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Old 11-26-03, 12:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Orillia, ON
Age: 46
Posts: 460
I am also in support of removing the rate cap. It is ludicrous to pay less than the actual cost of electricity as we have been doing, and it does nothing to encourage conservation.

According to what I was watching on the news tonight though, this won't happen until the spring, and the average household shouldn't see a major difference at first as the price is only going up to 4.7 cents per kWh.

As for using less-

Heat tape and UTHs are definitely way more efficient than bulbs. Sure, some baskers need bulbs, but for those that don't, a lot of heat simply rises up from the bulb and is wasted.

Compact fluorescents- fabulous. Can't say enough good things about them. Switch every bulb you can.

Plastic on the windows is great. Use the heat-shrink kind, not just regular plastic sheeting. Even better, replace the windows with triple-glazed low E. Expensive, but worth it if you'll be there for the long term. Triple-glazed adds more R value and also virtually eliminates condensation around the edges which is important in a humid herp room.

Don't heat with electricity... Our herp room (in fact, the whole house including the hot water) is heated with wood. The only electricity used is for a small circulation pump and fans. So far we have been able to get enough wood from a local hardwood floor mill (kiln dried oak offcuts, can't beat it) for free, so we haven't even had to cut any from our own property. Obviously this wouldn't work for everyone, but it works great for us. We figure we're saving ~$6000 per year over using the natural gas heating system to heat this crazy place...

Increase your insulation wherever possible.

Use a programmable thermostat to automatically reduce the temperature when possible.

Hang your laundry instead of using a clothes dryer. Given the typically dry winter air, this will also help to humidify the air. Also, use a front loading washing machine.

Unplug all of the little battery adapters/chargers/etc. that you can, or put them on switchable power bars and turn the switch off when not in use. All of these things with little transformers in them use power even when the actual device is not connected or turned on. Although a small thing individually, many houses have quite a few of these things and they do add up.

Just a few thoughts,

Jeff Hathaway
Sciensational Sssnakes!!
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Old 11-26-03, 02:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Ontario Canada
Age: 56
Posts: 1,485
Use Wood Jeff??? How ecological is that?
Surely you're not suggesting that most city people
could, would or should even consider that.
I actually converted my fireplace to natural gas.
I suspect there is already enough demand on dwindling timber stocks for other uses, than to start burning trees for the heating of domestic dwellings, not to mention the air pollution that would cause.
I think we best leave that for cottagers
with land that needs clearing

Maybe I'll get a load of coal
Uncle Roy
Herpetology - more than a hobby
It's a Lifestyle
celebrating 26 years of herp breeding

Last edited by Stockwell; 11-26-03 at 02:21 AM..
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Old 11-26-03, 02:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan-2003
Posts: 1,036
Go FLURO or GO HOME.....good show Cory I started using the fluro's last year....I saved enough to by a normal Ball really flyro is the way to go for saving money/electricity
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Old 11-28-03, 08:28 AM   #19 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Orillia, ON
Age: 46
Posts: 460
Hey Roy,

No, I'm not suggesting that everyone use wood! It is impractical at best for many. However, there is a lot of 'waste' wood out there that is basically free heat with no demand on timber stocks. Using it also means it won't take up space in a landfill site! The challenge is accessing it in an efficient manner, but if you can make it work, it is great. I picked up ~400 kg of kiln dried oak yesterday, loaded by forklift in a single bundle onto my trailer. I got a similar bundle on Tuesday, and I'm going back for another today. Now that represents about 2 weeks of heat for our place, give or take 3-4 days depending on a few variables, but then we have a huge place to heat! That might last half the winter for some places.

Modern high efficiency wood stoves burn the wood very cleanly, and I think such a stove burning kiln dried wood would not produce much by way of emissions. More than natural gas? Likely. But when you consider how electricity is generated, it would beat electricity for sure. And, given the costs, economically and environmentally, of gas pipeline construction, operation, and maintenance, I think wood wouldn't be that bad in a full comparision. Plus, burning wood is carbon neutral- no carbon being removed from the ground and released into the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, our wood furnace is NOT high efficiency! I have since learned about some inherent design flaws that all of them have. I am researching some improvements, however, and may be able to almost double the combustion efficiency if I'm willing to do a bit of welding and void my warranty!

We also get to burn the non-recycleable 'soiled' newspapers from our animal cages, as well as the aspen and cypress mulches (though these often go into the compost). Again, less landfill!

So overall, I think we're on the plus side on the ecological scale. Not to mention, we can heat the whole place by running one solenoid valve, 2 1/25th HP pumps, and 3 fans (house, herp room, classroom). Not much draw on a generator in the event of a power outage, and eventually I can run off photovoltaic. Like I said, though, not practical for everyone, but it does work exceedingly well for our situation.

Congrats on switching your fireplace- regular fireplaces are virtually useless, and extremely inefficient at best, for heating a house.

Jeff Hathaway
Sciensational Sssnakes!!
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Old 11-28-03, 11:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Unfortunetly our herp room and rat room are upstairs and that section of the house is electric heat, shrink wrapped windows in the herp room are a must (helps keep in humidity) and instead of hanging stuff to dry we've routed the laundry into a bucket that holds water. While we haven't installed them yet timers on certain lights would be great (bathroom, light over the stove/sink).
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