Website error

Air out your smoke complaint here. We can give advice from members who have found themselves in a similar situation as yours, gasping for a breath of fresh air.

Moderator: pm2.5mary

Website error

Postby woodburner » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:55 am

Perhaps this page should be removed for its inaccuracies. Perhaps this was how much fuel cost in 2001, but I don't recall seeing fuel oil for sale for $0.75/gallon anytime recently. I think it's around $280 around here. I can absolutely without a doubt guarantee you with today's fuel prices that wood is the cheapest way to heat my home. And yeah yeah I know you guys are going to come back at me with arguments about health costs and stuff, but that's not where I'm going with this post. All I'm saying is don't mislead the public with information stating the one known fact about burning wood, which is that it is the most cost effective solution available.
woodburner
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:37 am
Location: Upstate NY

monetary costs only

Postby JackPine » Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:58 am

Let's just deal with woodburner's comment on cost in this thread because he was only bringing up that one aspect.

Fuel oil costs in this area are around $2.25 per gallon. For wood to be economically viable, I would have to get it for a price of less than $210 per cord. This is assuming a 50% efficient wood stove and an oil fired heat delivery system which is 80% efficient in getting the potential heat in the oil to the space you want to heat.

My wood stove was rated at 70% efficient, but I figure it's more likely 60%. With that efficiency, fire wood would have to be $270/cord for oil to be cheaper to heat my house with.

I don't know about in anyone else's area, but in my area fire wood which has been split and seasoned goes for $175/cord. If you buy it green in the spring and dry it yourself over the summer it goes for $130/cord. Buy tree length and it goes down to $85/cord. I cut my own and it is about $20/cord.

Based on past experience, I use 80 MMBtu/year to heat my house (roughly 4 cord). This equates to 570 gallons of oil per year. At $2.25/gallon, that's $1280 per year for oil. Subtract my $80 for the cost of me cutting the wood and I save $1200 per year. Even if I bought the dried wood I would save $580 per year. As oil prices rose and there were stories of $3.00/gallon oil, someone like me would save $1600 and if I bought green wood the previous spring instead of cutting my own I would have saved almost $1200. Maybe this isn't much of a savings in CA, but around my area $1200 in savings is at least a mortgage payment.

So I agree with woodburner, the second table on this website (http://burningissues.org/fuelmonetaryvalues.html) where oil is listed as $0.75 per gallon is misleading and the price of all the heat sources should be raised to reflect a more up-to-date cost. The heat content for fuel oil (0.14 MMBtu/gallon, though some could say to use the LHV of 0.138 MMBtu/gallon) should be revised as well. If current prices were used and a more accurate fuel oil heat value was used, wood as a fuel would be less expensive than oil.

The first table on that page is pretty close and DOES show that oil at $2.30 per gallon is cheaper than wood at $180 per cord. The problem is people need to look at it and figure out exactly what it is saying.

Remember, this thread started by woodburner was ONLY about the direct monetary cost, not the cost of possible health related issues later on. Nor does it take into account the health benefits of the exercise associated with cutting, stacking and moving the fire wood.
JackPine
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:54 am
Location: Northeast

Thanks for the reminder: update fuel monetary chart.

Postby pm2.5mary » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:23 pm

Yes we understand that the fuel monetary chart is out of sync with 2006 prices. Burning Issues awaits the new update from Prof. Freedman.

I am glad that one can use the formula however!

We are grateful to hear about areas of the website that need work.
As this is an all volunteer effort please understand when we cannot act instantly. I will put up a new economics work sheet for you by Prof. Jim Merkel of Dartmouth. He takes a big picture approach that you may want to study also.
"Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our air. ...we know that when particle levels go up, people die. " (Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, E Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2002)
Find more at http://burningissues.org
User avatar
pm2.5mary
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:04 pm

Big picture approach

Postby JackPine » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:41 am

PM2.5mary,

Will the big picture approach Prof. Merkel offers include the environmental costs of drilling for crude, refining crude, shipping oil, drilling for natural gas, processing natural gas, pipeline impacts? The impact oil spills have on the environment? How about the huge energy consumption during the manufacture of semiconductors for the PV systems? The impact of plastic production for the hydronic solar systems? The impact of not managing forests in a sustainable manner so as to get the most out of biomass and reduce the liklihood of forest fires?

From what I have heard of Prof. Merkel, he should be against the use of oil (it was the Exxon Valdez oil spill that spurred him to become an environmental conservationist). In the big picture, using biomass to heat your house would have a smaller environmental footprint than oil or natural gas, especially if you manage your woodlot in a sustainable manner to promote tree growth and increase carbon sequestering, thus reducing global warming. The Sierra Club has even printed articles on the benefit of wood stoves over fossil fuels provided the wood is harvested in a sustainable manner, which is the only way a wood lot should be managed.

It will be very interesting to read and I look forward to it.
JackPine
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:54 am
Location: Northeast

Re: Website error

Postby Hicks » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:28 pm

woodburner wrote:Perhaps this page should be removed for its inaccuracies. Perhaps this was how much fuel cost in 2001, but I don't recall seeing fuel oil for sale for $0.75/gallon anytime recently. I think it's around $280 around here. I can absolutely without a doubt guarantee you with today's fuel prices that wood is the cheapest way to heat my home. And yeah yeah I know you guys are going to come back at me with arguments about health costs and stuff, but that's not where I'm going with this post. All I'm saying is don't mislead the public with information stating the one known fact about burning wood, which is that it is the most cost effective solution available.



It's true that right now the price of gas is very high and day by day the price will be high and higher. It's also true that the wood has earth related problems. Then my friend I really don't understand why you don't use electric heater. It gives clean and non polluted way to warm up our house. At last I want to add one more thing in my post that the oil or the electric heater can't add the charming in our life. :D
Hicks
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:37 am

Postby ME-air » Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:51 am

Hicks, I'm not sure about the price of electricity where woodburner lives and where you live, but up here in Maine it is $0.14/kWhr. Even at today's oil prices, oil is cheaper than electricity to heat one's house. And since wood at $180/cord is cheaper per BTU than oil at $2.25 per gallon up this way, many people around here use wood to at least supplement their heat. I think woodburner cuts his own firewood, as do a fair amount in my area, which makes wood even more attractive.

Heating with electricity is zero emissions at your house . No doubt about that. How much cleaner is it for the people down wind of the power plant? What is the makeup of the power in the grid? 75% coal, 15% hydro, 10% nuke? Or is it 30% biomass, 50% coal, 20% natural gas? It varies from location to location around the US. If, and that is a huge IF, we could all get our power from a grid where 100% of the power came from a mix of wind, hydro, tidal and solar, then even the people downwind of the power source would have clean air. But remember, people who live near proposed wind farms, dams and tidal power generators fight tooth and nail to keep them out of their back yard.

With the increasing demand for power, this is a problem which will not soon be solved.
ME-air
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:46 pm
Location: Maine

Postby woodburner » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:09 am

Hicks, heating with electricity just hides the emissions. They are probably burning a lot of coal to create at least a portion of that electricity you're using. I think electricity would be my absolute last choice to heat with.
woodburner
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:37 am
Location: Upstate NY

alternate energy

Postby bodhi » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:37 am

check this out--->
http://www.solarhouse.com/index2.htm
do you northeast usa guys know about this?

also: bye bye coal

Friday, November 24, 2006
City Utilities End Coal Fired Electricity Contracts in California

In what is hopefully the start of a new trend, several Southern California cities have decided not to renew long-term contracts for coal-fired electricity, choosing instead to turn to cleaner sources of electricity.

City officials told Utah-based Intermountain Power Agency they wouldn't be renewing their contracts for coal-fired power, which expire in 2027, and would instead be looking for alternative energy sources.

"It's a huge change," said Mayor Todd Campbell of Burbank, one of the cities that decided not to renew its contract.

The cities are Pasadena, Glendale, Riverside and Anaheim. They join the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which has already choosen not to renew the contract with Intermountain. Currently coal fired electricity makes up a significant percentage of their power, for example Pasadena Water & Power says that the Intermountain plant is 65 percent of our energy.

Intermountain's general manager Reed Searle said the company had worked for three years on the renewals and was now looking at ways to modernize its plants to bring them into compliance with California's greenhouse gas legislation that takes effect on the first of January.

The cities' decision came after increased pressure from politicians and environmentalists.

Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote a letter to an umbrella group for the cities last week saying she was "shocked and dismayed" by an initial decision last month by Burbank to renew the contract.

Phyllis Currie, general manager of Pasadena Water & Power said the utilities wanted to explain how important Intermountain was to California cities. "It's a serious issue when you tell us to walk away from that," she said.

The move could put Southern California in the forefront nationally of the commercial use of alternative energy in coming years.


brave, bold, excellent.
i hope cars are next......
~bodhi
bodhi
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:31 pm
Location: orlando, florida

consequences of power

Postby JackPine » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:32 pm

The above example is what I was writing about to Hicks. It's great to use electricity to heat your home, but you have to look at what produced the power. The population down wind of the coal plant will be better off IF the coal plant shuts down because it can't get a contract for its power.

However, if some other city is still buying all the power the coal plant can produce, the population down wind still gets the effects of coal combustion. In todays rising costs of power, if the coal plant can provide power at a substantially lower cost someone will buy it. Free market at its best (or worse).

I agree that this is a good thing. This does raise a few questions:

What will supply the power requirements for these cities?
What will the new monetary price for that power be?
If the power supply switches to oil fired, where will the oil come from? the middle east? FL coast? CA coast? ANWAR? Venezuela?
JackPine
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:54 am
Location: Northeast

one at a time....

Postby bodhi » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:09 pm

jack,
you are right. how to work it out is difficult but i think the way to do it is to begin.
change takes time... there are many large obstacles to overcome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVHuFuyFoUI

~bodhi
bodhi
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:31 pm
Location: orlando, florida

Postby The Professor » Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:56 pm

Two words:

Nuclear Power!
The Professor
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:55 pm
Location: San Diego

Postby MSG » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:07 pm

yea nuke power. its perfect.. except for the radioactive waste.
MSG
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:10 pm


Return to Smoke Complaints and Advice from our members.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron