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Energy Inflation and Resetting the Dislocated Shoulder

By Energy Rant No Comments
As of last week, year-to-date energy prices are up 58% for NYMEX crude oil, 91% for NYMEX gasoline, and only 39% for retail gasoline. Retail prices seem to have a long way to climb as the high NYMEX prices make their way to the local gasoline pump. This week we look at how inflation is hitting our industry of efficiency and electrification and what might lie ahead. Let’s start with one-year price changes for a basket of commodities and roll forward with that. Diesel Fuel is Food Diesel fuel is used to transport seed, chemicals, fertilizers, and equipment to the…
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Holy Mother of Bovine Batman!

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
It’s been a long time since I’ve written about compact fluorescent light bulbs, so I think I’ll keep it that way. This rant is brought to you by our friends at E Source.  Actually, as I was scrounging around for some information on their site, I came across this article on electric vehicles, or EVs, which left me mentally agape.  I am going to guess the author, Jay Stein, lives and breathes EVs and has for years. It appears he has worked tirelessly to bring the EV from the Frivolous Novelty to gas-electric hybrid stature and beyond, but jeezo, allow me to…
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Baselining Hype Away

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
It was the summer of 2001, the year of the shark.  Sharks were attacking humans all over the world like crazy.  It was also the summer of the Gary Condit scandal.  Never heard of Gary Condit?  He was a congressman from California who had an affair with an intern, and the intern went missing.  Look at the guy.  Wouldn’t you like to buy a used car from, or have your daughter work for this guy? The outcomes were as follows: in August, The Wall Street Journal had reported, in a nonchalant manor, that the number of worldwide shark attacks were…
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Nationalize EE – Boooo!

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
The widget world of energy efficiency is governed by the Technical Resource Manual, or TRM.  A technical resource manual includes energy calculations requiring baselines and efficient equipment specifications, hours of use, and duty cycles.  It also includes cost differences for baseline and efficient equipment.  Costs and savings from TRMs are used across the board for mass market, and even in some cases large, far too large in my opinion, equipment. Technical resource manuals may be held at the state level, which may apply to all programs/utilities in the state, or at the utility level.  Some in our industry are advocating…
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3 and Out

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff No Comments
The New Scientist published an article by an economist saying that now is the perfect time to implement “long-overdue environmental regulations requiring US power plants to reduce emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxic metals”.  And the added cost will be a boon to the economy.  That’s what the textbooks say, so it must be right! As the article states in one place, yes, retrofitting power plants will create jobs somewhere, and the higher cost will be passed on to consumers.  Do they equally offset on a macroeconomic level?  I severely doubt it but no one can prove that. In…
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No Policy?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Utility Stuff No Comments
As administrations and congresses come and go, one thing remains the same: “there is no clear energy policy”, and “we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil”.  Neither one is ever addressed. First, what the heck is a clear energy policy anyway and are we sure we want one?  When the government messes with any market, the result is always negative for consumers and in some cases bordering on catastrophe.  The only exception I see is utilities, which lend themselves to monopolistic efficiency.  You may need to lie down after that head-spinning oxymoron.  But seriously, in order to have…
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Playing with Fire

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Stimulus, Tax Stuff 3 Comments
I was pretty much like every other 12 year old boy.  I liked fire, explosions, and crashes.  If you think I’m crazy, why are movies sometimes beginning to end filled with the same?  Enough said.  Growing up on the farm there were always plenty of things to burn.  One time I asked my dad if I could burn an old cattle feeder that we no longer used.  No problem. You never see these things anymore but they were wood structures, like a weekend cabin that could withstand an F4 tornado, except it was all wood, nails and fasteners – solid…
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