News

Opinion: What most people don't know will hurt us

Heat pump water heaters, which are powered by electricity, pull in ambient warm air and use it to heat a tank of water. Courtesy Palo Alto Utilities.

Earlier this year, the Palo Alto City Council waded through graphs and charts and strategies and agreed to work toward this scenario in nine years and four months: Almost every new car in Palo Alto is electric and no home uses gas for heating, hot water or cooking.

The next morning, as I walked my dog in the neighborhood, the first friend I saw asked about the meeting. I gestured to the houses nearby and said we were all going to have to stop using natural gas. She said she didn't want to, and I said we might need to turn it off within a decade. She replied that our electricity comes from sources that aren't good either.

Palo Alto City Council member Alison Cormack. Photo by Veronica Weber.

Actually, our electricity is carbon neutral and comes from hydro (water going over dams), solar (mostly large projects in the Central Valley), methane capture (from landfills) and wind turbines (located elsewhere). This means that you can use Palo Alto electricity with confidence that it is clean energy and that there is an entire team of staff plus the Utilities Advisory Commission constantly working on the sources, pricing and availability of this energy.

A few blocks later, another friend offered to show me her backyard renovation in progress. In the middle of the lovely new patio was a gas connection for a firepit. I reluctantly asked if she knew how bad they were for the environment and she said no. She said she was glad her high schooler didn't know because she would make the family take it out!

Natural gas sounds positive and has been marketed with a pretty little blue flame for decades. But here are two crucial facts about natural gas, which most of us use to heat our homes and water, many of us use to cook our food, and some of us use to make sitting outside more pleasant in the evenings: 1) You are releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when you burn it, and 2) Leaks in the natural gas extraction and distribution process create methane, which is 84 times worse than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in terms of its ability to capture and retain heat.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

Some climate action advocates use scare tactics, some talk about the future in dramatic personal fashion, some are deep in the data of Celsius, and metric tons, and decay rates, and other measurements. Let's move from fear, drama and technical details to the changes that all of us can make now. The terminology is clunky — electric pump water heater, which is hard to envision, and magnetic induction, which makes me think there might be a physics quiz — but the effect is to get the gas out of your house.

Just as we prepare for earthquakes by having supplies ready, we need to prepare for that hot water heater to fail. They usually last about 10 years and when they go out absolutely everyone in the house wants them replaced 10 minutes ago. One public speaker on that Monday night, who is very concerned about climate change, shared that last year she replaced her water heater with a new gas one because she didn't know how bad natural gas was for the atmosphere and that there is a great alternative. She's not the only one who doesn't know that you are likely creating problems in your home for life on this planet — and you can start solving them today.

If you own your home, make sure there is a 240V outlet near your current water heater and bookmark the city's page on heat pump water heaters. If you rent a home, ask the landlord if they will do this. If you live in an apartment, get together with your neighbors and ask the landlord what it would take to switch over from natural gas to electric and how you can help. If you live in a condo, show up at your next homeowners association meeting and ask them when the complex can switch and how you can help. Seriously, write this down on a Post-It note or put it on your phone's to-do list!

Now, let's turn to the "I love my gas range and you will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands" narrative. I love to cook as much as the next person, possibly more. I host an annual Julia Child dinner with another family, make meals for friends with babies and friends with cancer, and basically view cooking for others as the highest form of love. And I've managed with a glass on electric range for 20 years, which is nowhere near as good as the new induction cooktops that use magnets.

Think of induction as a Tesla for your countertop — good-looking, good for the planet and super fast. A friend of mine who prizes his gas stove recently stayed at a home with induction and was impressed with how well it worked. Some restaurant chefs are switching to induction because it works as well as gas and it improves air quality and safety in their kitchens.

If you want help getting the gas out of your home, start with a virtual visit from our Home Efficiency Genie, which you can schedule online or by calling 650-713-3411. It's free this month (usually $49) and you will get expert advice for your home and your needs. It's time for all of us to start making changes at home.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Alison Cormack serves on the City Council and is a member of the Climate Action ad hoc committee. These are her personal views. She can be reached at [email protected]

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Stay informed on important city government news. Sign up for our FREE daily Express newsletter.

Opinion: What most people don't know will hurt us

by Alison Cormack / Contributor

Uploaded: Mon, Aug 23, 2021, 8:41 am
Updated: Tue, Aug 24, 2021, 8:39 am

Earlier this year, the Palo Alto City Council waded through graphs and charts and strategies and agreed to work toward this scenario in nine years and four months: Almost every new car in Palo Alto is electric and no home uses gas for heating, hot water or cooking.

The next morning, as I walked my dog in the neighborhood, the first friend I saw asked about the meeting. I gestured to the houses nearby and said we were all going to have to stop using natural gas. She said she didn't want to, and I said we might need to turn it off within a decade. She replied that our electricity comes from sources that aren't good either.

Actually, our electricity is carbon neutral and comes from hydro (water going over dams), solar (mostly large projects in the Central Valley), methane capture (from landfills) and wind turbines (located elsewhere). This means that you can use Palo Alto electricity with confidence that it is clean energy and that there is an entire team of staff plus the Utilities Advisory Commission constantly working on the sources, pricing and availability of this energy.

A few blocks later, another friend offered to show me her backyard renovation in progress. In the middle of the lovely new patio was a gas connection for a firepit. I reluctantly asked if she knew how bad they were for the environment and she said no. She said she was glad her high schooler didn't know because she would make the family take it out!

Natural gas sounds positive and has been marketed with a pretty little blue flame for decades. But here are two crucial facts about natural gas, which most of us use to heat our homes and water, many of us use to cook our food, and some of us use to make sitting outside more pleasant in the evenings: 1) You are releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when you burn it, and 2) Leaks in the natural gas extraction and distribution process create methane, which is 84 times worse than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in terms of its ability to capture and retain heat.

Some climate action advocates use scare tactics, some talk about the future in dramatic personal fashion, some are deep in the data of Celsius, and metric tons, and decay rates, and other measurements. Let's move from fear, drama and technical details to the changes that all of us can make now. The terminology is clunky — electric pump water heater, which is hard to envision, and magnetic induction, which makes me think there might be a physics quiz — but the effect is to get the gas out of your house.

Just as we prepare for earthquakes by having supplies ready, we need to prepare for that hot water heater to fail. They usually last about 10 years and when they go out absolutely everyone in the house wants them replaced 10 minutes ago. One public speaker on that Monday night, who is very concerned about climate change, shared that last year she replaced her water heater with a new gas one because she didn't know how bad natural gas was for the atmosphere and that there is a great alternative. She's not the only one who doesn't know that you are likely creating problems in your home for life on this planet — and you can start solving them today.

If you own your home, make sure there is a 240V outlet near your current water heater and bookmark the city's page on heat pump water heaters. If you rent a home, ask the landlord if they will do this. If you live in an apartment, get together with your neighbors and ask the landlord what it would take to switch over from natural gas to electric and how you can help. If you live in a condo, show up at your next homeowners association meeting and ask them when the complex can switch and how you can help. Seriously, write this down on a Post-It note or put it on your phone's to-do list!

Now, let's turn to the "I love my gas range and you will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands" narrative. I love to cook as much as the next person, possibly more. I host an annual Julia Child dinner with another family, make meals for friends with babies and friends with cancer, and basically view cooking for others as the highest form of love. And I've managed with a glass on electric range for 20 years, which is nowhere near as good as the new induction cooktops that use magnets.

Think of induction as a Tesla for your countertop — good-looking, good for the planet and super fast. A friend of mine who prizes his gas stove recently stayed at a home with induction and was impressed with how well it worked. Some restaurant chefs are switching to induction because it works as well as gas and it improves air quality and safety in their kitchens.

If you want help getting the gas out of your home, start with a virtual visit from our Home Efficiency Genie, which you can schedule online or by calling 650-713-3411. It's free this month (usually $49) and you will get expert advice for your home and your needs. It's time for all of us to start making changes at home.

Alison Cormack serves on the City Council and is a member of the Climate Action ad hoc committee. These are her personal views. She can be reached at [email protected]

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2021 at 9:28 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 23, 2021 at 9:28 am

I would take task with a statement that most of us in Palo Alto do not use gas to heat our homes, heat water and cook. That statement may be true for new homes, but anything older than say 15 - 20 years is inaccurate and there are many homes that are a lot older than that and have not been modernized.

Most restaurants are still using gas for cooking. Any chef will tell you why they prefer gas.

Our electricity supply is problematic. We have outages frequently for powerlines being hit by tree branches even in calm weather. We have birds flying into powerlines causing outages and I won't mention mylar balloons.

Our tv screens show commercials telling us to cut down on power use between 4 and 9 pm. These are the hours most of us get home and want to use power, not only for charging devices including cars, but also for doing homework, doing chores including laundry and cooking dinner. As yet, there is no cheap hours incentives for running dishwashers overnight. Perhaps we should have a two tier system where power is cheaper between midnight and 6 am when we get these new smart meters.

I have nothing against encouraging electricity over gas, but as yet we have no overwhelming ease of doing so. Until such time as our electricity supply is more reliable, for most of the idea of banning gas is premature.


StarSpring
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 23, 2021 at 1:55 pm
StarSpring, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 23, 2021 at 1:55 pm

I think there is more than a bit of White Privilege in this article. Palo Alto pays a premium to have "carbon neutral" electricity or our privileged share of Hetch Hetchy hydropower. Palo Alto residents can afford to pay a premium for Heat Pumps and induction cooktops. Don't get me wrong, Heat Pumps are a cool technology and, after watching an induction cooktop in action, I'm ready to get one. After my gas range dies.

However, If I trade my reliable 2012 Outback for a Tesla, what happens? Another family that cannot afford a Tesla will buy the Outback and keep it, and its ICE engine, running for another 20 years. We are facing a global issue requiring global action on a global scale.

The flaw in almost all of these blogs, big hearted as they are, is that there is an assumption that consumers/individuals can solve issues that are profit driven by Big Industry. We can't solve plastic pollution through recycling. Big Plastic (nee Big Oil) has to be forced to address that issue.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Aug 23, 2021 at 2:01 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Aug 23, 2021 at 2:01 pm

I'm disappointed that AC didn't put a bit more research and thought into this opinion piece.

First, it's worth getting scientific numbers from a reputable source like the EPA - methane's global warming potential vs CO2 is about 35, not "84".

Second, of course we will not fully stop using fossil fuels in PA by 2030, unless the City pays for non-fossil-fueled replacement cars, furnaces, etc. Even banning the purchase of (say) gas-fired water heaters will just lead to folks buying them in Mountain View and doing self- or under-the-table installations, with the associated public safety risks.

Third, AC's comments on converting rental/multifamily housing make me suspect she has never been a renter or multiunit dweller. Based on my experiences in electricity-friendly Seattle, when faced with requirements or demands to use electric heat and hot water, owners will not purchase highly efficient, but expensive, heat pumps. Rather, they will install extremely cheap (and often cheaply made) baseboard and in-wall resistive heating, and modestly-insulated cheap electric water heaters. This will result in a large increase in electrical demand, likely requiring frequent activation of fossil-fueled "peaking" power plants.

I am glad AC has nice neighbors who graciously welcome her informational walks.


Sherry Listgarten
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Aug 23, 2021 at 10:24 pm
Sherry Listgarten, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 23, 2021 at 10:24 pm

@MondoMan: As I think you know, methane is a relatively short-lived greenhouse gas. We worry about it much more over a span of 10-20 years than over 100 years. That is why it makes more sense to use the 20-year horizon for the global warming potential of methane (86x more powerful than CO2) than the 100-year horizon (34x more powerful).

@Bystander: "Any chef will tell you why they prefer gas." That's a pretty blanket statement, no? Lots of chefs love induction cooking. The cookware heats up super fast, yet the kitchen stays much cooler since so little heat energy is leaked. There's also the improved safety and ease of cleaning. And, yes, +1 for smart meters making it possible to price power properly.

@StarSpring: Hang onto your trusty Outback, but consider getting a used Chevy Bolt. They are a great deal, have terrific range, and are soon getting new battery upgrades for free. If/when you do sadly turn over your Outback, hopefully a family will upgrade to it from a more polluting vehicle. And so the world gets cleaner... I'm not sure that Big Oil can be expected to solve this, though we can try to extract $$. But the auto makers are all doing their part. (Well, mostly. Ahem, Toyota.) Government policies (incentives, etc) can help a lot. Let's see what can get through Congress. Meanwhile, as consumers, we can do our part to help motivate the car industry, the food industry, the hvac industry, etc, when we are able, to produce the clean appliances that we need to avert the worst of global warming. That's my 2c anyway.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:55 am
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:55 am

@Sherry
On a bit of a side note, thanks for your extensive post a while back on the split mini systems - that raised a lot of awareness (at least on my part) and we are now considering such a system looking ahead a year or two.

Regarding the methane/CO2 relative warming ratio, since CO2 remains in the atmosphere for 100s of years, while methane is gone after about 10, limiting our outlook to only 20 years in the future imho unscientifically minimizes the relative warming potential of CO2 when making emissions decisions. I suspect that's why the EPA uses a 100 year window to get its methane/CO2 ratio of about 35.


funky
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2021 at 10:50 am
funky, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 10:50 am

I went through the same process of being angry about no gas in any new structures. I found this out when permitting for a new ADU. I then learned about energy efficient technologies such as, mini-split system, heat pump dryers and heat pump hot water heaters. I was a die hard gas nut when it came to cooking, but bought an induction cooktop when I remodeled the kitchen a few years ago. (I can't stress enough that induction is so much better than gas!) I quickly become a convert.

The thing that the writer did not mention was the use of solar power. Every new home permitted as of 2020 has to be net zero. My ADU will have solar panels and a battery to generate enough electricity to offset its use. Sure, it costs more money now, but it will pay back over time. I wish I had learned about these technologies sooner.


Old and in the way
Registered user
Downtown North
on Aug 24, 2021 at 11:06 am
Old and in the way, Downtown North
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 11:06 am

My 72 year old Wedgewood stove is made very sad by this news. I remodeled my kitchen around it 15 years ago, and will have to remodel again to replace it as it is not a standard size. It is very reliable, rarely needs services (3 times in 45 years) and cooks beautifully, besides being a cozy presence. Hopefully it and I will be ready to retire in 10 years, it to some horrid fate and me to senior living. Otherwise, there could be trouble. . .


PA mom
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2021 at 11:48 am
PA mom, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 11:48 am

I haven't found any mention of the cost of using a heat pump in the article or comments. Our gas furnace died and we are considering installing a heat pump and were told that it would almost double our winter energy bill, unless we get solar installed. I think that is where the white privilege thing comes in. With permits, plus installation of both, including an unsightly power box (can't remember what it's called), about one yard square being stalled in our back yard beside our house, we're looking at a long project costing tens of thousands of dollars.

If we want to cut back on gas, I say the city of Palo Alto needs to bring back enforcement of the gas powered lear-blower ban. Not to do so seems hypocritical, and it would cut back on crazy-making noise pollution as well.


Barron Park Denizen
Registered user
Barron Park
on Aug 24, 2021 at 12:21 pm
Barron Park Denizen, Barron Park
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Our modest 70-year-old house in Barron Park has gas space heating, water heating, stove, and dryer. (One nice part: the heat works when the electric power is out.) Our electrical service is a measly 70 amps. We are senior citizens who, at some future point, will need to sell our house, but have no such intention at present. I can see making it an ordinance that all new houses be all-electric, but don't punish us with huge expenses for a new service and appliances that will be wasted when our little house is scraped.

There is also the reality of the neighborhood electrical and transformer capacity. We are at a dead end of the power grid--multiple electric cars on top of a all-electric world could overtax the grid, on this street and elsewhere. A Level 2 car charger is around 6 or even 7 kW, I believe, or 30 amps at 240 volts. The local pole transformer is 25 kVa, equivalent to roughly 25 kW. I wonder who will get to pay for upgrading the City's power distribution system.............take a guess.

The saddest part is, Palo Alto's carbon-reducing contribution would be massively overwhelmed by one Chinese coal power plant. Or forest fire. Lots of money + negligible effect = bad idea.


valorie25
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2021 at 12:59 pm
valorie25, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 12:59 pm

In 10 years?? This city is crazy!! What do the council members smoke before their meetings.......


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2021 at 1:27 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 1:27 pm

@ StarSpring .... why don't you be specific about your "white privilege" reference? The term is really getting worn out and people are tired of it.


d page
Registered user
Midtown
on Aug 24, 2021 at 1:35 pm
d page, Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 1:35 pm

Thank you to Alison and Sherry. I'd like to comment on the "privilege" issue. Yes, those of us in the middle class of a 1st world country have it pretty good compared to most of our human cousins. Therefore, don't we have a responsibility to do as much as we can to prevent the weather from getting worse? The negative impact of global warming falls mostly on the poor.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2021 at 2:37 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 2:37 pm
Sherry Listgarten
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:35 pm
Sherry Listgarten, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:35 pm

@PA Mom: Your question about energy bills is an important one. I'm curious who told you that they would double, as it's not what I have heard or see from the numbers.

You can find gas rates for Palo Alto here: Web Link I will use Tier 2 prices, but you can switch to Tier 1 if you use very little gas.

Gas cost about $1.80 per therm this past winter (Tier 2).

You can find electric rates here: Web Link

Tier 2 is a safe bet unless Palo Alto decides, as PG&E has done, to greatly expand its Tier 1 (cheaper) pricing for people with electric heat, which would make electric heat about 20% cheaper.

So Tier 2 electricity costs about $0.19 per kWh.

If on a cold day you use 3 therms of gas heat, and your remarkable furnace is 100% efficient, then that translates to 88 kWh of electric heat. With a heat pump, much of that energy is extracted from the air. Let's say that you pay for 30 kWh and then get 2x that, or 60 kWh, from the air. (That ratio is conservative for a good quality heat pump on a moderately cool day around here.)

The 3 therms of gas would cost you $5.40
The 30 kWh of electricity would cost you $5.70

I'm not saying this is exact, but it's ballpark. I just don't see heating prices doubling. Moreover, if I had to bet on future energy prices, gas will only get relatively more expensive compared to electricity. (And don't forget that you get air conditioning as well, and these heat pumps are much cheaper for cooling than standard air conditioners.)

There's more information here on installation cost, etc: Web Link YMMV, but this is what I found after talking with a number of people around here. I worry more about install than energy cost.


Green Gables
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 24, 2021 at 5:13 pm
Green Gables, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 5:13 pm

I have a monthly income of a little more than $2,000. If you want to change the gas water heater and the gas furnace, YOU can pay for it.


PA mom
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2021 at 5:16 pm
PA mom, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Aug 24, 2021 at 5:16 pm

Sherry Listgarten, It was two HVAC co. we got estimates for a heat pump from that told us our monthly energy bill would double without solor.


Sherry Listgarten
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Aug 25, 2021 at 10:15 am
Sherry Listgarten, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2021 at 10:15 am

@PA Mom: Weird. Maybe they meant to say that your electric bill will double in winter months (certainly possible depending on use), but forgot to say that your gas bill would decrease by the same amount? That's my best guess.

I hope the City will make it easier for you to find and talk with people who have installed these in homes similar to yours. That would be the most effective way for you to learn about them. You will realize they aren't that exotic. It gets pretty boring when you look at enough of them.


Kristin Pierce
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Aug 25, 2021 at 10:44 am
Kristin Pierce, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2021 at 10:44 am
Larry
Registered user
Downtown North
on Aug 25, 2021 at 11:19 am
Larry, Downtown North
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2021 at 11:19 am

According to the CPAU web site, Palo Alto's natural gas is carbon-neutral and has been since 2017.

Web Link

CPAU charges us for carbon offsets to make this happen. But carbon offsets have now fallen out of fashion, and the City no longer recognizes them as legitimate. This is bait-and-switch fraud in my opinion. If the City wants to force us all to abandon our gas appliances, then I want a refund for the "defective" carbon offsets I was forced to buy. Hopefully that will "offset" the expense of my compulsory appliance conversion.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 25, 2021 at 11:27 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2021 at 11:27 am

Speaking of refunds, I'm still waiting for my refunds from the 2 class action lawsuits against the city and PA Utilities for its historic practice of over-charging us about $20,000,000 each and every year to funnel those "surcharges" from us into the General Fund.

Anyone have an update on where the refunds are, especially since the CPAU has proposed a 3.5% rate hike this year and 5% hikes for the next 2 years after that?

Interestingly to protest these rate hikes, 11,000 of us must complete a multi-step process.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2021 at 11:41 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2021 at 11:41 am

@Sherry.

I would be interested to know which high end restaurants have switched from gas to induction cooking.


Sherry Listgarten
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Aug 25, 2021 at 1:20 pm
Sherry Listgarten, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2021 at 1:20 pm

@Bystander, maybe this is helpful? Web Link

FWIW I also get the sense that some restaurants have a mix -- induction because they're faster/cooler/cleaner/etc, but still a small gas because a few dishes/techniques need it.


Sherry Listgarten
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Aug 25, 2021 at 9:12 pm
Sherry Listgarten, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 25, 2021 at 9:12 pm

@PA Mom: I apologize, I realize that I got the web link wrong where I said "There's more information here". I meant this link: Web Link


Chris
Registered user
University South
on Aug 26, 2021 at 12:37 am
Chris, University South
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 12:37 am

I did not see a mention of carbon tax in this discussion. That is the most effective way of internalizing the environmental costs. The legislation of overly prescriptive rules on a microlocal basis is equivalent to trying to boil the ocean.

These rules would only make real sense if they were adopted on a Bay Area wide basis. Palo Alto by itself account ps for less than 1% of the regional population.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2021 at 8:17 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 8:17 am

@Sherry. Thanks for that link. I found it very interesting. Of course those are not around here, but it is still interesting nonetheless.


Robert Neff
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2021 at 11:15 pm
Robert Neff, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 11:15 pm

Thanks for the article. Yes, just replaced the gas water heater in an expensive "emergency" last year, so need to plan ahead with a 240V outlet for next time, plus enough space. When I have done the calculation on solar panels costs, I have consistently found that it does not make sense for us, because we tend more towards conservation with fans and insulation, instead of using a lot of electricty to run the air conditioning. Our city and state need to simplify this - If you generate electricity you should be paid, independent of your use, and if you use gas, or gas to make electricity (or just use gasoline) you should pay a carbon tax.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.