What about the loss of energy when transmitting through electrical
cables? Vs. gas which I don't believe looses mcuh energy in its
I once went on a tour of a natural gas pumping station. The gas
pressure in the pipeline varied during the year, between 500 PSI and
2000 PSI. I was told the pumping station, which used a big natural gas
fired engine to run compressors to do the pumping, used 11% of the gas
it pumped. So much for cheap transmission costs.
Nuclear is not high cost, nor is it rising particularly fast, certainly
nowhere near the increase we have seen in oil and natural gas the last
couple years. The overall cost of nuclear is about the same as coal.
Here in NJ, the owners of Oyster Creek are desperately trying to get
that nuke relicensed for another 20 years because it is a very cost
effective way of generating electricity. That is also why France gets
over half of it's electricity from nuclear power.
As for changing to electric for a range and heat, in most of the
country, that would be foolish. Electric heat is generally the most
expensive way of heating. As for a range, the amount of energy
difference is not going to make that big of a difference to make it
worthwhile. I'd be very surprised if electric was cheaper than gas.
Personally, I prefer a gas range and an electric oven for the way they
perform, not the price.
Nuclear MUST at some point pay the cost for old fuel disposal. this
legacy cost and the cost to rebuild existing nuclear plants which are
nearing the end of their design life.plus coal fired plants and the
environmental controls needed
all of this and the increasing cost of gas and oil is going to drive
electric csts skyward
The cost for DECOMMISSIONING a nuke is built-into the utility's rates. This
cost was originally determined when the unit was built.
I suspect, however, they gave little thought to spent fuel disposal. So far,
most of it still resides at the station - at the bottom of a tank of boron.
It will "soon" be transported to Yucca Mountain for <ahem> permanent disposal
But Joseph, I've already been doing that. I would hate to think how
much higher my last bill ($275) would have been had I not conserved. I
even have the programmable thermostat. Considering gas has already
doubled in cost and electric has slightly increased, what do you think
next year will be like ?
Electric vs gas prices vary greatly around the world and within
different countries. I did not check the facts locally, but I believe they
both went up about an equal % this year. The difference is the electric
went much as predicted the gas went up less than predicted. Your mileage
Perhaps consider an alternative heating method. For example several
years ago I had a wood burning fireplace insert installed. Using a
programmable thermostat my gas fired hot air heating system assures that
the house never goes below a defined comfortable temperature. When I
get home from work a few logs will quickly boost the interior temp to
comfy levels. Then at bedtime adding a few logs and setting the damper
provides sufficient heating to where the furnace doesn't kick in until
morning. Many times enough heat to last well into the morning.
Of course a side benefit is not being locked into a single fuel heating
If you're in SW Georgia, and you're not living in some 1/2 acre house,
then you've got some more conserving to do.
I live in a 100+ yr old 3BR farmhouse in upstate NY & my utilities
only run about $300 a month. I have an oil furnace, a propane space
heater, stove, dryer & water heater. We keep the house at 70
during the day- set back to 65 at night.
Our electricity has gone from 12 to 16cents a KWh. Oil from $1.99 to
$2.40, and LP from $2.20 to $2.45. [hardly doubled-- but the media is
still screaming about soaring utility costs---- we've had such a mild
winter my costs are just about where they were last year at this
Note that my electric has gone up the most-- and it has done that in
the past 2 months as my gas & oil have been going down.
The only way to figure out if switching would be feasible-- at current
rates- is to have your suppliers run the numbers. And there are no
guarantees that next year won't be just the opposite.
What are you paying for gas and electricity per unit?
In another message about heat pumps, I spoke of the importance of
improving the thermal performance of your home. Insulation and air
sealing are perhaps your best protection against rising energy costs
and, as an added bonus, both can help make your home more comfortable.
Some improvements, such as replacing windows and doors or the
installation of a new heating system are difficult to justify unless
these products are nearing the end of their useful life or their
performance is so woefully deficient that an early change out makes
sense. Other measures, such as caulking and weather stripping,
plastic window kits, low flow shower heads or additional attic
insulation can be done at modest cost and typically by the homeowner
himself. A no cost option with a big payback: washing laundry in cold
Through a whole series of upgrades (including new windows and doors
and new heating system), I reduced my home's energy consumption by
over eighty per cent. In some cases, the economic payback couldn't be
justified based on the energy savings alone, but there were other good
reasons to go ahead and do the work. Sometimes, it was the simple
satisfaction of eliminating waste and inefficiency wherever they may
be, and knowing that each of us can make a positive impact, no matter
how small. Whatever the motivator, there are any number of steps you
can take to control of your energy costs.
And for those contemplating a switchover from gas to electric, how
about using portable electric heaters to offset some of your gas
consumption? This eliminates the risk and expense of replacing your
existing gas furnance and provides you with the flexibility of easily
switching fuels based on their current price. Oil filled electric
heaters are relatively inexpensive and probably the safest to use.
Then, after one or two power bills, you'll be in a better position to
decide if electric heat is truly the smarter choice.
I installed a dual fuel oven with my remodel. Gas burners on top,
electric convection oven, best of both worlds.
Real nice unit, much more efficient than the old one, hardly gets hot on
the outside, good insulation and seals.
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