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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Electrify Everything

    Local news had a feature on a man who has had his natural gas disconnected. They had a photo of him next to the cut off stubs of his gas lines coming out of the house. I believe he is still on the electrical grid, so is not technically off grid, but has solar panels, plus we can opt for wind power from our public service as some sort of paper shuffle exercise. He replaced his hot water heater and all appliances with electric. I did not catch in the article how he handles home heating. His comment about cost was, it wasn't cheap. Maybe some trend I'd not been aware of, but an interesting concept. Basically a fossil fuel free home, although there are probably some sort of equipment life cycle environmental costs.

    It might be a bit of an ordeal for most homeowners, but I could see it in some new developments.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I am so ambivalent about the push for all-electric. Industrial solar and wind has its own environmental issues. I've attached a picture here that points out the mining that is required for all kinds of resources for electric cars. Electric does not necessarily equal green or sustainable.

    If the end of fossil fuels is the goal, then electricity might be a better alternative. The answer, of course, is reduced consumption overall, but there's a snowball's chance in hell that that's happening, which is the discouraging thing.

    In VT demand for electricity is going to probably exceed capacity within a few years. That's because of all of these "green" technologies.

    electric-cars.jpg
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    There are a lot of proposals in states/municipalities to legally require all new buildings to be all electric, they move slowly though. They should just do it already.

    I am experimenting with moving some cooking to electric, I am getting an induction burner. That's an experiment, we will see how that goes. And no it won't work with every pan though you can get a disk for that. But anyway, I was thinking of getting an electric tea kettle anyway, and that is far more versatile and not particularly expensive, so I just went with it.

    I already heat with electric but it's not that cold here. I can't move entirely off gas at this place as it's used for water heating, cold showers and baths are just a bridge too far. There are though definitely some apartments where it is possible to not have a personal gas bill at all, because the water heater is shared, so one could get a few electric appliances (an induction burner and a good convection toaster oven, could add an instapot but that's not required) and move off and cancel that bill entirely. I also lived in an all electric apartment for awhile, it was great (but did I think used shared water heaters and maybe shared gas laundry. But central heat, the stove etc. were all electric and the cost included in one's personal electric bill). I'm quite sure I did save money not having a gas bill (not that rent was particularly cheap there but ha). If not living in a rental, of course a fully electric stove would make sense and other electric appliances for laundry etc..

    Obviously electricity can also burn fossil fuels, and that's a large project to convert the grid to non-fossil fuels and should be done. That needs to be done by governments not individuals. I do buy the green power in the hope it encourages it. I see it like this: electricity is preferable because it can in theory not use fossil fuels, so if that becomes more of the grid, it's good to go. Natural gas or oil will always use (in fact of course be) a fossil fuel. The natural gas companies here are also relentlessly corrupt. Another point made about natural gas is that whenever it is used it creates pollutants in the air. So it creates indoor air pollution, less gas use equals less indoor air pollution from that.
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  4. #4
    Yppej
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    We already have blackout and brownouts. The grid can't support this.

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    I mean if that's really a case of the electric grid not being maintained one can dance around it, oh if only I make sure to buy an gas stove the unmaintained grid won't fail today, but really one needs infrastructure investment to maintain the grid and while increased electricity use may put increased demands on it, it needs maintaining anyway (in some cases it is on private companies to maintain the grid and they didn't, such as PG&E).

    And meanwhile natural gas (aka methane) which is the only alternative to electricity here has plenty of problems, like massive gas leaks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliso_Canyon_gas_leak
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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    ANM, I'm with you. I'm not saying I prefer fossil fuels--it's just that switching to other sources of industrial power is a feel good measure to rip the bandaid off slowly. And, because the the 8 billion people on the planet want stuff, we can't expect that energy consumption in total is going to diminish. It will take different forms, exploit different natural resources, but I can't say the situation is going to improve until we reach a tipping point of global respect for the earth.

    The people on this forum are not the people I'm talking about. We are the "simple livers." Unfortunately, there aren't enough of us.
    Last edited by catherine; 7-10-22 at 9:08am.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Unfortunately, there aren't enough of us.
    My basic thought is that most people can talk green and do the feel good things, but are counting on technology to preserve their consumptive lifestyle, as in Bill Gate's and Al Gore's mansions. That's the basic starting reality, although I agree with everything you say.

    I can guess that part of any success comes with more buildings having their own solar to supplement the grid electric, which could help with and over taxed electric grid. The article actually mentions that it's the gas infrastructure in the north east is old and insufficient for the future. There are some downsides the article mentions.

    https://www.cpr.org/2022/07/08/color...l-gas-cutoffs/

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    My sil was heavily involved in a fight against a new gas pipeline (they lost). He decided that he could not continue to use the gas that came with his home and fight the line, so they had the gas cut and capped and bought an induction stove. Everything else in the house had already been switched to electric. Including his car. He pays to be part of the paper shuffle, which he realizes is a paper shuffle “until enough people opt in to use all of the available alternative energy”

    He was also concerned that apparently gas stoves contribute to indoor air pollution and he is doing as much as he can to create a healthy home and planet for my dgs.
    What have you done today to make the world a better place?

  9. #9
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    As I've mentioned repeatedly, I hate natural gas, so I was happy to read that California is phasing it out in new buildings. It's a start.

  10. #10
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    I now have an electric stove and wish I had gas. If the electricity goes out, as it often does in the winter here in the north ... you can't use the stove. We have electric heat in one room that we never use because it is too expensive to heat with electricity here. YLMV

    BTW...DH just got an electric lawnmower and loves it.

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