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Growing concerns - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Growing concerns
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From: hsenag Date: April 12th, 2010 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
You're assuming that the energy costs of pumping gas to your home rather than to the power station are less than the generation/transmission losses for electricity, and also that there isn't any difference in the efficiency of burning the gas at the power station and in the home. I'm sure it's the case (that using gas directly is better) but it does need to be considered.

Also, if you actually care about CO2 emissions rather than energy usage, then the story for electricity becomes rather more complicated.
ultraruby From: ultraruby Date: April 12th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh aye, I make no claim for any of that stuff actually being very correct; it's just something I picked up at school and have sort of stuck to ever since as a rule of thumb.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 12th, 2010 11:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, we do care about CO2 emissions - we've just switched to Ecotricity and we're on their New Energy Plus (100% renewables) tariff. Still locked into British Gas for gas, but we'll change that when we can.

Cooking on a gas hob seems more efficient than electric because you don't have to leave it on for ages before it gets hot enough to do anything, but I'm not claiming that that means it is more efficient in terms of anything except my time/patience. And there are certainly better electric hobs out there than the one we've got.
From: hsenag Date: April 12th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Wind power worries me because it's not always on and we don't have the infrastructure to make effective use of bursty sources of power, so it's unclear how things will work out once it's a substantial portion of our generation mix.

Re the hob, it'd be pretty hard to measure the efficiency difference, especially since the answer will be different in winter to summer (in winter the waste heat has some use since you'd be heating your house anyway).
j4 From: j4 Date: April 12th, 2010 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I wondered how long we'd be on ecotricity before someone told me it was useless/bad/wrong. Three weeks is actually better than I expected.

in winter the waste heat has some use since you'd be heating your house anyway

If I admit that we didn't actually go and turn the heating off whenever we turned the hob on over the winter, that's probably tantamount to admitting to raping polar bears, isn't it?
From: hsenag Date: April 12th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if it is useless or not - I suspect that at worst it's neutral. It just worries me when it's touted as the solution to energy problems (whether fossil fuel exhaustion or CO2 emissions).

If I admit that we didn't actually go and turn the heating off whenever we turned the hob on over the winter, that's probably tantamount to admitting to raping polar bears, isn't it?

Only if you don't have a thermostat to do it for you, which is unlikely :-)
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