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Old 12-18-2013, 08:05 PM
 
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Telegraph | Before we could enjoy the winter break, with those delicious worries over balancing family, friends, presents, food and finances, the energy companies played unfair by unwrapping a price hike that sent the average household energy bill over £1,300.
So why didn’t the Government provide some New Year cheer by clamping down on an industry which overcharges us users by an estimated £3.7bn a year? Instead it crumbled under the bullying from the energy companies – who refuse to honour their promise to cut the number of the draft-ridden homes.

Who are the biggest gainers from our remaining a nation which leaks money from every domestic orifice? It is of course the energy companies, who are more than happy to keep selling us something we continue to waste. Unlike Germany, which aims to reduce its energy use dramatically, we are planning for wasteful growth. We are accepting a future of hard-earned incomes being eaten up by energy bills, as even more people fall into fuel poverty and thousands of elderly people continue to needlessly live and die in cold homes.

Asked if the big six were right to blame the “green levies” for the latest price hike, our Mayor of London, Boris Johnson retorted: “I think they are right”. He clearly hadn’t considered that cutting the Energy Company Obligation means his own home insulation ambitions for London are now unlikely to be met. Londoners will go cold thanks to an incompetent mayor.

The other side of this debate is energy supply and the looming energy crisis. Our unhealthy addiction and dependence on imported gas, added to the lack of commitment and coherency towards developing solar/wind/wave/tidal sourced renewable energy, is taking us ever further from long-term energy security. Germany already generates over a quarter of its electricity from wind and solar and this is set to increase substantially. Recently on a windy day here in the UK, 17 per cent of our energy needs came from wind turbines. However, a fundamental difference between the UK and Germany is the Germans' commitment to renewables coupled with high levels of public support.

This is because more than half of the renewable energy generated is locally owned so that local people benefit from lower bills. Not here. Rather than planning ahead with logic and efficiency, and a touch of fear about the onrush of climate change, we have to put up with an Anglo-Saxon laissez faire approach that is content for our leaky homes (the worst in Europe) to remain unfixed.

The German model provides an alternative vision to the Government’s and Mayor of London’s push for nuclear and fracking, both of which offer few benefits but pose a nightmare of environmental challenges that future generations will have to mop up. Merry Christmas everyone.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:28 PM
 
39,466 posts, read 40,770,461 times
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Quick! jump on the bandwagon!

Quote:
High Costs and Errors of German Transition to Renewable Energy - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Altmaier and others are on a mission to help people save money on their electricity bills, because they're about to receive some bad news. The government predicts that the renewable energy surcharge added to every consumer's electricity bill will increase from 5.3 cents today to between 6.2 and 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour -- a 20-percent price hike.

German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. But because the government is failing to get the costs of its new energy policy under control, rising prices are already on the horizon. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany, and one of the country's most important future-oriented projects is acutely at risk.

.........

For society as a whole, the costs have reached levels comparable only to the euro-zone bailouts. This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants -- electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion. Even the figure of €20 billion is disputable if you include all the unintended costs and collateral damage associated with the project. Solar panels and wind turbines at times generate huge amounts of electricity, and sometimes none at all. Depending on the weather and the time of day, the country can face absurd states of energy surplus or deficit.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:56 PM
 
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Sorry to interrupt your rant but here is an easy solution.

Put a fan in one open window blowing out, with a piece of cardboard fitted beside it. Close all the other windows in the house, if it is very drafty you may have to close a door and start one room at a time. Go around all the trimwork and doors, even in the walls in the middle of the house and caulk the cracks where you feel the air rushing in. Here in the US there is expandable spray foam for the bigger holes and cracks.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,614,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Sorry to interrupt your rant but here is an easy solution.

Put a fan in one open window blowing out, with a piece of cardboard fitted beside it. Close all the other windows in the house, if it is very drafty you may have to close a door and start one room at a time. Go around all the trimwork and doors, even in the walls in the middle of the house and caulk the cracks where you feel the air rushing in. Here in the US there is expandable spray foam for the bigger holes and cracks.
Yes, that's a good technique, and the smoke from a smoldering stick of incense is a great "tell tale" to help one find those leaks, because it will blow around in the tiniest of drafts.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:39 PM
 
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Using my technique you don't need incense. The drafts feel like gale force winds to bare skin. (OK I exaggerate) You will know the house is depressurized when you feel your ears pop. If not, it is too drafty and you will need to seal one room at a time.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,614,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Using my technique you don't need incense. The drafts feel like gale force winds to bare skin. (OK I exaggerate) You will know the house is depressurized when you feel your ears pop. If not, it is too drafty and you will need to seal one room at a time.
Speak for yourself. For the traditional single wall construction long used here in Hawai'i, especially with interior walls that do not go to the ceiling, or homes with open floor plans, having a "witness" is very helpful.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:19 PM
 
Location: earth?
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Is a "draughty" home one where it hasn't rained inside for a long time?

Did you mean "drafty?"
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:25 AM
 
Location: The Woods
16,950 posts, read 22,263,271 times
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A drafty home will waste energy, but an excessively airtight home will have indoor air quality issues that are a health threat.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:31 AM
 
Location: DC
6,525 posts, read 6,456,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
A drafty home will waste energy, but an excessively airtight home will have indoor air quality issues that are a health threat.
most drafty houses are old houses that have long since stopped outgassing. If one is concerned, there are exchangers that introduce fresh air without losing inside energy.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
most drafty houses are old houses that have long since stopped outgassing. If one is concerned, there are exchangers that introduce fresh air without losing inside energy.
Indoor air pollutants would include many other things than what is coming from the home itself. As I've pointed out numerous times the increase we have seen in asthma cases has coincided with more energy efficient homes. Insulation, tyvek, caulking around windows etc. These things all produce a more energy efficient home but also trap indoor air pollutants. You also have a change from the traditional hydronic heating to cheaper ducted heating, ducted heating can harbor and easily move around indoor air pollutants. Last but not least people spend a great deal more time in their homes than they used too.
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