run a generator during a power failure. It is such a pain for myself but power is crucial for my elderly mother. Maybe get her a generator.

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2022, 08:19:08 AM »
@RWD I too am thinking battery back up instead of generator. However the blower fan I didnít think of that. I was thinking I would only need a smaller battery for refrigerator a couple lights and the electric ignition for the furnace and stove. if you look into it further I would be interested in a thread on that.

I loose power a couple to a few times a year due to high winds and frequent storms.  In spring summer fall you can survive indefinitely but in winter many people will either shut the water off at the mains or run a generator during a power failure. It is such a pain for myself but power is crucial for my elderly mother. Maybe get her a generator.
I came across an excellent comparison table. Unfortunately it's an Australian site so not all options are available in the US (and I assume prices are AUD, not USD). Link:
https://www.solarquotes.com.au/battery-storage/comparison-table/

There's also a site that has been doing extensive battery testing, reports here: https://batterytestcentre.com.au/reports/

One option that appears to be available in the US that is not on either of those pages is Fortress Power. They offer LFP batteries which tend to be good value and very safe. Looks like ~$7k for 10kWh?
https://www.fortresspower.com/how-to-calculate-the-energy-cost-of-different-battery-chemistries/

Edit: it appears Fortress Power's 10kWh version is discontinued but they have a 5.4 kWh version now for about half the price (you can stack them if you need more).
https://www.fortresspower.com/products/eflex-5-4kwh-lifepo-battery/
https://thepowerstore.com/fortress-power-lithium-iron-phosphate-battery-eflex-5.4kwh-sku-part-number-eflex-5.4.html
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 08:32:44 AM by RWD »

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2022, 08:36:27 AM »
Thankfully, this gauntlet challenge allows a long runway (by 2030!) to. Plan for and replace a lot of your fossil-fuel burning appliances.
Yes, my idea here was to not just go and replace everything at once regardless of whether it makes sense. But to choose the electric option whenever possible going forward. Because anything we buy between now and 2030 is likely to last past 2030.

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2022, 01:39:14 PM »
I didn't notice the long runway.  I think 2030 aligns more closely with what we are planning except we haven't considered no grilling or wood stove burning.  I sometimes hope for my furnace to fail so that I can replace it with a heat pump.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2022, 06:20:22 PM »
We are moving toward removing all delivered fuels, but intend to continue to heat with wood. We scavenge downed wood and are using it as primary heat. I think we can adjust this when we have the oil furnace replaced with a heat pump.

Honestly you might be better off with non-renewable gas. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51581817

nereo

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2022, 05:14:07 AM »
We are moving toward removing all delivered fuels, but intend to continue to heat with wood. We scavenge downed wood and are using it as primary heat. I think we can adjust this when we have the oil furnace replaced with a heat pump.

Honestly you might be better off with non-renewable gas. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51581817

It depends on what you problems you are looking to address.  The primary concern in that article you linked is burning of wet firewood, and (while not specifically addressed in the article) in stoves that lack modern particulate control (catalytic converters or filters).  Both can be largely addressed with a properly maintained modern stove and using wood dried to the appropriate moisture content.

Also, there are two issues being conflated - particulate air quality and release of sequestered CO2 and other greenhouse gases. If your primary concern is local air quality then it makes sense to limit wood burning, and in particular burning of wet wood. But if you are trying to mitigate global climate change it makes zero sense to replace these fuels with fossil fuels.

Car Jack

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2022, 01:32:40 PM »
I want to get serious about plans for electrifying our life. The climate is an important issue for my wife and me. I believe the first step as individuals is to stop burning stuff directly. It is not possible for us to just flip a switch for this change so I intend to make all future decisions with this goal in mind. Even though 2030 feels like a long ways away if we were to buy something new that burns gas there's a good chance we would still be using it in 8 years. So best to start working towards this now.

We just sent in the paperwork today to replace our daily driver with an EV. Our fun car we will replace eventually when there is an EV equivalent.

Our house uses natural gas for the furnace, water heater, stove, oven, and fireplace. We don't intend to live here much longer so I don't think it is worthwhile to try and convert these to electric. But I want to insist on 100% electric for our next house purchase (could compromise if we need to rent in the short term). It's possible we will want/have to build our own house to meet our goals. Including solar panels with battery backup would be ideal.

That's about it for stuff we are directly burning today. We already don't own any gas power tools, lawn mower, barbecue grill, or the like. I guess we still have some candles leftover from like a decade ago.

We think about indirect burning sources as well (general carbon footprint) though that is not my intention for the focus of this thread. I also think directly electrifying everything will improve our quality of life too, ignoring planetary benefits.


It's great to be changing to become cleaner.  I get that you're looking also to do things for yourself.  I looked and Mississippi generates electric 16% from coal and 80% from natural gas.  (I don't know what makes up the other 4%).  So I guess I'd be off looking at papers to tell me the emissions of a car vs that from natural gas power plants.  Regarding heating, moving from natural gas to electric is really moving from natural gas to less efficient natural gas and some coal.  Don't forget that transmission of electricity has losses, so an in home gas heater uses less than a power plant turning natural gas into electricity, then transmitting it to you to make heat.

Every region is different.  I'm in New England where electric is almost all natural gas.  Some nuclear.  But we have strangled pipelines coming from the fracking areas providing cheap natural gas, so our cost is double to triple where most of the country is.  It's why a Tesla costs more to run than my Subaru Crosstrek.  I'll add that I also get gas discounts all the time, so it sort of blows Tesla out of the water cost wise.  Our electric rates are in line with California and Hawaii so electric heat here is way too expensive to consider.  We do have oil backup. 

I'll likely be booted out of the thread but right now, I'm sitting in about 74 degree heat coming from our wood furnace.  Today, it's all oak being burned.  I forest manage my property and produce my own wood, so the cost of my equipment is real but I never pay for wood.  The wood furnace is from 1982 so no cat converter or anything....just wood being turned into heat and the heat is blown through our normal ducts.

Sorry.

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2022, 01:43:07 PM »
We are moving toward removing all delivered fuels, but intend to continue to heat with wood. We scavenge downed wood and are using it as primary heat. I think we can adjust this when we have the oil furnace replaced with a heat pump.

Honestly you might be better off with non-renewable gas. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51581817

It depends on what you problems you are looking to address.  The primary concern in that article you linked is burning of wet firewood, and (while not specifically addressed in the article) in stoves that lack modern particulate control (catalytic converters or filters).  Both can be largely addressed with a properly maintained modern stove and using wood dried to the appropriate moisture content.

Also, there are two issues being conflated - particulate air quality and release of sequestered CO2 and other greenhouse gases. If your primary concern is local air quality then it makes sense to limit wood burning, and in particular burning of wet wood. But if you are trying to mitigate global climate change it makes zero sense to replace these fuels with fossil fuels.

I do finally have a wood moisture meter and am sure that our wood has the correct moisture content.  PM 2.5 is not a concern in my community or the places where our air goes to next.

I have considered wood to be carbon neutral, but am aware that if I didn't burn the wood, its carbon would remain sequestered until the tree died and even then much of the carbon would remain in the soil as it took years for the tree to decompose.  I may not be releasing millenia old carbon into the atmosphere, but the tree is fixing less carbon if I cut it down and burn it, so I may get to a point where my goals align with those of this thread and stop burning altogether. 

RWD

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2022, 06:02:37 PM »
I looked and Mississippi generates electric 16% from coal and 80% from natural gas.  (I don't know what makes up the other 4%).
There's a solar farm being built to serve our area. But that isn't really relevant because I intend to leave Mississippi at the earliest possible opportunity.

Regarding heating, moving from natural gas to electric is really moving from natural gas to less efficient natural gas and some coal.  Don't forget that transmission of electricity has losses, so an in home gas heater uses less than a power plant turning natural gas into electricity, then transmitting it to you to make heat.
This is not true unless you're using resistive heating. A heat pump can move more heat energy than the electricity used to power it. From what I've read this is more than enough to overcome transmission losses/overhead.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coefficient_of_performance

I'll likely be booted out of the thread but right now, I'm sitting in about 74 degree heat coming from our wood furnace.  Today, it's all oak being burned.  I forest manage my property and produce my own wood, so the cost of my equipment is real but I never pay for wood.  The wood furnace is from 1982 so no cat converter or anything....just wood being turned into heat and the heat is blown through our normal ducts.

Sorry.
I don't expect everyone to be able (or willing) to pursue this goal. No need to boot you either, it's good to have multiple perspectives.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2022, 09:53:28 PM »
It's great to be changing to become cleaner.  I get that you're looking also to do things for yourself.  I looked and Mississippi generates electric 16% from coal and 80% from natural gas.  (I don't know what makes up the other 4%).  So I guess I'd be off looking at papers to tell me the emissions of a car vs that from natural gas power plants.

The general summary I've seen is that even when studies look at coal-heavy places (WV, China), EVs still win vs ICE in terms of carbon. One thing to realize is that a coal plant can be more thermally efficient than a car. The other is that it is easier/cheaper to pollution control a stationary plant than a moving vehicle.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2022, 10:10:17 PM »
Every region is different.  I'm in New England where electric is almost all natural gas.  Some nuclear.  But we have strangled pipelines coming from the fracking areas providing cheap natural gas, so our cost is double to triple where most of the country is.  It's why a Tesla costs more to run than my Subaru Crosstrek.  I'll add that I also get gas discounts all the time, so it sort of blows Tesla out of the water cost wise.  Our electric rates are in line with California and Hawaii so electric heat here is way too expensive to consider.  We do have oil backup. 

You didn't mention what your rate is, but https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state/ suggests to me that your rates can at most be double and nowhere near triple (that's reserved for HI). Your crosstrek has similar/lower MPG to my honda fit and I can tell you in my less-efficient-than-a-tesla-EV, it costs about a third what the fit does in terms of fuel over the spring/summer/fall. With power twice mine (I'm near national average), and a winter range penalty, I might hit the point where the cost is equal. Barely.

You may want to check your math. FWIW, my math is budget tracking to add up what we paid for gas over 3 years divided by mileage -- $0.10/mile for our fit in the flat midwest. $0.10/kwh is a decent estimate of the marginal electrical rate (I have power for the house anyway, so the EV doesn't "add" to my basic connection fee, etc) we use to charge the EV, and EVs get between 2 and 4 miles/kwh depending on conditions and which EV. So that's 5c to 2.5c per mile.

Rusted Rose

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #37 on: Today at 07:49:49 AM »
I'll throw in that if people are concerned about mitigating the release of sequestered carbon (as we should be), consider supporting processes that reverse it as well: regenerative agriculture.

I mean the real kind, with full participation of animals--which belong on the land (especially land that can't be used for crops for any of several reasons). We need complete ecosystems for this to work properly.

This nearly 10-year-old book with a really badly chosen title (probably the publisher's fault because hey, it usually is) gives a nicely detailed account of how this all operates. It goes beyond cows, but they're the most practical choice for their part of the system. I'd prefer a higher ratio of bison in this country. Anyway this book is really more about soil and how to restore its health, which is crucial and not being widely enough considered.

https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/cows-save-the-planet/

dandarc

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #38 on: Today at 08:28:47 AM »
Sounds like a plan. Our current on-site burners, in rough order of replacement:

Water Heater
1 gas car
HVAC

2030 seems like a reasonable goal.

AerynLee

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Re: #StopBurningStuff by 2030 or sooner
« Reply #39 on: Today at 08:50:35 AM »
We've actually made a lot of progress on this in the last two years. We bought a Leaf in 2020 (to replace a 2008 Mazda with 160k miles) so we're down to one ICE car. When that one is ready to be replaced (currently 12 years old with 182k miles and runs like a dream) I will most likely get a PHEV. At the end of 2020 we moved from a house with NG heat and water heater to a house that had propane heat but was otherwise electric. Since the furnace and ac were both ~20 years old and having issues (the heat literally went out the day we closed) we went ahead and put in a geothermal HVAC system this year so now it's a fully electric house.

We are working on insulating and air sealing, but it will be slow going as we figure out what we're doing. We had R60 blown into the peak attic and spray foam put in under the eaves in the knee-wall attics last summer. We don't have insulation in the walls but to do that would mean either cutting holes in the original wood siding or in the plaster inside so that's on hold, possibly indefinitely. All the windows are original and we plan on refinishing them and replacing any cracked and broken panes (which should be more ecofriendly overall), but I have to learn how to do that first. And there are a lot of them.

Our last place was a townhome where the HOA did all the lawn maintenance so we had no equipment. We're buying things as they come up and always choosing electric. We have a farm house with a little bit of land so we now have an electric riding mower, push mower, chain saw, pole saw, and log splitter.

We do have fires in our fireplace now, but not a ton (we're not using it as a source of heat) and we are getting the wood from one of DH's coworkers who has extra

I'd love to get solar panels at some point, but the only way they would be feasible now would be to cut down a bunch of trees or put free standing ones in the yard (which DH has vetoed). We may build a detached garage/workshop in the future and if so we'd make sure it was well situated to put solar panels on it.