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Old 01-08-2008, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,485 posts, read 14,286,680 times
Reputation: 8906

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Old 01-08-2008, 07:55 PM
 
17,158 posts, read 22,167,733 times
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the last time i was at a gym(fitness center) all these treadmills, elipticals, and sit down bike machines were lined up and in use, you would think,,there would be a way to harness some of these turning wheels and expended energies into a converter ,,then maybe a battery of some type for energy storage,,,,im no alternative energy expert but im hearing much about different types of batteries for energy storage. take this same ,,work-out to energy concept, for home usage also, if someone could design a system from one of those work-out bikes to energy storage,,what cleaner energy source could there be??? they say 60% of americans are overweight, this would be quite the incentive for a work-out/exercise, also, businesses could be putting gyms in the workplace, and maybe someday ,,pay thier employees to work-out to reduce energy costs..
i know a half hr wouldnt produce alot,,but it may be a starting point,,
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 10,929,364 times
Reputation: 1853
Get thin while saving money......now that would be quite contradictory to the diet fad marketing of today! I like it!!
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,443,266 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coaster View Post
Oil already has traded at $100 briefly twice since the first of the year, although it hasn't closed above $100 yet. Several specialty grades already trade above $100 on a regular basis. So $100 oil is sort of a foregone conclusion for me.

Whether it stays there as the country slips into recession this year remains to be seen, since a recession in the US will have the effect of reducing oil demand -- or at least reducing the increase in oil demand -- worldwide. It all depends on if demand drops faster than the supply of oil is dropping -- and it is dropping, make no mistake. Right now July 2005 looks like the peak month for global oil production.

The comments about the future of heating with oil are right on. (Says the guy who is getting another three cords of wood delivered this evening.) We all should be looking for alternatives in home heating, transport, and lifestyle. Conservation is vital. We can live on less; Europe's per capita energy consumption is half that of the US, and they live a pretty good life.

Maine does produce a surplus of electricity right now, but that is largely generated from natural gas imported from the Sable Island gas field off Nova Scotia. That field is in decline now, but the balance is supposed to be picked up with LNG imported through St. John, NB. The sources of LNG aren't nearly as secure as we would like them to be.

The bottom line is that we are facing major changes over the next ten years in the way we heat, the way we eat, the way we travel.

Acadianlion, it appears you've given some serious thought to all this. Do you follow any of the peak-oil discussion boards at all?

No, chiefly because of a lack of time. I am following closely the process of oil importation and transportation...primarily as an investor. But considering that we are planning to build a new house which will probably be the last house that we will own, I am reading as much as possible about conservation, and alternative energy sources as possible. There are many alternatives, but many people who discuss them make what I consider to be a mistake by thinking in terms of, "if I make this INVESTMENT in this KIND of energy, what will my "pay back" be? When do I see a return on that "investment"?"

I think that is wrong think. It seems to me that the real question is how much increase in oil costs can people withstand before they need to make catastrophic changes to their lifestyles?

If oil is now $3.49 per gallon and goes to $4 per gallon next fall, will that have a major impact on anyone's lifestyle? Maybe not, but when coupled with $4.50/gallon regular gasoline, and an aging SUV that gets 16 miles per gallon, most people in this state who are dependent upon such things, ARE going to need assistance or radically reduce their living standard.

There is NO magic bullet. We do NOT have the oil reserves to make up the difference, and sooner or later the flow of easy and cheap oil from the Middle East is going to contract severely. This is not a problem for our children and grandchildren to solve. It is a problem that we have made uncountably worse by amateurish political manipulations around the world as a nation, and by assuming that outmoded industrial and social models can continue forever because we are who we are. General Motors has begun to find out that that simply doesn't work, and the United States will follow suit, but it is a process that is needed right now.

I see the new school in Ellsworth may be heated by geothermal heat pump. Very bright planning, indeed. I hope that this project gets approved.

But Maine needs to do more to support the use of alternative energy sources, expanding the existing programs is but a feeble start. Net metering should be expanded so that utilities don't just "own" excess electrical generation at the end of the year, but actually pay for it. That would encourage more use of solar arrays around the state.

The technology is there and developing rapidly, and we cannot wait for it to be perfected to push the envelope and get it widely used.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17565
Quote:
Originally Posted by damyankee View Post
...
I'm a fan of nukes and hydro.
So am I.

I have spent many years living within 100 yards of live nuc plants. So I have seen them operate without hick-up, and they can be very cheap.

On the other hand our media goes crazy, and politicians change their requirements. My father worked wiring the San Luis Obispo plant, every month the powers that be would change the plans, they spent more time pulling out wiring then they did re-installing wiring. Ten years of wiring and re-wiring, until they finally passed the laws to not allow the plant to start-up. A huge waste of effort. Because the press and politicians got into the works.

Today we have no new nuc power plants being built, and we are dis-assembling the old ones.

We have no new hydro plants being built and we are dis-assembling the old ones for better salmon habitat.
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 10,929,364 times
Reputation: 1853
Has anyone priced a new oil contract over the last couple of months? I'm referring to the 10 month type that some of you have established. What's the contract price now? Will the contracts be lower in the summer if we were to start a new one then?
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,815 posts, read 4,267,470 times
Reputation: 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcarim View Post
Has anyone priced a new oil contract over the last couple of months? I'm referring to the 10 month type that some of you have established. What's the contract price now? Will the contracts be lower in the summer if we were to start a new one then?
I don't believe you can buy one today. The oil dealers buy their own contracts in the summer and then mark them up a bit to stay in business and re-sell them to the public. What the price will be next summer is anyone's guess.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,485 posts, read 14,286,680 times
Reputation: 8906
All homes should have an alternate heat source. In my opinion they should have one that works with no electricity. A pellet stove requires electricity. They are very efficient. However, the supply of pellets is uncertain and there are frequent shortages. Yesterday, Maine's governor said the state was going to start using pellet stoves. That will be a further drain on pellet supply. Until the industry ramps up production with new capacity you want to be sure you have enough pellets to make it through the winter before you buy one.

I recommend a good wood stove. Learn to use it correctly and you'll never have a problem. Our fire department gives away chimney cleaning compound to put in your wood stove. It pays. It keeps us off roofs at 2 AM. Been there. Done that. Didn't like it. I became a volunteer fireman in September 1957. Yes, over 50 years ago. Still at it. Most of the firemen in our department have my hair color, snow white. I'm so old - I forget.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,054 posts, read 10,929,364 times
Reputation: 1853
I've spent the last few days going over our spending. I already know the approximate cost of living difference we are expecting when we move. I've pinpointed the areas where we will save (taxes and housing cost) and where we will spend more (utilities and fuel). And then there are our recreational expenses - namely, dining out. OMG! I had no idea we were THAT bad! Someone is going to need to teach me to cook all those fabulous Maine seafood dishes I crave so much so that we can afford to live there.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Teton Valley Idaho
7,395 posts, read 11,508,869 times
Reputation: 5403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcarim View Post
I've spent the last few days going over our spending. I already know the approximate cost of living difference we are expecting when we move. I've pinpointed the areas where we will save (taxes and housing cost) and where we will spend more (utilities and fuel). And then there are our recreational expenses - namely, dining out. OMG! I had no idea we were THAT bad! Someone is going to need to teach me to cook all those fabulous Maine seafood dishes I crave so much so that we can afford to live there.
My area of Maine you don't see families dining out all the time. First, it's too expensive, and second, there's not a lot of places to choose from! We have some nice places, but I don't think most of us down here think about going out to dinner more than once or twice a week--at most

now El, we just got oil today....so I'm going to tell you what's on the slip of paper that Mr Oilman stuck in the door....

today we got 63 gallons of oil (1/10)
12/26 we got 98 gallons of oil (that was when someone played with the thermostat and it was so hot in here!)
12/06 was 65 gallons
11/19 was 64 gallons

I'm locked in at $2.67 per gallon, I don't know what the current price is, sorry! I have a remaining 782 gallons of my contract. At this rate I don't see how we'll use it. We've barely used the propane fireplace too. I'm thinking we may not have had to pay for propane since we had the insert installed--the credit in our account has always paid for it. Remember though too, we have a new boiler this year, and our estimated usage was for our old boiler. Next year (meaning Fall) we'll start with a more accurate contract also, remember our house is huge, so a smaller house would heat differently


oh, and I don't have digital thermostats....I know I should, but I haven't picked them up yet. That would also save us money if we had them.

Last edited by mollysmiles; 01-10-2008 at 04:30 PM.. Reason: thermostats :)
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