Finding home architects that specialize in energy efficient homes?

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On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 14:11:14 -0500, 3D Peruna

Actually, $10,000 grid hookups are hardly rare. Even a 5 acre parcel with power to the property line can be expensive to connect. Some utilities are generous with their existing ratepayers' money and charge peanuts for new installs. Others expect the new customer to foot the entire bill, which is a startling concept for the cradle-to-grave types. Most people don't have a clue about how much the builder or developer originally paid for their installation. But even of those needing expensive hookups, most will opt for the grid regardless. The tipping point might be $5k in some areas, $50k in others.
Not too far from me is a development of 40 acre parcels that's 150 square miles, and the grid is some miles from the edge. Property owners there would get a chuckle out of claims that off-grid power is "extraordinary". Such developments aren't rare either, there are a lot of them here in AZ. Except when new homes are clustered (which would be contrary to the concept), average wire requirement for each building sites might be 1/2 mile *if* they were all developed at the same time. But they won't be, so the earliest builders will need as much as 30, and in the best case some of the later ones might average 3. There's seldom an opportunity for more than a couple of owners to even share costs. So in these areas its the grid that's rare now, and it probably always will be.
Wayne
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Electricity in the US Virgin Islands is expensive that I'm going solar/wind when I finally build. To tie into the grid, and it would be a max of 3 poles, would cost a minimum of $3,000. First pole is free, and each additional pole is $1,500.
Now to add that my lot in not on the water but I do have a view of the Caribbean.
With the cost of electricity I estimate that my system will pay for itself in about 10 years.
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And there's no need to listen to the people who tell you that "pay for itself" is the only criteria.
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Don wrote:

It's hardly semantics. You're wrong.

Lousy example. Try $3500 for a collector, $1000 for the blanket (hmmm - I got one for free), $3500 for a heater (probably much less, because you won't need such a large heater), and MUCH less than $300/month for fuel. This is _exactly_ a case where solar pays for itself. It should pay for itself in two years, at most. Frankly, I think you're wusses if you think a Florida pool needs heating in the winter, but I swim in June in Nova Scotia. Nobody needs 80F to swim - my 77 year old mother swims a mile a day, and prefers the temperature under 75.

The "lives"? Your pool is a life-changing experience? You need to get one.
--
derek

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3D Peruna > wrote:

I would go for the vast conspiracy. The oil companies have too much to lose.
--
Night_Seer

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Energy is too cheap, so solar takes a back burner. Another oil crisis will focus the mind more. The global warming scare has focused on solar again, although not enough - Germany has done well here. The emphasis appears to be not to reduce energy consumption, but to generate it cleaner.

I agree, and all have been viable to some degree. Vested interest is the big killer of any emerging technology. One has taken off, distributed power generation using Stirling engine boilers in the home. The New Zealand company Whispergen who developed Stirling engine cogen units has teamed up with Powergen and Gledhill in the UK to produce a commercial workable system. http://www.whispergen.co.uk
Gledhill provide a thermal store dedicated to cogen units like the Whispergen. In the UK cogen is referred to as Combined Heat & Power (CHP and now micro CHP, mCHP). The Gledhill thermal store, the mCHP, which also has its own management system that brings in the Whispergen when necessasary optimising efficient usage, provides instant heating of incoming cold mains water and hydronic heating, run directly off the thermal store.
The Whispergen just heats the thermal store all in one long efficient burn. The DHW uses the stored hot water to instantly heat the incoming cold water and provide heat for the radiators. When the thermal store is near depleted the Whispergen is called in for a full re-heat. Any surplus electricity generated by the Whispergen is fed back into the grid. It doesn't provide continuous electricity generation, so not suitable for full off-the-grid application yet.
http://www.gledhill.net/water-storage/ws-index.htm Look at Innovations on the menu. This takes you to the thermal store.
http://www.gledhill.net/water-storage/news/article14-mchp.htm A press release that gives you the total system.
They omit the word "engine" from any marketing. The term mCHP, or boiler, is used. Getting people to put an "engine" inside their homes will be difficult.
They predict that 30% of all homes will have cogen units in 15 years time. This lines up with government papers I have read on the topic..
The peak time for DHW and heating usage lines up with peak electricity usage. So all these homes feeding the grid, or not extracting from the grid what they normally would, will reduce the need for extra power infrastructure. With all the wind farms, onshore and offshore, being erected and gradual introduction of mCHP, it may mean no new power stations.
The emissions will be less as overall as there are fewer line losses, as much power is being generated locally by the houses in the area."
Also: (Cogen) mCHP, An announcement to produce another unit - joint Dutch, US, Japanese project
http://www.enatec.com/indexUK.htm
Also: http://www.microgen.com/main2.swf

Look at the computer industry. If those brains and effort went into finding cheaper energy and clean propulsion units we would be paying a few pennies a year to fully heat and cool a house.
BUT! The computer industry was expanding like mad, and old players like IBM were being eclipsed by the new companies and their young brains thinking out of the box, who met demand.
The auto, oil and energy industries are settled with no rejuvenation like in the computer industry of 20-25 years ago. They want change like they want a hole in the head and they will resist will all their might.
General Motors star John DeLorean wrote in an infamous 19-page memo on the eve of his departure, "In no instance, to my knowledge, has GM ever sold a car that was substantially more pollution-free than the law demanded - even when we had the technology" "Our corporation has lost credibility with the public and the government because each new emissions standard has been greeted by our management's immediate cries of 'impossible,' 'prohibitively expensive,' 'not economically responsible' - usually before we even know what is involved." It is clear they don't want to move unless smacked with a sledge hammer.
The only thing that will change them is legislation driven by cleaner air and emissions reductions. There is some public awareness that wants change, but even in "green" attitude California, Large pickups, SUVs and other such nonsense is still the norm.

Could be in the short term with repertory problems.
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No conspiracy, simply economics. Oil, gas and coal are simply too cheap per BTU. As the cost continues to rise, you will see more alternative methods come online as they are able to compete in the marketplace

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The Saudis are much smarter than you. They won't let their mealticket get priced out of the mass market
The "spending power" cost of a BTU of fossil fuel hasn't changed so very much since 1974. That's why we still have plenty of SUV's.
If people wanted to stop being couch potatos, they'd be doing the sort of stuff Nicksan posts about on weekends, instead of grooming lawns.
But they *don't* want to stop being couch potatos. Look at Nick's sigs, his advertisements. He's learned to stop trying to give religion to people, Instead he offers "fun", and "end the war". Hope it works for him.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com writes

This may be so, but it doesn't mean their reserves are infinite !
Cheers, J/.
--
John Beardmore

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John Beardmore wrote:

In any case, if they were selling a million barrels for $40/bbl and end up only selling 500,000 barrels for $80, then their profit goes up by the cost of producing 500,000 barrels. They'll keep making their profit no matter what the cost goes to - when we have cheaper _energy_ alternatives, we'll still need to create plastics.
--
derek

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Derek Broughton wrote:

That actually isn't entirely true. As the oil becomes depleted, it becomes costlier to extract it from the ground.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

LOL. You're right. Their profit goes up by the cost of producing 1,000,000 barrels at the old cost, minus the cost of producing 500,000 at the current cost.
--
derek

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Derek Broughton wrote:

There's a theory...with some evidence to suggest it is true, that oil isn't the result of rotting dinosaurs and plants, but created in the earth. If this theory is true, then there is an unlimited supply of the stuff...
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3D Peruna > wrote: ...

It's not a widely accepted theory and there isn't much credible evidence to suggest it's true. I wouldn't place any heavy bets on the unlimited supply idea.
Anthony
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Anthony Matonak wrote:

Spoilsport...
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The United States has already seen first hand that our oil reserves aren't unlimited. Production in our country peaked in the early 1970's and has been declining ever since.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Is it production or availability?
It seems to me, from my limited study of the industry is that our production capacity has been hampered and limited by endless regulation. As a result, we can't make any more and the refineries that are working are at full capacity. Our production is the result of the industry not building additional refineries, not because they don't have the oil to refine.
As for the state of our reserves...why spend the money to get it when you could have it for almost free (when oil was $10/barrel)? Of course todays economics might give reason to start getting the oil we have.
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Don wrote:

The purchaser is the payee, the seller the recipient. Those are long-term contracts for future delivery that are traded and the

Have nothing whatsoever to do w/ it...it's an open market and again, those are futures contracts being traded, not (directly) oil purchases. No different than pork bellies on the Chicago Mercantile exchange.

Same as when retail was $1/gal -- the federal excise taxes haven't changed and they're on a per gal basis, not on the retail price.
...
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True.....but the &$%*$(#% states that charge a sales tax on gasoline (like here in Michigan) are taking in a winfall from the cost increase.

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Don wrote:

All the major and minor oil companies as well as a myriad of individual speculators on both sides...
All the major and minor players in the oil industry as well as a

A) When the options expire or are excercised B) Ever watch the news?
Are you at all familiar w/ the mechanics of commodities trading?
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