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On It is Time to Stop Measuring Fuel Efficiency in Miles Per Gallon

Geoffrey / Robert -- also one who has discussed this in past. (See, for example, http://getenergysmartnow.com/2009/06/11/a-note-why-gpm-makes-for-better-policy-than-mpg/)  

RE mpg illusion, worth linking to/mentioning the site: http://www.mpgillusion.com/  Discussion there is not just re mpg/gpm but where other measures confuse ... such as, top of the posts right now, how people don't understand sunscreen SPF factors.

Re price per mile, as mentioned above there is the serious issue of how do we help people understand total cost of ownership (capital cost, general repairs, insurance, ...) versus incremental costs (increased maintenance costs, perhaps increased insurance costs, fuel) versus solely the fuel cost. Most people, in my understanding, simply think the last to the extent that they consider the cost to drive a mile.  Thinking the first helps people understand / think about 'do we really need two cars in the family or does it make sense to have one and rely more on public transportation then rent a car or use a taxi when there is really is a need for that second one.

November 7, 2014    View Comment    

On It is Time to Stop Measuring Fuel Efficiency in Miles Per Gallon

Geoffrey / Robert -- also one who has discussed this in past. (See, for example, http://getenergysmartnow.com/2009/06/11/a-note-why-gpm-makes-for-better-policy-than-mpg/)  

RE mpg illusion, worth linking to/mentioning the site: http://www.mpgillusion.com/  Discussion there is not just re mpg/gpm but where other measures confuse ... such as, top of the posts right now, how people don't understand sunscreen SPF factors.

Re price per mile, as mentioned above there is the serious issue of how do we help people understand total cost of ownership (capital cost, general repairs, insurance, ...) versus incremental costs (increased maintenance costs, perhaps increased insurance costs, fuel) versus solely the fuel cost. Most people, in my understanding, simply think the last to the extent that they consider the cost to drive a mile.  Thinking the first helps people understand / think about 'do we really need two cars in the family or does it make sense to have one and rely more on public transportation then rent a car or use a taxi when there is really is a need for that second one.

November 7, 2014    View Comment    

On It is Time to Stop Measuring Fuel Efficiency in Miles Per Gallon

If we included in gasoline, repairs, insurance, etc ... E.g., is it the real cost per 1000 or simply the fuel cost that merits discussion/highlighting?

November 7, 2014    View Comment    

On Utility Clean Energy Deployment: Do Enough Customers and Stakeholders Care in Virginia?

Jim,

Look at the Dominion material.  It simply assumes 1000 kWh usage in its comparison.  California has invested, heavily, in energy efficiency and these investments are incorporated (to a large extent) within kWh prices. The average California resident uses fewer kWh due to these investments. Thus, the per kWh cost might be higher but the greater efficiency (less electricity use) can translate into lower total bills.  (Excellent discussion comparing Texas and California here: http://www.pacificviews.org/weblog/archives/018931.php )  The Dominion slide you link is absolutely not a comparison state electricity bills but of notional bills worked to Dominion's public communications advantage.  

Again, let's ask whose data should be relied on for this discussion:  Dominion public affairs or the Department of Energy?

August 6, 2014    View Comment    

On Utility Clean Energy Deployment: Do Enough Customers and Stakeholders Care in Virginia?

A question re the Dominion state comparison -- to what extent are the domestic fuel mixes similar?  

And, what are Dominion's sources?

According to DOE (excel spreadsheet on state-by-state use accessed via http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3), Connecticut averaged $126.75 per month in electricity use (2012) rather than the $206+ above; and, California was $87.91 rather than the $228.85 reported by Dominion.  According to DOE, Virginia's average bill?  $123.72

August 5, 2014    View Comment    

On Starved for Power, New Indian Government Translates "Chicken in Every Pot" Into “Solar on Every Roof”

There is the averted kerosene cost -- which I have seen at $5-10/month.

And, as to the D-Link, a quick link to something that I wrote several years ago. See http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/blogs/blog-urban-prospects/article4706014.ece, for example, which suggests roughly a $US12 for a solar / LED light combo. 

June 2, 2014    View Comment    

On Starved for Power, New Indian Government Translates "Chicken in Every Pot" Into “Solar on Every Roof”

PS -- by the way, thank you for comment. Good example of thinking/laying out how developing country and developed world energy / electricity challenges both overlap and differ. Importance of taking time to understand commonalities and differences.

June 2, 2014    View Comment    

On Starved for Power, New Indian Government Translates "Chicken in Every Pot" Into “Solar on Every Roof”

Nathan,

Thank you for the substantive engagement.

Agree that a small solar/LED light/phone charger system is still energy poverty compared to developed world's standards. However, as I understand it (seen studies, none at hand), that move up to energy poverty (from extreme energy poverty -- or however it should be termed) has tremendous impacts from indoor pollution to increased educational achievement (especially among girls with all the positive social impacts resulting from that to increase economic activity (using cell phones for transactions) to ...).  A few 10s of watts of solar with some hours of LED lighting is not the equivalent of plugging into the grid ... but it is a meaningful step forward that is achievable rapidly at an affordable cost.

Re nuclear power -- putting aside any other issues, this requires grid -- and many (most?) of the 400 million people that we are talking about are not on -- and typically not near -- the grid.  Should they wait decades to make a leap from zero electricity to unlimited electricity too cheap to meter?

Re the last paragraph, outside the scope of this discussion to me ... 

 

June 2, 2014    View Comment    

On Starved for Power, New Indian Government Translates "Chicken in Every Pot" Into “Solar on Every Roof”

Brian,

Might I suggest that there is potential for combo of bottom up and top down.  Cleaning up / strengthening / even expanding 'the' grid can occur even as clean distribution goes in.  

While still leaving people in energy poverty, compared to the United States, small solar can rapidly move in come close to eliminating total absence of electricity. That bump -- from no electricity to limited electricity -- has a huge impact on peoples' lives.

The sort of few solar cells, phone charger, small LED lighting systems aren't appropriate to hook into a grid, however.

June 2, 2014    View Comment    

On How California's K-12 Schools Can Teach Us About Energy Efficiency

Catherine

Thank you for this excellent discussion with thoughts as how to incorporate data collection/analysis to help inform future investment decision-making.

I would suggest, however, that the thinking needs to broaden. In essence, what I see here is only a bit past the stove-piped ‘we invest in energy efficiency and we will save energy, what is the ROI’ sort of discussion that is too prevalent both in government policy-making and in private business. The rebound effect element that you highlight merits understanding. However, there are very large arenas for additional consideration — arenas that quite likely overwhelm, in robust cost-benefit analysis, the implications of direct energy savings. Let me provide two small examples:

1. In the office environment, ‘greening’ programs can lead to productivity improvements of 5 / 10 / 15+%. (see: http://getenergysmartnow.com/2009/09/25/new-study-green-buildings-generate-more-green/) As the typical US office spends roughly 100x on people as it does on energy/water resources, a 5% productivity improvement has 25x the value of a 20% reduction in the energy/water costs. While it is a more serious challenge to do a clean before/after with schools (changing cohorts, changing curriculum, etc …), there is strong evidence of similar gains. Thus, the question, what energy efficiency investments might have an impact on student/teacher performance (such as daylighting) and how does one include that improved (or, possible, worsened) performance in the valuation equation of energy efficiency investments?

2. Many school systems are seeking to foster improved STEM education programs and all school systems expend significant resources on textbooks and other tools (for STEM and otherwise). Solar PV panels, for example, are quite easy to integrate into educational programs. (See:http://getenergysmartnow.com/2013/09/03/thinking-past-stovepipes-solar-electricity-on-roof-and-classroom/) To what extent can energy efficiency investments contribute to the educational program and how would one incorporate that ‘learning value’ into the cost-benefit calculation?

For a perspective as to the systems-of-systems benefits from greening schools, see: http://www.senseandsustainability.net/2013/10/18/greening-schools/

October 31, 2013    View Comment    

On Energy COOL: Turning Gurgling into Clean Electricity

John -- see coment above, meant to do it as a reply.  

September 13, 2013    View Comment    

On Energy COOL: Turning Gurgling into Clean Electricity

John

My explanation/discussion of both systems is/was limited. Perhaps it would make sense to go over to the Natel site to see how they are describing installation/use of their system rather than relying on the very cursory introduction that I provided. Your concern could be 100% on target or, perhaps, their proposed installation/operational concept addresses your concerns.  Either way, I would be interested in your thoughts after you look at their material more closely.

Adam

September 13, 2013    View Comment