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Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water

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  • mrnatural1@comcast.net
    We got ours from an electrical supply house. IIRC, it was about $70. Sherman ... From: Lisa Shiffrin ...
    Message 1 of 49 , Jun 1, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      We got ours from an electrical supply house.

      IIRC, it was about $70.

      Sherman

      -------------- Original message ----------------------
      From: Lisa Shiffrin <lshiffri@...>
      > I was wondering about installing a meter myself to determine usage of a separate
      > dwelling. Is this just a Home Depot purchase?
      >
      > Lisa
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: "mrnatural1@..." <mrnatural1@...>
      > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 7:21:50 PM
      > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water
      >
      > Thanks Bob!
      >
      > The only reason I didn't continue my list and include other fuels is that I was
      > just going from memory and was too lazy to lookup the info for natural gas, wood
      > pellets, corn, etc. <g>
      >
      > Good point about the surcharges. I actually had our utility company disconnect
      > the service from our little guest house (it's about 16 x 16 with a loft) for
      > that reason. The charge was $10 per billing cycle (or $5/month) -- more than the
      > electric usage! The house had been occupied full time, but was not being used
      > and the only electric use was for our well pump (the pump control box and
      > pressure tank are in the basement of the guest house and there is a 3/4" pipe
      > that runs underground between the two basements to feed our cabin).
      >
      > They cut the cables and yanked the meter and then I just sub-fed the pump from
      > our cabin.
      >
      > Problem solved!
      >
      > Of course later, when we had a friend move in, things had changed and before the
      > utility company would re-install the meter the county would have to come out and
      > do thorough inspection -- making sure my sock drawer was clean and we were in
      > full compliance with the ADA and all current planning and zoning regs.
      >
      > D'oh!!
      >
      > Needless to say, that didn't sound like anything I wanted to deal with so we
      > bought a meter and sub-fed the entire guest house from our main panel.
      >
      > Now when we get the bill, we just read the meter next door and figure her
      > portion.
      >
      > That's my little story.
      >
      > Sherman
      >
      > ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
      > From: "Bob Korves" <bkorves@winfirst. com>
      > > Fine post, Sherman.
      > >
      > > Another thing to consider is the cost of a fuel including all taxes,
      > surcharges,
      > > service charges, delivery fees, etc. My last month's SMUD electic bill was
      > > $23.87 for 215 kWh, which is $0.1110/kWh, a much different number than the
      > > $.0798/kWh that the actual electricity cost ($17.16 total). The service charge
      > > alone for billing me was $5.00. This factor becomes larger as power usage
      > > becomes smaller!
      > >
      > > Sherman didn't list natural gas in his comparison, which has usually been cost
      > > competitive where available. My natural gas bill was $23.87 last month for10
      > > therms (a therm is 100,000 BTU). So, one million BTU cost $23.87 which, times
      > > about 80% efficiency for my older furnace, comes to $29.84/million BTU
      > > delivered.
      > >
      > > A million BTU of electricity would have cost $23.44, which is, surprisingly, a
      > > better deal. Gas has always been known to be the better choice in this area.
      > > Calculating using winter rates might change the whole picture...
      > >
      > > As a further bonus, SMUD, the local electric utility, has a large portion of
      > > hydroelectric and other renewable content, which further improves their look.
      > >
      > > This is, of course, a purely economic analysis, and does not attempt to figure
      > > the REAL costs -- economic, aesthetic, environmental, and deferred -- that are
      > > hidden in taxes, subsidies, bonds, declining health, wars, extinction of
      > > species, and all the other REAL costs that we pay to keep warm and run our
      > toys.
      > >
      > > I am sure I could write arguments praising or condemming any of our current
      > > sources of power. If there was a clear "best choice" for everyone then we
      > would
      > > all be using it!
      > >
      > > Conserve energy everywhere possible. It really does matter...
      > > -Bob Korves
      > >
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: mrnatural1@comcast. net
      > > To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
      > > Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 12:27 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water
      > >
      > >
      > > Hi All:
      > >
      > > I thought it might be helpful to pass on some general information about
      > > heating.
      > >
      > > Regardless of the fuel used, I've found it helpful to remember that you are
      > > really buying BTUs.
      > >
      > > Propane has about 90,000 (90K) BTU's per gallon (so at $3/gallon one million
      > > BTUs cost about $33)
      > > Kerosene is about 120K BTUs per gallon
      > > A cord of wood is around 18 to 22 million BTU's (at $150/cord 1M BTUs cost
      > > $7.50)
      > > One KWh of electricity is 3,412 BTUs (at $0.08/KWh 1M BTUs cost $23.40)
      > > Fuel oil is 130K BTUs per gallon
      > >
      > > And so on...
      > >
      > > To figure your actual cost per million BTU's _delivered_ to your living space,
      > > you must factor in the efficiency of the heating appliance. So, for example,
      > > with a typical old style wood stove with 50% efficiency the true cost for 1M
      > > BTUs is $15. At 90% efficiency, propane really costs about $37 for 1M BTUs,
      > > while the cost of 1M BTUs from electricity remains $23.40.
      > >
      > > In order to maintain the temperature in a building, the BTUs lost to the
      > > outside must be replaced.
      > >
      > > There are many different sources of BTUs, and many appliances to convert those
      > > sources into heat, but there is no way around the above facts. Oil-filled
      > > electric heaters are no better or worse than any other electric resistance
      > > heating appliance at converting electricity to BTUs. Any of them will give you
      > > 3,400 BTU's for each KWh it consumes. Any differences are in the _way_ the
      > heat
      > > is delivered.
      > >
      > > The most important thing (as Liz mentioned) is to have a well-insulated
      > > structure.
      > >
      > > Sherman
      > >
      > > ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
      > > From: Lizzie <tinpalace@cablerock et.com>
      > > > Lisa said;
      > > >
      > > > > My experience with the oil heaters is that they really run up the
      > > > > electric bill. I have a couple of friends living in a small studio
      > > > > (maybe 300 sq. ft.) while they build their house and they said
      > > > > during our cold snap this winter (in the teens at night) they ran
      > > > > it full bore and they were still cold.
      > > >
      > > > Our neighbours across the way, in a new "bus-style" motorhome, ran
      > > > three oil-filled heaters this past winter. They were always cold and
      > > > used a lot of power (over $100.00 a month plus their 40,000 BTU
      > > > furnace ran almost constantly. She put the frozen food which wouldn't
      > > > fit in the freezer in a styrofoam cooler in the front of the MH
      > > > (between the seats). All their interior water pipes froze and burst.
      > > > (Lesson here is: Don't buy a motorhome built in Florida and spend the
      > > > winter in Canada!)
      > > >
      > > > Granted we ran our propane furnace on a thermostat to kick in at 65
      > > > degrees at night, just to make certain we didn't get cold enough to
      > > > break the pipes in the belly of the unit, but our furnace is 35 years
      > > > old and produces 18,000 BTU an hour if it ran full time. We found it
      > > > kicked on three or four times a night for five minutes when it was
      > > > -20 and we had 40 MPH winds. We used 37 gallons of propane from Sept
      > > > to May 14. That heated our water, cooked our food and ran the
      > > > furnace. Costs $22.00 to fill a 30 gallon tank here, so $44.00 worth
      > > > of propane.
      > > >
      > > > But the electric panels were our primary heat. Our highest power bill
      > > > was $27.00.
      > > > We did invest in a programmable plug-in thermostat for the larger unit.
      > > >
      > > > My hope is to eventually get into a well-insulated, tiny home which
      > > > is energy self-sufficient. We have lots of sun and LOTS of wind.
      > > >
      > > > Liz in the Tinpalace
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      > Fine post, Sherman.
      >
      > Another thing to consider is the cost of a fuel including all taxes, surcharges,
      > service charges, delivery fees, etc. My last month's SMUD electic bill was
      > $23.87 for 215 kWh, which is $0.1110/kWh, a much different number than the
      > $.0798/kWh that the actual electricity cost ($17.16 total). The service charge
      > alone for billing me was $5.00. This factor becomes larger as power usage
      > becomes smaller!
      >
      > Sherman didn't list natural gas in his comparison, which has usually been cost
      > competitive where available. My natural gas bill was $23.87 last month for10
      > therms (a therm is 100,000 BTU). So, one million BTU cost $23.87 which, times
      > about 80% efficiency for my older furnace, comes to $29.84/million BTU
      > delivered.
      >
      > A million BTU of electricity would have cost $23.44, which is, surprisingly, a
      > better deal. Gas has always been known to be the better choice in this area.
      > Calculating using winter rates might change the whole picture...
      >
      > As a further bonus, SMUD, the local electric utility, has a large portion of
      > hydroelectric and other renewable content, which further improves their look.
      >
      > This is, of course, a purely economic analysis, and does not attempt to figure
      > the REAL costs -- economic, aesthetic, environmental, and deferred -- that are
      > hidden in taxes, subsidies, bonds, declining health, wars, extinction of
      > species, and all the other REAL costs that we pay to keep warm and run our toys.
      >
      > I am sure I could write arguments praising or condemming any of our current
      > sources of power. If there was a clear "best choice" for everyone then we would
      > all be using it!
      >
      > Conserve energy everywhere possible. It really does matter...
      > -Bob Korves
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: mrnatural1@comcast. net
      > To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
      > Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 12:27 AM
      > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water
      >
      >
      > Hi All:
      >
      > I thought it might be helpful to pass on some general information about heating.
      >
      > Regardless of the fuel used, I've found it helpful to remember that you are
      > really buying BTUs.
      >
      > Propane has about 90,000 (90K) BTU's per gallon (so at $3/gallon one million
      > BTUs cost about $33)
      > Kerosene is about 120K BTUs per gallon
      > A cord of wood is around 18 to 22 million BTU's (at $150/cord 1M BTUs cost
      > $7.50)
      > One KWh of electricity is 3,412 BTUs (at $0.08/KWh 1M BTUs cost $23.40)
      > Fuel oil is 130K BTUs per gallon
      >
      > And so on...
      >
      > To figure your actual cost per million BTU's _delivered_ to your living space,
      > you must factor in the efficiency of the heating appliance. So, for example,
      > with a typical old style wood stove with 50% efficiency the true cost for 1M
      > BTUs is $15. At 90% efficiency, propane really costs about $37 for 1M BTUs,
      > while the cost of 1M BTUs from electricity remains $23.40.
      >
      > In order to maintain the temperature in a building, the BTUs lost to the outside
      > must be replaced.
      >
      > There are many different sources of BTUs, and many appliances to convert those
      > sources into heat, but there is no way around the above facts. Oil-filled
      > electric heaters are no better or worse than any other electric resistance
      > heating appliance at converting electricity to BTUs. Any of them will give you
      > 3,400 BTU's for each KWh it consumes. Any differences are in the _way_ the heat
      > is delivered.
      >
      > The most important thing (as Liz mentioned) is to have a well-insulated
      > structure.
      >
      > Sherman
      >
      > ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
      > From: Lizzie <tinpalace@cablerock et.com>
      > > Lisa said;
      > >
      > > > My experience with the oil heaters is that they really run up the
      > > > electric bill. I have a couple of friends living in a small studio
      > > > (maybe 300 sq. ft.) while they build their house and they said
      > > > during our cold snap this winter (in the teens at night) they ran
      > > > it full bore and they were still cold.
      > >
      > > Our neighbours across the way, in a new "bus-style" motorhome, ran
      > > three oil-filled heaters this past winter. They were always cold and
      > > used a lot of power (over $100.00 a month plus their 40,000 BTU
      > > furnace ran almost constantly. She put the frozen food which wouldn't
      > > fit in the freezer in a styrofoam cooler in the front of the MH
      > > (between the seats). All their interior water pipes froze and burst.
      > > (Lesson here is: Don't buy a motorhome built in Florida and spend the
      > > winter in Canada!)
      > >
      > > Granted we ran our propane furnace on a thermostat to kick in at 65
      > > degrees at night, just to make certain we didn't get cold enough to
      > > break the pipes in the belly of the unit, but our furnace is 35 years
      > > old and produces 18,000 BTU an hour if it ran full time. We found it
      > > kicked on three or four times a night for five minutes when it was
      > > -20 and we had 40 MPH winds. We used 37 gallons of propane from Sept
      > > to May 14. That heated our water, cooked our food and ran the
      > > furnace. Costs $22.00 to fill a 30 gallon tank here, so $44.00 worth
      > > of propane.
      > >
      > > But the electric panels were our primary heat. Our highest power bill
      > > was $27.00.
      > > We did invest in a programmable plug-in thermostat for the larger unit.
      > >
      > > My hope is to eventually get into a well-insulated, tiny home which
      > > is energy self-sufficient. We have lots of sun and LOTS of wind.
      > >
      > > Liz in the Tinpalace
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________________
      > ____
      > Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's
      > Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.
      http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/222
    • Bob Korves
      I don t think the electic company cares if you keep track of anything. What is not allowed is buying power and then selling it to someone else without a
      Message 49 of 49 , Jun 1, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        I don't think the electic company cares if you keep track of anything.  What is not allowed is buying power and then selling it to someone else without a public utility license.
         
        It is pretty common to have electric power be included in rent pricing, without the power being a separate line item based on usage.  That appears to be OK, and I don't think the presence of a meter would change the issue.
         
        If you meter it and then sell it incrementally to your tenant, you are tickling the tiger.
        -Bob Korves
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 7:02 AM
        Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water

        Thanks. That's not too expensive.
         
        I don't see how there can be an issue with installing a meter just to track the usage in a building. Let's say you had a wood shop and deducted the expenses off your taxes, it would be reasonable to track exactly what electricity was being used separate from the house. As was pointed out, if the power company is being paid that's all they should care about since you aren't feeding power to a different property.
         
        Lisa

        ----- Original Message ----
        From: "mrnatural1@ comcast.net" <mrnatural1@comcast. net>
        To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
        Sent: Friday, June 1, 2007 2:16:26 AM
        Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water

        We got ours from an electrical supply house.

        IIRC, it was about $70.

        Sherman

        ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
        From: Lisa Shiffrin <lshiffri@yahoo. com>
        > I was wondering about installing a meter myself to determine usage of a separate
        > dwelling. Is this just a Home Depot purchase?
        >
        > Lisa
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message ----
        > From: "mrnatural1@comcast. net" <mrnatural1@comcast. net>
        > To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
        > Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 7:21:50 PM
        > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water
        > > Thanks Bob!
        >
        > The only reason I didn't continue my list and include other fuels is that I was
        > just going from memory and was too lazy to lookup the info for natural gas, wood
        > pellets, corn, etc. <g>
        >
        > Good point about the surcharges. I actually had our utility company disconnect
        > the service from our little guest house (it's about 16 x 16 with a loft) for
        > that reason. The charge was $10 per billing cycle (or $5/month) -- more than the
        > electric usage! The house had been occupied full time, but was not being used
        > and the only electric use was for our well pump (the pump control box and
        > pressure tank are in the basement of the guest house and there is a 3/4" pipe
        > that runs underground between the two basements to feed our cabin).
        >
        > They cut the cables and yanked the meter and then I just sub-fed the pump from
        > our cabin.
        >
        > Problem solved!
        >
        > Of course later, when we had a friend move in, things had changed and before the
        > utility company would re-install the meter the county would have to come out and
        > do thorough inspection -- making sure my sock drawer was clean and we were in
        > full compliance with the ADA and all current planning and zoning regs.
        >
        > D'oh!!
        >
        > Needless to say, that didn't sound like anything I wanted to deal with so we
        > bought a meter and sub-fed the entire guest house from our main panel.
        >
        > Now when we get the bill, we just read the meter next door and figure her
        > portion.
        >
        > That's my little story.
        >
        > Sherman
        >
        > ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
        > From: "Bob Korves" <bkorves@winfirst. com>
        > > Fine post, Sherman.
        > >
        > > Another thing to consider is the cost of a fuel including all taxes,
        > surcharges,
        > > service charges, delivery fees, etc. My last month's SMUD electic bill was
        > > $23.87 for 215 kWh, which is $0.1110/kWh, a much different number than the
        > > $.0798/kWh that the actual electricity cost ($17.16 total). The service charge
        > > alone for billing me was $5.00. This factor becomes larger as power usage
        > > becomes smaller!
        > >
        > > Sherman didn't list natural gas in his comparison, which has usually been cost
        > > competitive where available. My natural gas bill was $23.87 last month for10
        > > therms (a therm is 100,000 BTU). So, one million BTU cost $23.87 which, times
        > > about 80% efficiency for my older furnace, comes to $29.84/million BTU
        > > delivered.
        > >
        > > A million BTU of electricity would have cost $23.44, which is, surprisingly, a
        > > better deal. Gas has always been known to be the better choice in this area.
        > > Calculating using winter rates might change the whole picture...
        > >
        > > As a further bonus, SMUD, the local electric utility, has a large portion of
        > > hydroelectric and other renewable content, which further improves their look.
        > >
        > > This is, of course, a purely economic analysis, and does not attempt to figure
        > > the REAL costs -- economic, aesthetic, environmental, and deferred -- that are
        > > hidden in taxes, subsidies, bonds, declining health, wars, extinction of
        > > species, and all the other REAL costs that we pay to keep warm and run our
        > toys.
        > >
        > > I am sure I could write arguments praising or condemming any of our current
        > > sources of power. If there was a clear "best choice" for everyone then we
        > would
        > > all be using it!
        > >
        > > Conserve energy everywhere possible. It really does matter...
        > > -Bob Korves
        > >
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: mrnatural1@comcast. net
        > > To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
        > > Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 12:27 AM
        > > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi All:
        > >
        > > I thought it might be helpful to pass on some general information about
        > > heating.
        > >
        > > Regardless of the fuel used, I've found it helpful to remember that you are
        > > really buying BTUs.
        > >
        > > Propane has about 90,000 (90K) BTU's per gallon (so at $3/gallon one million
        > > BTUs cost about $33)
        > > Kerosene is about 120K BTUs per gallon
        > > A cord of wood is around 18 to 22 million BTU's (at $150/cord 1M BTUs cost
        > > $7.50)
        > > One KWh of electricity is 3,412 BTUs (at $0.08/KWh 1M BTUs cost $23.40)
        > > Fuel oil is 130K BTUs per gallon
        > >
        > > And so on...
        > >
        > > To figure your actual cost per million BTU's _delivered_ to your living space,
        > > you must factor in the efficiency of the heating appliance. So, for example,
        > > with a typical old style wood stove with 50% efficiency the true cost for 1M
        > > BTUs is $15. At 90% efficiency, propane really costs about $37 for 1M BTUs,
        > > while the cost of 1M BTUs from electricity remains $23.40.
        > >
        > > In order to maintain the temperature in a building, the BTUs lost to the
        > > outside must be replaced.
        > >
        > > There are many different sources of BTUs, and many appliances to convert those
        > > sources into heat, but there is no way around the above facts. Oil-filled
        > > electric heaters are no better or worse than any other electric resistance
        > > heating appliance at converting electricity to BTUs. Any of them will give you
        > > 3,400 BTU's for each KWh it consumes. Any differences are in the _way_ the
        > heat
        > > is delivered.
        > >
        > > The most important thing (as Liz mentioned) is to have a well-insulated
        > > structure.
        > >
        > > Sherman
        > >
        > > ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
        > > From: Lizzie <tinpalace@cableroc k et.com>
        > > > Lisa said;
        > > >
        > > > > My experience with the oil heaters is that they really run up the
        > > > > electric bill. I have a couple of friends living in a small studio
        > > > > (maybe 300 sq. ft.) while they build their house and they said
        > > > > during our cold snap this winter (in the teens at night) they ran
        > > > > it full bore and they were still cold.
        > > >
        > > > Our neighbours across the way, in a new "bus-style" motorhome, ran
        > > > three oil-filled heaters this past winter. They were always cold and
        > > > used a lot of power (over $100.00 a month plus their 40,000 BTU
        > > > furnace ran almost constantly. She put the frozen food which wouldn't
        > > > fit in the freezer in a styrofoam cooler in the front of the MH
        > > > (between the seats). All their interior water pipes froze and burst.
        > > > (Lesson here is: Don't buy a motorhome built in Florida and spend the
        > > > winter in Canada!)
        > > >
        > > > Granted we ran our propane furnace on a thermostat to kick in at 65
        > > > degrees at night, just to make certain we didn't get cold enough to
        > > > break the pipes in the belly of the unit, but our furnace is 35 years
        > > > old and produces 18,000 BTU an hour if it ran full time. We found it
        > > > kicked on three or four times a night for five minutes when it was
        > > > -20 and we had 40 MPH winds. We used 37 gallons of propane from Sept
        > > > to May 14. That heated our water, cooked our food and ran the
        > > > furnace. Costs $22.00 to fill a 30 gallon tank here, so $44.00 worth
        > > > of propane.
        > > >
        > > > But the electric panels were our primary heat. Our highest power bill
        > > > was $27.00.
        > > > We did invest in a programmable plug-in thermostat for the larger unit.
        > > >
        > > > My hope is to eventually get into a well-insulated, tiny home which
        > > > is energy self-sufficient. We have lots of sun and LOTS of wind.
        > > >
        > > > Liz in the Tinpalace
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > Fine post, Sherman.
        >
        > Another thing to consider is the cost of a fuel including all taxes, surcharges,
        > service charges, delivery fees, etc. My last month's SMUD electic bill was
        > $23.87 for 215 kWh, which is $0.1110/kWh, a much different number than the
        > $.0798/kWh that the actual electricity cost ($17.16 total). The service charge
        > alone for billing me was $5.00. This factor becomes larger as power usage
        > becomes smaller!
        >
        > Sherman didn't list natural gas in his comparison, which has usually been cost
        > competitive where available. My natural gas bill was $23.87 last month for10
        > therms (a therm is 100,000 BTU). So, one million BTU cost $23.87 which, times
        > about 80% efficiency for my older furnace, comes to $29.84/million BTU
        > delivered.
        >
        > A million BTU of electricity would have cost $23.44, which is, surprisingly, a
        > better deal. Gas has always been known to be the better choice in this area.
        > Calculating using winter rates might change the whole picture...
        >
        > As a further bonus, SMUD, the local electric utility, has a large portion of
        > hydroelectric and other renewable content, which further improves their look.
        >
        > This is, of course, a purely economic analysis, and does not attempt to figure
        > the REAL costs -- economic, aesthetic, environmental, and deferred -- that are
        > hidden in taxes, subsidies, bonds, declining health, wars, extinction of
        > species, and all the other REAL costs that we pay to keep warm and run our toys.
        >
        > I am sure I could write arguments praising or condemming any of our current
        > sources of power. If there was a clear "best choice" for everyone then we would
        > all be using it!
        >
        > Conserve energy everywhere possible. It really does matter...
        > -Bob Korves
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: mrnatural1@comcast. net
        > To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
        > Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 12:27 AM
        > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water
        >
        >
        > Hi All:
        >
        > I thought it might be helpful to pass on some general information about heating.
        >
        > Regardless of the fuel used, I've found it helpful to remember that you are
        > really buying BTUs.
        >
        > Propane has about 90,000 (90K) BTU's per gallon (so at $3/gallon one million
        > BTUs cost about $33)
        > Kerosene is about 120K BTUs per gallon
        > A cord of wood is around 18 to 22 million BTU's (at $150/cord 1M BTUs cost
        > $7.50)
        > One KWh of electricity is 3,412 BTUs (at $0.08/KWh 1M BTUs cost $23.40)
        > Fuel oil is 130K BTUs per gallon
        >
        > And so on...
        >
        > To figure your actual cost per million BTU's _delivered_ to your living space,
        > you must factor in the efficiency of the heating appliance. So, for example,
        > with a typical old style wood stove with 50% efficiency the true cost for 1M
        > BTUs is $15. At 90% efficiency, propane really costs about $37 for 1M BTUs,
        > while the cost of 1M BTUs from electricity remains $23.40.
        >
        > In order to maintain the temperature in a building, the BTUs lost to the outside
        > must be replaced.
        >
        > There are many different sources of BTUs, and many appliances to convert those
        > sources into heat, but there is no way around the above facts. Oil-filled
        > electric heaters are no better or worse than any other electric resistance
        > heating appliance at converting electricity to BTUs. Any of them will give you
        > 3,400 BTU's for each KWh it consumes. Any differences are in the _way_ the heat
        > is delivered.
        >
        > The most important thing (as Liz mentioned) is to have a well-insulated
        > structure.
        >
        > Sherman
        >
        > ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
        > From: Lizzie <tinpalace@cableroc k et.com>
        > > Lisa said;
        > >
        > > > My experience with the oil heaters is that they really run up the
        > > > electric bill. I have a couple of friends living in a small studio
        > > > (maybe 300 sq. ft.) while they build their house and they said
        > > > during our cold snap this winter (in the teens at night) they ran
        > > > it full bore and they were still cold.
        > >
        > > Our neighbours across the way, in a new "bus-style" motorhome, ran
        > > three oil-filled heaters this past winter. They were always cold and
        > > used a lot of power (over $100.00 a month plus their 40,000 BTU
        > > furnace ran almost constantly. She put the frozen food which wouldn't
        > > fit in the freezer in a styrofoam cooler in the front of the MH
        > > (between the seats). All their interior water pipes froze and burst.
        > > (Lesson here is: Don't buy a motorhome built in Florida and spend the
        > > winter in Canada!)
        > >
        > > Granted we ran our propane furnace on a thermostat to kick in at 65
        > > degrees at night, just to make certain we didn't get cold enough to
        > > break the pipes in the belly of the unit, but our furnace is 35 years
        > > old and produces 18,000 BTU an hour if it ran full time. We found it
        > > kicked on three or four times a night for five minutes when it was
        > > -20 and we had 40 MPH winds. We used 37 gallons of propane from Sept
        > > to May 14. That heated our water, cooked our food and ran the
        > > furnace. Costs $22.00 to fill a 30 gallon tank here, so $44.00 worth
        > > of propane.
        > >
        > > But the electric panels were our primary heat. Our highest power bill
        > > was $27.00.
        > > We did invest in a programmable plug-in thermostat for the larger unit.
        > >
        > > My hope is to eventually get into a well-insulated, tiny home which
        > > is energy self-sufficient. We have lots of sun and LOTS of wind.
        > >
        > > Liz in the Tinpalace
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
        > ____
        > Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's
        > Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.
        http://tv.yahoo. com/collections/ 222

        I was wondering about installing a meter myself to determine usage of a separate dwelling. Is this just a Home Depot purchase?
         
        Lisa

        ----- Original Message ----
        From: "mrnatural1@ comcast.net" <mrnatural1@comcast. net>
        To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
        Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 7:21:50 PM
        Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water

        Thanks Bob!

        The only reason I didn't continue my list and include other fuels is that I was just going from memory and was too lazy to lookup the info for natural gas, wood pellets, corn, etc. <g>

        Good point about the surcharges. I actually had our utility company disconnect the service from our little guest house (it's about 16 x 16 with a loft) for that reason. The charge was $10 per billing cycle (or $5/month) -- more than the electric usage! The house had been occupied full time, but was not being used and the only electric use was for our well pump (the pump control box and pressure tank are in the basement of the guest house and there is a 3/4" pipe that runs underground between the two basements to feed our cabin).

        They cut the cables and yanked the meter and then I just sub-fed the pump from our cabin.

        Problem solved!

        Of course later, when we had a friend move in, things had changed and before the utility company would re-install the meter the county would have to come out and do thorough inspection -- making sure my sock drawer was clean and we were in full compliance with the ADA and all current planning and zoning regs.

        D'oh!!

        Needless to say, that didn't sound like anything I wanted to deal with so we bought a meter and sub-fed the entire guest house from our main panel.

        Now when we get the bill, we just read the meter next door and figure her portion.

        That's my little story.

        Sherman

        ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
        From: "Bob Korves" <bkorves@winfirst. com>
        > Fine post, Sherman.
        >
        > Another thing to consider is the cost of a fuel including all taxes, surcharges,
        > service charges, delivery fees, etc. My last month's SMUD electic bill was
        > $23.87 for 215 kWh, which is $0.1110/kWh, a much different number than the
        > $.0798/kWh that the actual electricity cost ($17.16 total). The service charge
        > alone for billing me was $5.00. This factor becomes larger as power usage
        > becomes smaller!
        >
        > Sherman didn't list natural gas in his comparison, which has usually been cost
        > competitive where available. My natural gas bill was $23.87 last month for10
        > therms (a therm is 100,000 BTU). So, one million BTU cost $23.87 which, times
        > about 80% efficiency for my older furnace, comes to $29.84/million BTU
        > delivered.
        >
        > A million BTU of electricity would have cost $23.44, which is, surprisingly, a
        > better deal. Gas has always been known to be the better choice in this area.
        > Calculating using winter rates might change the whole picture...
        >
        > As a further bonus, SMUD, the local electric utility, has a large portion of
        > hydroelectric and other renewable content, which further improves their look.
        >
        > This is, of course, a purely economic analysis, and does not attempt to figure
        > the REAL costs -- economic, aesthetic, environmental, and deferred -- that are
        > hidden in taxes, subsidies, bonds, declining health, wars, extinction of
        > species, and all the other REAL costs that we pay to keep warm and run our toys.
        >
        > I am sure I could write arguments praising or condemming any of our current
        > sources of power. If there was a clear "best choice" for everyone then we would
        > all be using it!
        >
        > Conserve energy everywhere possible. It really does matter...
        > -Bob Korves
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: mrnatural1@comcast. net
        > To: smallhousesocietyon line@yahoogroups .com
        > Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 12:27 AM
        > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water
        >
        >
        > Hi All:
        >
        > I thought it might be helpful to pass on some general information about
        > heating.
        >
        > Regardless of the fuel used, I've found it helpful to remember that you are
        > really buying BTUs.
        >
        > Propane has about 90,000 (90K) BTU's per gallon (so at $3/gallon one million
        > BTUs cost about $33)
        > Kerosene is about 120K BTUs per gallon
        > A cord of wood is around 18 to 22 million BTU's (at $150/cord 1M BTUs cost
        > $7.50)
        > One KWh of electricity is 3,412 BTUs (at $0.08/KWh 1M BTUs cost $23.40)
        > Fuel oil is 130K BTUs per gallon
        >
        > And so on...
        >
        > To figure your actual cost per million BTU's _delivered_ to your living space,
        > you must factor in the efficiency of the heating appliance. So, for example,
        > with a typical old style wood stove with 50% efficiency the true cost for 1M
        > BTUs is $15. At 90% efficiency, propane really costs about $37 for 1M BTUs,
        > while the cost of 1M BTUs from electricity remains $23.40.
        >
        > In order to maintain the temperature in a building, the BTUs lost to the
        > outside must be replaced.
        >
        > There are many different sources of BTUs, and many appliances to convert those
        > sources into heat, but there is no way around the above facts. Oil-filled
        > electric heaters are no better or worse than any other electric resistance
        > heating appliance at converting electricity to BTUs. Any of them will give you
        > 3,400 BTU's for each KWh it consumes. Any differences are in the _way_ the heat
        > is delivered.
        >
        > The most important thing (as Liz mentioned) is to have a well-insulated
        > structure.
        >
        > Sherman
        >
        > ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
        > From: Lizzie <tinpalace@cablerock et.com>
        > > Lisa said;
        > >
        > > > My experience with the oil heaters is that they really run up the
        > > > electric bill. I have a couple of friends living in a small studio
        > > > (maybe 300 sq. ft.) while they build their house and they said
        > > > during our cold snap this winter (in the teens at night) they ran
        > > > it full bore and they were still cold.
        > >
        > > Our neighbours across the way, in a new "bus-style" motorhome, ran
        > > three oil-filled heaters this past winter. They were always cold and
        > > used a lot of power (over $100.00 a month plus their 40,000 BTU
        > > furnace ran almost constantly. She put the frozen food which wouldn't
        > > fit in the freezer in a styrofoam cooler in the front of the MH
        > > (between the seats). All their interior water pipes froze and burst.
        > > (Lesson here is: Don't buy a motorhome built in Florida and spend the
        > > winter in Canada!)
        > >
        > > Granted we ran our propane furnace on a thermostat to kick in at 65
        > > degrees at night, just to make certain we didn't get cold enough to
        > > break the pipes in the belly of the unit, but our furnace is 35 years
        > > old and produces 18,000 BTU an hour if it ran full time. We found it
        > > kicked on three or four times a night for five minutes when it was
        > > -20 and we had 40 MPH winds. We used 37 gallons of propane from Sept
        > > to May 14. That heated our water, cooked our food and ran the
        > > furnace. Costs $22.00 to fill a 30 gallon tank here, so $44.00 worth
        > > of propane.
        > >
        > > But the electric panels were our primary heat. Our highest power bill
        > > was $27.00.
        > > We did invest in a programmable plug-in thermostat for the larger unit.
        > >
        > > My hope is to eventually get into a well-insulated, tiny home which
        > > is energy self-sufficient. We have lots of sun and LOTS of wind.
        > >
        > > Liz in the Tinpalace
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        Fine post, Sherman.
         
        Another thing to consider is the cost of a fuel including all taxes, surcharges, service charges, delivery fees, etc.  My last month's SMUD electic bill was $23.87 for 215 kWh, which is $0.1110/kWh, a much different number than the $.0798/kWh that the actual electricity cost ($17.16 total).  The service charge alone for billing me was $5.00.  This factor becomes larger as power usage becomes smaller!
         
        Sherman didn't list natural gas in his comparison, which has usually been cost competitive where available.  My natural gas bill was $23.87 last month for10 therms (a therm is 100,000 BTU).  So, one million BTU cost $23.87 which, times about 80% efficiency for my older furnace, comes to $29.84/million BTU delivered.
         
        A million BTU of electricity would have cost $23.44, which is, surprisingly, a better deal.  Gas has always been known to be the better choice in this area.    Calculating using winter rates might change the whole picture...
         
        As a further bonus, SMUD, the local electric utility, has a large portion of hydroelectric and other renewable content, which further improves their look.
         
        This is, of  course, a purely economic analysis, and does not attempt to figure the REAL costs -- economic, aesthetic, environmental, and deferred -- that are hidden in taxes, subsidies, bonds, declining health, wars, extinction of species, and all the other REAL costs that we pay to keep warm and run our toys.
         
        I am sure I could write arguments praising or condemming any of our current sources of power.  If there was a clear "best choice" for everyone then we would all be using it!
         
        Conserve energy everywhere possible.  It really does matter...
        -Bob Korves  
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 12:27 AM
        Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Heating & hot water

        Hi All:

        I thought it might be helpful to pass on some general information about heating.

        Regardless of the fuel used, I've found it helpful to remember that you are really buying BTUs.

        Propane has about 90,000 (90K) BTU's per gallon (so at $3/gallon one million BTUs cost about $33)
        Kerosene is about 120K BTUs per gallon
        A cord of wood is around 18 to 22 million BTU's (at $150/cord 1M BTUs cost $7.50)
        One KWh of electricity is 3,412 BTUs (at $0.08/KWh 1M BTUs cost $23.40)
        Fuel oil is 130K BTUs per gallon

        And so on...

        To figure your actual cost per million BTU's _delivered_ to your living space, you must factor in the efficiency of the heating appliance. So, for example, with a typical old style wood stove with 50% efficiency the true cost for 1M BTUs is $15. At 90% efficiency, propane really costs about $37 for 1M BTUs, while the cost of 1M BTUs from electricity remains $23.40.

        In order to maintain the temperature in a building, the BTUs lost to the outside must be replaced.

        There are many different sources of BTUs, and many appliances to convert those sources into heat, but there is no way around the above facts. Oil-filled electric heaters are no better or worse than any other electric resistance heating appliance at converting electricity to BTUs. Any of them will give you 3,400 BTU's for each KWh it consumes. Any differences are in the _way_ the heat is delivered.

        The most important thing (as Liz mentioned) is to have a well-insulated structure.

        Sherman

        ------------ -- Original message ------------ --------- -
        From: Lizzie <tinpalace@cablerock et.com>
        > Lisa said;
        >
        > > My experience with the oil heaters is that they really run up the
        > > electric bill. I have a couple of friends living in a small studio
        > > (maybe 300 sq. ft.! ) while they build their house and they said
        > > during our cold snap this winter (in the teens at night) they ran
        > > it full bore and they were still cold.
        >
        > Our neighbours across the way, in a new "bus-style" motorhome, ran
        > three oil-filled heaters this past winter. They were always cold and
        > used a lot of power (over $100.00 a month plus their 40,000 BTU
        > furnace ran almost constantly. She put the frozen food which wouldn't
        > fit in the freezer in a styrofoam cooler in the front of the MH
        > (between the seats). All their interior water pipes froze and burst.
        > (Lesson here is: Don't buy a motorhome built in Florida and spend the
        > winter in Canada!)
        >
        > Granted we ran our propane furnace on a thermostat to kick in at 65
        > degrees at night, just to make certain we didn't get cold enough to
        > break the pipes in the belly of the unit, but our furnace is 35 years
        > old and produces 18,000 BTU an hour if it ran full time. We found it
        > kicked on three or four times a night for five minutes when it was
        > -20 and we had 40 MPH winds. We used 37 gallons of propane from Sept
        > to May 14. That heated our water, cooked our food and ran the
        > furnace. Costs $22.00 to fill a 30 gallon tank here, so $44.00 worth
        > of propane.
        >
        > But the electric panels were our primary heat. Our highest power bill
        > was $27.00.
        > We did invest in a programmable plug-in thermostat for the larger unit.
        >
        > My hope is to eventually get into a well-insulated, tiny home which
        > is energy self-sufficient. We have lots of sun and LOTS of wind.
        >
        > Liz in the Tinpalace
        >
        >




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