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From: Jack in OH (
Subject:         Re: It's easy to forget...
Date: August 30, 2007 at 1:32 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: It's easy to forget... posted by Chumly on August 30, 2007 at 8:36 am:

Since I live in NW Ohio, heating costs usually outstrip cooling costs, so that's what I went after 6 yrs ago. My old 110,000 BTU/hr input furnace was only 63% eff., which I discovered by some back calculating after I had a 93% eff. one installed. That cut my gas consumption from 1115 ccf/yr to 750, a 33% reduction.

Then I had cellulose blown into the walls and attic of my 1941 wood frame, 2 story, 924 ft2 house. About the same time, I had 5 high eff. windows installed, followed by 5 more a while later. I also lowered my winter temp setting to 63 F, from 68 F, bought thermal underwear, and put on a jacket in the winter. Those moves cut my gas consumption another 290 ccf/yr, but the cost was twice that of the new furnace. The furnace paid for itself in about 5 yrs, and the other measures will take about 10 yrs to pay for themselves. Regardless, I'd do the same again, as I hope to be living here for more than another 10 yrs, and if energy costs go up, they'll pay off sooner.

So for those two measures, here's the breakdown on CO2 reduction.
--- Total gas reduction was 655 ccf/yr, times 12.059 lbs CO2/ccf, equals 7900 lbs CO2/yr.
--- My electric use before the new furnace was about 3010 kwhrs/yr, and is now about 1990, for a reduction of 1020 kwhrs/yr. That, times 1.9665 lbs of CO2/kwhr equals a reduction of 2006 lbs CO2/yr.

Even though I have central AC (the unit is 32 yrs old, and still works), I seldom use it. For instance, this summer, I used it about 8 days. It's an energy hog, using about 15 kwhrs/day when on continuously. My electric bill last month was $22. Some of my neighbor's bills were up around $200. Ouch. So let's say I used it for 40 days instead of 8. That would have been an additional 480 kwhrs, or 944 lbs of CO2 emitted.

Then, like you say, a vegan diet saves a lot of CO2, and other greenhouse gases. It's estimated at a CO2 equivalent of 3000 lbs/yr. I'm not 100% vegan, but close. So there's another big item.

Riding my bicycle around town for errands saves maybe 500 miles/yr of driving, or 20 gallons of gas. There's another 400 lbs of CO2 saved.

Compact fluorescents help a lot, but certainly not as much as the above.

When the cost of solar panels comes down, and their efficiency goes up, I'll probably put some in my back yard. If I do, I'll oversize them, and sell some excess electricity to my neighbors (via the power company paying me for what I export).

Here lately, I've been pulling the plug on my instant-on TVs to save electricity. Living alone, I see no reason to have any more than one light on at a time. The ones I use a lot are CFLs.

If I lived in Mississippi, for instance, I'd stay thin, as I am, to keep cool. I'd put in solar panels to run my AC, have my house fully insulated, put in high eff. windows, and use shades everywhere.

Being retired, I don't use my car much, and when I do, it doesn't use much gas.

That's about it.

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