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Old 01-24-2008, 01:23 PM
 
11,962 posts, read 7,025,800 times
Reputation: 2772
Default freedom isn't 'free'

Thanks for your take on living with free gas, but I'd like to point out some flaws in your thinking. You're right, it isn't free, but that's also why the gas company built a right of way road, put the gas line in, and from time to time will have to do maintenence on it that might inconvenience you. They incur a considerable cost paying skilled labor to man those machines, so I trust they won't be dawdling on the job at hand.
Property without it's mineral rights conveyed means that someone, somewhere along the line, took a check from someone else. If you had a beef with that, perhaps you shouldn't have bought a property without it's own mineral rights. The gas company also did not decide where your home would be positioned in relation to the gas lines. That was a decision made entirely by the surface owner. The plausable explaination, if you weren't involved in the decision, is that the original owner didn't want to incur the expense of extending the piping connections and the right of way road for the builders. The 200ft minimum is what the builders were required to abide, and that's what they did.
Would you resent a farmer charging you 50 cents for a cucumber when it cost him 15 cents to produce it? His cost of living also had to be built into deciding the price of 50 cents. It's business. Everyone's gotta eat. We're all free to grow our own if we have the skill and the time.

There was something you forgot to mention to the original blog poster. What happens when that well runs dry? Are they responsible to remove their equipment, or do they fill them in with cement and cap them off? Do they reassign the mineral rights back to you, or is it equivalent to abandoned mineral rights (leave you alone forever, but technically they still own under surface).

Responding to davids statement that gas is an expensive way to heat a home-'free' is also electrically generated by wind/solar/hydro power. No matter what, an expense will occur to build the infrastructure, and in the case of this resident, (s)he traded off some privacy and rights for the priviledge of free gas. Windmills for example, will cost some upfront, but looking at it as independantly locking in your utility prices for 20 yrs, the logic starts adding up.
Perhaps the better way to measure the most economical way to heat and cool is the efficiency of the machinery that generates it, architectural design (ex. passive solar, R values) and the method of delivery (ex. forced air, radiator, baseboard, or subfloor). Energy efficiency denied in an equation, no form of heating/cooling would be ideal. Prices of non renewable energy are always subject to the whims of politics and the marketplace. Not too long ago, LPG was much cheaper than oil. I'd be very interested in hearing what info made you decide gas was the more costly method.

Federal gov't has great info at dept of energy (DOE) website. I encourage all to check out the 'free' brainpower our tax dollars have purchased. Read it and use the info, it was an investment in enabling homeowners to control operating costs. Ignore it, and it was a waste of time & money. You decide.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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I looked at windmills...the cheapest was $48,000 with an installation fee of $20,000.
In the end I thought a $2400 back-up electric generator hooked up to the gas well would be the solution...it has been. We can't count on the electric provider (Allegheny) togive us the great service we enjoyed in the past.
Tree hugger laws will not let them trim back the trees from the minor right of ways. Now,the trees fall on the wires
regularly and disturb the service. The last storm left us without power for 5 days and telephone was not restored
for 10 days...all a person could hear was the constant hum of the generators...It was a community bonding experience.
I laugh at the idiocy of saving the trees as if they contained a spiritual entity...
West Virginia is 95% trees, we could let a few go on the power line right-of-ways...no one stops the clearcuts on the strip mines.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
2,379 posts, read 4,184,382 times
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Few people realize that many of our state parks (Blackwater, Canaan Valley, Watoga) were clear cut less than 100 years ago. Nature (and the CCC boys) brought back our forests. Keeping rights-of-way clear just makes sense.

I agree, DK, windmills (small-scale) aren't the answer yet. Solar, both passive and active, is closer to being economically viable, but location is critical. Put your house on the wrong side of the hollow and the roof will never see the sun.

Years ago ('70s, back in the first "Energy Crisis"), I remember reading, I think it was in Mother Earth News, that with the right kind of tree, you only need 2-3 acres to have a sustainable yield of enough logs to easily heat a 2K sf house.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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locust...will burn without seasoning
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,102 posts, read 6,793,016 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harborlady View Post
Thanks for your take on living with free gas, but I'd like to point out some flaws in your thinking. You're right, it isn't free, but that's also why the gas company built a right of way road, put the gas line in, and from time to time will have to do maintenence on it that might inconvenience you. They incur a considerable cost paying skilled labor to man those machines, so I trust they won't be dawdling on the job at hand.
Unfortunately a lot of the mineral rights were conveyed 'way back when' without concern for drilling or mining rights restricted to a defined right of way. In a lot of cases the mineral rights were granted in absentia of the property owner, so in reality (back then) they could care a less when, where or how they did things.

Fast forward to 2 or 3 generations and now you have property that has been subdivided, homes or homesteads established, and the new property owners have no mineral rights nor do they have free gas, as a lot of the original contracts were limited in scope to the original tract owner. However- the mineral rights do convey to whomever subsequently owns those rights, so drilling could commence, technically anywhere feasible, without much, if any, recourse due to the new owner

It is a caveat emptor to the new property owner who fails to catch these little errors with respects to the title.

I ran into something similar in Doddridge County recently. My family and I have relocated from Martinsburg to Clarksburg and during my home search I went to look at a house on 20 acres (which was being subdivided from a larger 100 acre tract). The original cut stone 4 square house was all 'free gas', but the sellers were going to re-route the gas to the remaining 60 acre tract and heat their new cabin with the 'free gas'. They cannot, by means of the terms of the mineral rights conveyance, allow the original home on the new subdivided tract to have access to the free gas. If I were to buy the house and 20 acres, I would have to pay for propane. Conversely, the new 20 acre parcel, even though peeled from the original 100, is still bound to allow the owner of the mineral rights complete access to their assets.

Not a particularly great deal in my book. Itís not all roses when it comes to someone wanting to extract their assets and your butt happens to be sitting on top of it, lol.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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It should be the duty of the attorney doing the title search to inform the buyers as to what they own..
Now that every Tom, Dick and Harry, every banker in the business with 2 yrs or less and many realtors wanting to get in on the closing costs have no idea what is involved in service.

One of the new hidden costs is the $20 donation to Habitat for Humanity.

Every seller of any land parcel in West Virginia pays this illegal element of extortion.
I'm waiting for some wise guy from California to take this through the courts and win a few million.
Giving to a charity is voluntary...a state tax for/to a private company is truely in the West Virginia vein of the 1890's and fits in with stealing from land owners.

I wonder what will be next...Red Cross, Salvation Army? They are certainly worthy and If I was an officer in those corporations, I would be finding out why one guy gets the dough and I don't. they build houses for the poor, right...well ,the others feed the poor and take care of them when the house has been flooded.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
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Since this thread was started in Jult 07 I wonder if RooHoo purchased the place...or any other for that matter??
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:18 AM
 
11,962 posts, read 7,025,800 times
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Default rural electrification

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kennedy View Post
I looked at windmills...the cheapest was $48,000 with an installation fee of $20,000.
In the end I thought a $2400 back-up electric generator hooked up to the gas well would be the solution...it has been. We can't count on the electric provider (Allegheny) togive us the great service we enjoyed in the past.
Tree hugger laws will not let them trim back the trees from the minor right of ways. Now,the trees fall on the wires
regularly and disturb the service. The last storm left us without power for 5 days and telephone was not restored
for 10 days...all a person could hear was the constant hum of the generators...It was a community bonding experience.
I laugh at the idiocy of saving the trees as if they contained a spiritual entity...
West Virginia is 95% trees, we could let a few go on the power line right-of-ways...no one stops the clearcuts on the strip mines.
2.4k on demand solution seems fairly sensible to me considering WHEN you'd need it. Not sure what the pricetag on the gas is, or why health and safety of a community are overridden due to conservation laws. Not sensible IMO, only encourages people to do worse things because their needs aren't being met TODAY.

as for windpower:
build it yourself
(ready made kit for 1.8k available at this site)
http://www.scoraigwind.com/
parts/ accessories/advice for the DIY's
http://www.windstuffnow.com/main/
custom build through experimentation (car alternators from a junkyard)
http://dragonflypower.com/DragonBlerb.htm

buy pre made high end turbines w/accessories included (I've only listed american companies, 10k/grid tie)
27.9k http://www.bergey.com/
39.6k http://www.abundantre.com/ARE_Wind_Turbines.htm
25.9k http://www.windturbine.net/products.htm

try as I may, I could not find the 48k model.

local store in phillipi carries solar, wind and water power products, prices unknown
http://www.westvirginiasolar.com/

just the turbine, no accessories
5.4k low wind/3.7/240v home use http://store.altenergystore.com/Wind...t-Phase/p5995/

2.1k 1000w/220VAC
http://store.altenergystore.com/Wind...-output/p1454/

free standing, ready made w/accessories, 20 min installation, from canada, not grid tie set up
1.1k http://www.vpturbines.com/html/products.html (broken link)
There is no indication I can find that stepping multiple units up in series isn't possible. Increasing the size of an inverter should allow it. I could be wrong though.

low wind producing 500kw per month on average, complete with accessories. new mexico company, just needs mounting onto a pole.
9.7k http://www.affordable-solar.com/swwp...dgenerator.htm

please notice the disparity between 1.1k and 68k. Middle men, high end salaries, marketing... what else? On my other computer packed away for my move I had links to a company pricing out my custom hybrid (1 solar/1 wind/1 water unit, feeding into inverter) grid tie for about 23k complete, DIY install but customer support provided. If it's not raining, its blowing, or its sunny- i kept the investment spread out to cover extremes. grid tie will allow me to break even or get a very modest check back from allegheny power. Non grid tie is cheaper.

install yourself if that fee bugs you. I think it's excessive too. Instead of pricey towers, I think utilizing a drafty ridge & private hire someone with a welding torch is a better plan. maybe a well rooted tree on my own property could be turned into a utility pole by removing the limbs? If you're in a valley, wind won't work for all intents and purposes.

The more you willfully fight nature, the more it will cost in dollars, longevity and sweat. Snorpus is wrong, small scale is yielding better nowadays, especially when appliances are updated, requiring less energy to run them. Snorpus is right, solar by itself won't work as well in WV, even if you had wide open fields growing shade loving crops underneath. WV has more cloudy days than not. Precipitation runnoff in backyard streams is a more likely candidate via hydropower accessable to the everyday joe.
Buddies at brookhaven national lab tell me it takes a 25ft drop for water to generate power for an entire modern home. Lots of slopes in WV....power goes out in bad weather.... hmmmmm....
http://www.firemountainsolar.com/microhydro.html
http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:River_Energy
rural electrification in vietnam
http://vitranetnetwork.en.ec21.com/product_detail.jsp?group_id=GC01698406&product_id= CA01698407&product_nm=Pico_Hydro_Generators (broken link)
http://www.powerpal.com/

as for tree hugging, too bad WV lawyers can't serve the termites with a court injunction or a tax, scofflaw green hating freeloaders they are! lol

All physical things have a natural shelf life. Respect for nature (the ground you're standing on, and who is feeding you), behaving more intelligently through choices that pay attention to ramifications long term, and limiting what we reasonably consume is just a healthier way to be. Tree huggers are well meaning but create situations where an entire forrest would be a tinderbox. Industrialists see the price of everything and the value of nothing, kinda like termites. How much is sulfur free air worth to you?
If it's only about heat, woodburning stoves make waaay too much sense in WV, it's the practical use of abundant resources if you're replanting in the spring behind what you cut down in winter. Let them argue the minutia over renewable definitions, I ain't freezing. Most of the properties I've seen have pretty mantels with boarded over hearths.
I like the wood pellet stove- allows you to keep the heat going without having to babysit, 81% efficiency vs woodstove 60%. Hopper size decides how frequently you have to replenish, and is fed by an auger type set up. Corn burning stoves work the same, only with corn, which might mean the bushel you buy is competing with inflated prices from ethanol production. Breckwell is making a hybrid that will burn on either, and WV is manufacturing pellets locally (hamer & lingnetics).
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:13 AM
 
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I needed 10kw to completely power the house....l
ot of people use corn here, #2, and #3, but they bought it from farmers in the eastern panhandle in bulk...eliminating the middle man....getting too expensive and a lot of them are going back to wood pellets.
Corn is a very good burner...up in smoke and not used for food. The U.N. is getting concerned about something for a change...depriving the 3rd world of food while we bun up our grain in our stoves and vehicles.
What a joke on humanity...a very cruel one.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
2,379 posts, read 4,184,382 times
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That's my complaint about biodiesel and E85... turning our food supply into vehicle fuel isn't a very smart solution. I'm starting to hear about switch grass instead, but I haven't seen any energy balance figures for it yet.

As a backup system, the cost of the gas is almost irrelevant, since you'd only be using it a few days (we hope). I heat with oil, so I always thought that if I got a backup generator I'd get a diesel, so I could use the same fuel.
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