Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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jima
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by jima » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:08 pm

btenny wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:10 pm
OP. I suggest you buy a nice beer cooler and or a nice wine chiller to go with your electric fireplace. They both store beverages that you should drink in front of that nice fireplace. And they run 24/7 to keep you stuff cool. So it should solve your power usage problem.
I like the way you think... :sharebeer

I've already got the second fridge and a smaller wine cooler, but may be time for an upgrade. Or a kegerator. :idea: 8-)

Longtermgrowth
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Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by Longtermgrowth » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:59 pm

I would probably replace some rarely used floodlights on a few sides of the house with 500 watt security lights, making sure not to overload any circuits, and use them during the months I didn't need the heat inside from the suggested electric heaters.

1000 watts burned for 10 hours a day adds 300kWh of use in 30 days.

Dehumidifiers draw a lot of power, could also run one of those during the months the heat/ac isn't needed. Keeping indoor humidity around 45% helps with dust mites, mold spores, etc. My 70 pint dehumidifier draws over 700 watts.

aristotelian
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Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by aristotelian » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:30 pm

There are various computer programs you can download to use your idle computer power to crunch data for large scale scientific research. I know searching for aliens is one application.

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telemark
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by telemark » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:45 am

aristotelian wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:30 pm
There are various computer programs you can download to use your idle computer power to crunch data for large scale scientific research. I know searching for aliens is one application.
Quite a long list actually. See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_d ... g_projects

Valuethinker
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Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:09 pm

Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:13 am
Our electric utility is always trying to convince us to buy less of their product by suggesting that we get rid of wonderful conveniences that make life more enjoyable.

Perhaps you could add a second (and/or third) refrigerator... maybe in the garage, rec room, etc.
https://lucept.files.wordpress.com/2014 ... -light.pdf

https://lucept.com/2014/11/04/william-n ... -of-light/

William Nordhaus won the Nobel Prize in economics this year.

The paper is an absolute classic and shows how the cost of 1 candlelight of light has fallen over the last 800 years.

And the paper is out of date. Because LED lights have come in, offering roughly 5-10% of the cost of 1 unit of light from an incandescent bulb since that paper was written (1998) - and less than 50% of the cost of light from those early CFLs.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38650976

It doesn't matter what we *consume* in terms of inputs it matters what *services* we get out of that consumption.

Thus US fridges got steadily worse from the 1930s (when only c. 10% of households had a fridge) to the early 1980s. A fridge built then (my mother has one) burns c. 2,000 kwhr pa.

A modern fridge, on average larger, burns c. 500-600 kwhr pa. It still provides fridge & freezer services, but at roughly 1/4 the cost in energy.

(My fridge is European, a Bosch, and is rated at 300 kwhr pa - my house is small by US standards, about 1500 sqf ).

Most people don't realize that the old "beer fridge", 25 years old, sitting out in the garage or rec room is actually consuming more energy than their main fridge. Every so often someone posts here about how they replaced a pre 1992 fridge, and noticed their electricity bill dropped c. $10 pcm.

For me, it was switching out 25 or so halogen lightbulbs from kitchens and bathrooms, replacing with LEDs - cost me about £500 (USD 700 at the time).. Electricity consumption dropped 15-20% -- I could not identify any other reason for it so doing.

I built a Net Present Value model to do it and convinced myself it was a positive NPV action ;-). Payback was over 5 years at the time (my electricity then was about USD 18 cents/ kwrh, it's now about 26 cents/ kwhr).

hightower
Posts: 523
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:28 am

Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by hightower » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:19 pm

Wow, only in Texas would people be rewarded to waste electricity when they don't need it. Unbelievable. So much for the free market being good for the people. Perfect example of how big corporate interests cause harm to the greater good in the name of maximizing profits. Ridiculous :oops:

hightower
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Re: Consuming Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by hightower » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:22 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:59 am
fru-gal wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:58 am
So much for the environment.
A bit of good news.

Texas is the number one or number two state for wind power. By capacity installed and kwhr generated although I'd have to search for latest numbers (By percentage CA would be higher also some small states).

On the fossil fuel side it's much more gas than coal. Cheap gas has led to closure of coal fired stations.

ERCOT (electricity reliability council of Texas) was by design grid isolated from other States. That is changing however.
When they are 100% sustainable, you can call it good news. But, to be burning extra fossil fuel? There's no way that can be considered good for the environment.

hightower
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Re: Consuming Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by hightower » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:28 pm

btenny wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:20 pm
The real issue is people do not understand electricity nor care about the giant machine needed to give them light and power. The US power grid is probably the largest system in the world. And physics controls electricity and requires the power company to balance the electric generated so that it exactly equals the electric load for the power network to be stable. This means the power companies turn on and speed up and slow down generators and ship power around the state as needed to make the supply equal the load. And the Texas utilities spend huge sums to buy big natural gas or coal power generators they only use during summer for about 4-5 months. Then the plants set idle all winter while they still have to pay to maintain them and they still have capital costs to own them. So they are working on ways to get customers help them to "balance the load" and spread the costs over 12 months.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_bala ... cal_power)

These issues on power grid management and balancing are very large and difficult and all wound around customers wanting solar and wind technologies while turning off coal plants. There are lots of good books and studies about how electric power evolved to it's present state and how to move forward. It is a very complex problem with lots of issues. Many smart young people are going to make big $$ improving the system and adding the necessary controls.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o ... ansmission
http://theconversation.com/the-old-dirt ... g-go-68290
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/modern ... nergy-grid
Exactly. They want to keep their coal plants running year round (so they are profitable), so they are incentivizing people to burn more electricity. This is the epitome of stupid when we're facing a global crisis due to climate change. What they should be doing is investing their profits in battery technology to help store the excess solar and wind power that consumers are demanding/generating. Eventually that's where we need to be...100% sustainably generated electricity with enough battery storage to handle seasonal and daily fluctuations in load.

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Re: Wasting Electricity for Fun and Profit

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:40 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (derailed). See: Personal Consumer Issues
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