Home » Posts tagged 'heating'

Tag Archives: heating

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Post Archives by Category

Before Winter Comes

Before Winter Comes

I didn’t think it would be necessary for me to start talking about energy issues quite so soon. Granted, industrial civilization remains hopelessly dependent for its very survival on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, which are being used up at breakneck paces to prop up the absurdly extravagant lifestyles of a handful of rich nations.  Granted, the “green energy revolution” that soaked up so much investment money in recent decades turned out to be yet another gargantuan giveaway to corporations, while plenty of more modest investments that might have done some good got deep-sixed because they didn’t make the kleptocratic rich even richer. Granted, our governments have wasted decades we didn’t have to spare and squandered resources that might have enabled us to cushion the descent into the deindustrial future ahead of us.

Even so, I thought we had a little longer before the remorseless mathematics of depletion tipped us over from rising prices to actual shortages. Of course I didn’t expect the Russo-Ukrainian War to break out, or for Europe to respond with a flurry of shrill denunciations and ineffective sanctions while still demanding that Russia keep supplying it with oil and natural gas.  Russia’s angry riposte hasn’t just driven energy bills across Europe to unprecedented heights. It’s also shown just how brittle global energy markets have become—and that in turn offers fair warning of how little spare capacity the world’s remaining fossil fuel reserves have left.

Those of my readers who remember the energy crises of the 1970s, as I do, may be forgiven a certain sense of déjà vu.  Back then it was a war between Israel and an alliance of Arab nations that caused a major fossil fuel supplier to yank their product from the market, sending prices skyrocketing…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Winter is Coming for the UK

Winter is Coming for the UK

The outlook for the UK looks increasingly grim. There are few reasons to hope a new government can reverse the mounting consumer fears, stagflation and the growing sense of decline.

“Tell them the North remembers. Tell them Winter is Coming.”

This morning. The outlook for the UK looks increasingly grim. There are few reasons to hope a new government can reverse the mounting consumer fears, stagflation and the growing sense of decline.

Yesterday was cold, wet and grey. The sudden end of the glorious summer highlights how dark and bleak the mood in the UK has become. UK Consumer confidence has collapsed to levels not seen since the 1970s. London has ground to a halt with tube and rail strikes. Its not just the cost of living crisis – which, to be blunt, has only just begun and will get much, much worse as winter deepens– but folk are losing confidence in the broken mechanics of the economy, the absence of leadership and a growing sense things won’t get any better.

The country feels like its sinking into a treacle of energy-sucking, suffocating despond. Everything in Britain feels broken: the NHS is too crowded to treat patients, excess death rates show untreated cancers, heart-disease and stokes from lockdown now far outnumber Covid deaths, the police are so overloaded they have stopped even bothering to investigate crime, while airports are blocked, trains don’t work, and it really doesn’t matter because you can’t get a passport or driving licence renewed. As the rains come down, we’re under threat of dire authoritarian punishment if we dare use a garden hose – although to be fair, who is going to arrest you?

Thank heaven we’re about to get a new prime minister – SARCASM ALERT.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

German Consumers Just Learned How Much Extra They Will Have To Pay For Gas This Winter

German Consumers Just Learned How Much Extra They Will Have To Pay For Gas This Winter

With millions of German facing a painful freeze in the coming months, a winter gas surcharge, which will come into effect in October for German households and businesses, was set at 2.4 euro cents per kilowatt hour on Monday, DW reported on Monday.

Gas prices have been driven by German sanctions on Russian gas, prompting market concerns about energy security and also shortfalls in deliveries in some cases.  And while so far, consumers have been largely shielded from the increases, with companies unable to pass on their increased costs, all that is about to change. 

“It will get more expensive — there is no getting around that. Energy prices continue to rise. But: we are already unburdening citizens to the tune of €30 billion,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Twitter on Monday, soon after the announcement. “And we are working on a further relief package. We will leave nobody alone with these increased costs.” 

The decision on the amount of the levy fell to the company charged with overseeing and coordinating the German gas market, Trading Hub Europe.  The stated aim of the levy is to cover around 90% of the additional costs incurred by gas providers who are now paying higher prices to secure gas, in some cases from new sources other than Russia.

Just under half of German households are heated using gas, the most popular method by far in the country. German dependence on Russian gas has become notorious this year amid the war in Ukraine, both for household power and for industry.

Government seeks sales tax exemption

Finance Minister Christian Lindner has already said he aims to soften the blow by appealing in Brussels for the right to waive sales tax on the new gas levy…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

German Officials Warn Of Draconian Energy Regulations, “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots”

German Officials Warn Of Draconian Energy Regulations, “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots”

As queries for “firewood” have exploded on Google in Germany, and Deutsche Bank predicting that “wood will be used for heating purposes where possible,” German officials are now warning of extreme energy rationing measures, along with the potential for “extremists” to fuel national unrest over the deteriorating situation.

For starters, German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck – who previously called on residents to cut back on heating, visits to the sauna, and showers – announced on Friday that public buildings across the country won’t be allowed to set heating above 19 degrees Celsius (66.2F) this fall. Exceptions will be made for hospitals and ‘social facilities.’

In an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of the country’s largest daily newspapers, Habeck said that the new regulations would be part of the Energy Security Act – adding to previously announced bans on heating private pools.

In addition, buildings and monuments will not longer be lit at night, and there will be curbs on illuminated advertising – while “more savings are also needed in the work environment,” he added.

Habeck’s announcement comes just days after the head of Germany’s grid regulator, Klaus Mueller, said that German families would need to cut 20% of their normal energy consumption in order to avoid gas shortages by December.

“If we don’t save a lot and get extra fuel, we will have a problem,” he told Welt am Sonntag in an interview last week.

The situation has been brewing, as the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy comes into conflict with sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine – causing prices to skyrocket amid a decrease in Russian natural gas supplies to Europe.

Meanwhile, German officials are preparing for civil unrest.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Deutsche Bank Now Modeling German Households Chopping Wood To Keep Warm This Winter

Deutsche Bank Now Modeling German Households Chopping Wood To Keep Warm This Winter

Yesterday we reported that just in case the world didn’t have enough things to worry about, it is now also petrified about Europe’s potential “doomsday” on July 22 when Putin will decide the fate of the continent: if he resumes gas flows along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline which is currently undergoing ten-day maintenance, things will be back to normal(ish). If not, this is the scenario contemplated by Wall Street strategists: “European stocks plunging 20%. Junk credit spreads widening past 2020 crisis levels. The euro sinking to just 90 cents, before a full-blown recession slams the world’s 2nd biggest economy.”

Then overnight, in a note from Deutsche Bank senior economist Eric Heymann (available to pro subscribers), the largest German lender laid out the three most likely scenarios for what the post-maintenance period could look like. As Heymann writes, “we developed three scenarios on how Russian gas supplies to Germany via Nord Stream 1 as well as the transition point Waidhaus might evolve over the next few months.”

  • Scenario 1: Status quo ante. Here, DB assumes that Russian gas deliveries return to the level we had seen in the weeks before the current maintenance period of Nord Stream 1, i.e. 60% below the level at the end of May.
  • Scenario 2: Balanced on a knife-edge. Here, the bank assumes another halving of Russian gas supplies via both pipelines. That would correspond to only 20% of Russian gas supplies seen until May 2022 (this scenario was validated today as described in “Gazprom Casts Doubt On Reopening Nord Stream Even As Canada Grants Sanctions Waiver For Stranded Turbines“).
  • Scenario 3: This is the downside case: welcome to a winter of gas rationing. In a third scenario DB assumes that Russia completely turns off the gas taps to Germany after the maintenance period. That also includes supplies via Waidhaus over the next few months…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Deja Vu? Texas NatGas Output Plunges Amid Cold Snap

Deja Vu? Texas NatGas Output Plunges Amid Cold Snap

U.S. natural gas futures rose late in the session on new data that showed a plunge in pipeline gas flows in Texas, which indicates the state’s power grid could be susceptible to failures amid a cold snap.

Front-month gas futures are up more than 3% to $3.84 around 1445 ET as commodity traders assess the situation in Texas.

“Production of the heating and power generation fuel in Texas fell on Sunday to the lowest since February’s freeze — when millions were sent into the dark for days — after temperatures plunged,” BloombergNEF pipeline data showed. Flows are expected to rebound when temperatures rebound. 

Temperatures in The Lone Star State are expected to rebound in the coming days.

However, warmer weather might not return to much of the U.S. until next Tuesday. Mean temperatures will oscillate around a 30-year average for the next eight days, occasionally dipping to below-average levels. The coldest point is between Jan. 8-11.

Heating degree days for the U.S. show cold weather will increase the demand for energy to heat building structures.

A plunge in gas supplies comes right after the Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) of Texas said the power grid is “winterized and ready to provide power.”

Last February, a cold snap froze wellhead across the state that parazyled gas flows. Power plants couldn’t get enough fuel to spin turbines, and combine that with extraordinarily high power demand from customers to stay warm, the grid was minutes from collapse — forcing ERCOT, the grid operator — to implement rolling blackouts.

Despite ERCOT’s confidence that grid stability can be achieved this winter, keep an eye on Texas and pray for warmer weather; if not, another energy crisis could be nearing.

UK Bans Gas Heating

UK Bans Gas Heating

Lies, Lies, Lies!

Lies, Lies, Lies!

Politicians may be morons when it comes to public policy, but they’re geniuses when it comes to inventing new ways to control your life and steal your money.

Tax increases seem old-fashioned compared with new 21st-century ways to take over the financial system to your detriment and make you pay for their pet projects. Take climate, for example…

We’re all familiar with how climate alarm has been used to dictate changes in transportation, energy generation and construction codes. Of course, these efforts have been massive failures, as witnessed by the ongoing supply chain disruptions and energy shortages.

Large parts of Europe, Japan and China may freeze in the dark this winter thanks to efforts to close down nuclear and natural gas-fired electricity generation. The U.S. will be only slightly better off. We won’t freeze in the dark, but we will face much higher prices for home heating and gas at the pump.

The irony is that the U.S. will burn 23% more coal this year because of the shutdowns in nuclear and natural gas and the inability of wind turbines and solar to make up the difference. Nice job by the climate alarmists!

Will they be held to account? Will they see the error of their ways and abandon their delusions? Don’t hold your breath for either. They’ll only dig in harder.

Climate Alarmism Influencing Financial Decisions

Now the elites have a new way to use climate alarm to their advantage. They will use their existing control of the banks to force their climate agenda by dictating how banks lend and how you are allowed to spend.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be required to factor climate alarm into decisions on federally insured or guaranteed mortgages. The Labor Department will evaluate retirement plan managers, including 401(k) and IRA advisers, based on how they factor climate alarm into their investment decisions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Italy Becoming Poor — Becoming Poor in Italy. The Effects of the Twilight of the Age of Oil

Italy Becoming Poor — Becoming Poor in Italy. The Effects of the Twilight of the Age of Oil

The living room of the house that my parents built in 1965. An American style suburban home, a true mansion in the hills. I lived there for more than 50 years but now I have to give up: I can’t afford it anymore. 

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not poor. As a middle class, state employee in Italy, I am probably richer than some 90% of the people living on this planet. But wealth and poverty are mainly relative perceptions and the feeling I have is that I am becoming poorer every year, just like the majority of Italians, nowadays.

I know that the various economic indexes say that we are not becoming poorer and that, worldwide, the GDP keeps growing, even in Italy it sort of restarted growing after a period of decline. But something must be wrong with those indexes because we are becoming poorer. It is unmistakable, GDP or not. To explain that, let me tell you the story of the house that my father and my mother built in the 1960s and how I am now forced to leave it because I can’t just afford it anymore.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Italy was going through what was called the “Economic Miracle” at the time. After the disaster of the war, the age of cheap oil had created a booming economy everywhere in the world. In Italy, people enjoyed a wealth that never ever had been seen or even imagined before. Private cars, health care for everybody, vacations at the seaside, the real possibility for most Italians to own a house, and more.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

9 Ways You Can Save BIG On Energy Costs This Winter

9 Ways You Can Save BIG On Energy Costs This Winter

Heating your home during the winter can be costly and many don’t have the extra money to pay for the uptick in energy costs.  But we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to help you save your money on energy and use more sustainable ways to heat your home.

Not only can a reduction in the amount of energy you use lower your impact on the Earth, but it lowers the impact on your wallet, freeing up some funds for emergencies or for other uses. In a 2013 survey, 10 percent of renters who participated in a Rent.com poll said that utilities are their biggest monthly expense, coming in third after monthly rent and groceries. And just heating your living spaces accounts for about 48 percent of your home’s total energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

None of the things listed below will require a big investment, but they should help you notice a little relief when your next energy bill comes.

1. Use the sun for free heat: That burning bright orb in the sky should be the focus of temperature control in your residence throughout the year, even in summer. However, once winter rolls around, open the curtains on your south-facing windows during the winter days to bring free heat into your home. Close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat locked inside.

2. Use a programmable thermostat: Save up to 10 percent on your heating costs per year by setting your thermostat 7 degrees to 10 degrees lower for eight hours a day, says Energy.gov. Set it and forget it by using a programmable thermostat.  This works especially well if you are at work during the day.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Be Energy Efficient This Winter. This is the Best Wood To Heat Your Home

Be Energy Efficient This Winter. This is the Best Wood To Heat Your Home

Those who choose to heat their home with wood are becoming fewer and fewer. However, with more interested in a self-sustaining lifestyle and going off the grid, those numbers may begin to rise again.  If you decided to heat your home with wood, there are simply some types of wood that are better to burn in your home.

Those who choose to heat their home with wood are becoming fewer and fewer. However, with more interested in a self-sustaining lifestyle and going off the grid, those numbers may begin to rise again.  If you decided to heat your home with wood, there are simply some types of wood that are better to burn in your home.

There is nothing quite like a roaring fire to stand next to while listening to the crackles and pops on a subzero winter day while there’s a raging snowstorm blowing through. If you live in an area where those days are common in the winter, you probably know the benefits of having a wood burning stove firsthand.  The heat is immediate and fills the space quickly as opposed to waiting for propane or electric heat to keep up. It’s also oddly comforting.

When talking about burning wood inside for heat, it is important to first talk about the quality of your wood burning stove. Using wood as the main heat source in your home is not for everyone.  It’s actually lifestyle choice.  Many summer days will be spent cutting and splitting wood to be used during the winter months and if you choose to buy firewood, the cost may not outweigh the benefits.  In my little slice of Wyoming, a cord of wood that is already split and ready to go sell go for as much as $255 per cord for lodgepole pine which is a rather high price compared to many other areas. We use around 5-7 cords per year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Energy Asset

Energy Asset

Most of America’s 135 million homes were built as permanent structures, with 44% constructed before 1970. Considering growth and construction trends, these homes are likely to remain occupied for 50 years or longer. Although ownership changes, residential buildings can be viewed as long-term energy customers with consumption dominated by energy for heating and cooling.
Most U.S. homes are framed with wood: the thermal barrier between inside and outside (thermal shell) is “weatherized” by insulation between exterior studs and around ceiling joist. Personal comfort is accepted as a basic necessity, an unavoidable cost of living. Once the thermostat is set, few people give much thought to their mechanical system or the leakage of conditioned air that profoundly affects their energy bill.
infra-red photo
Infra-red photo
The 1980 USDOE report, “Low Energy Futures for the United States” (DOE/PE-0020), didn’t mention weatherization when describing a future in which efficiency offsets demand growth. Rather, the report states: “improved design and construction incorporating passive solar, super-insulation, and double envelope construction can greatly reduce energy requirements” (page 25). Unfortunately, thermal design evolves slowly, and EIA expects continued demand growth:
U,S. primary energy consumption by fuel between 1980-2035
According to trends described in the Guardian (12/11/17), EIA projections may be too low in our digital future. “U.S. researchers expect power consumption to triple in the next five years as one billion more people come online in developing countries, and the “internet of things” (IoT), driverless cars, robots, video surveillance and artificial intelligence grows exponentially in rich countries.”
Alternative currencies have recently emerged as another unplanned burden for the future grid. The Washington Post(2/13/18) reported that each “transaction involves an immense number of mathematical calculations, which in turn occupy vast computer server capacity. And that requires a lot of electricity.” The result is that “cryptocurrency mining in Iceland is using so much energy, the electricity may run out for the first time, they now exceed Icelanders’ own private energy consumption.”
The Energy Times (1/22/18) also pointed to the staggering energy requirement of alternative currencies: “The total network of computers plugged into the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy each day as some medium-size countries, and the network supporting Ethereum, the second-most valuable virtual currency, gobbles up another country’s worth of electricity each day.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ukraine Freezes After Russia Halts Gas Deliveries

Last week, Russia’s state-run gas giant and quasi-monopolist when it comes to European natgas supplies, Gazprom, announced it would not restart shipments of natural gas to Ukraine’s Naftogaz starting March 1 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement, Gazprom deputy chairman, Alexander Medvedev, told journalists.

Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine were supposed to restart on Thursday following a foreign court ruling aimed at ending years of disputes between Kiev and Moscow, including two halts to Russian gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine. But Gazprom unexpectedly refused to resume deliveries, returning the prepayment for supplies made by Kiev, claiming amendments to a contract had not been completed.

The decision came as the sides reportedly failed to extend a supplemental agreement to the current gas contract, RT reported.

“So far, the supplemental agreement to the operating contract with Naftogaz has not been approved, and that is a compulsory condition for launching the shipments,” Medvedev said. “So, we have to recover the amount paid by the company in full. And it is obvious that the shipments in March won’t start.”

In response, Ukraine’s state monopoly said that Gazprom had failed to deliver prepaid gas. Naftogaz is reportedly planning to claim damages for supply failure from the Russian energy major.

And while the long-running dispute may, but likely won’t, be resolved in court, Ukraine has suddenly found itself without heat and on Friday urged schools to close and factories to cut production, while residents shivered as the country strained to save on gas supplies.

The decision coincided with freezing temperatures all over Ukraine, and the government called on Friday for measures to reduce consumption.

Starting today, we recommended … to stop the work of kindergartens, schools and universities,” Ukraine energy minister Igor Nasalyk told lawmakers, while urging Ukrainian companies to adjust their operations to save gas, while power companies were ordered to switch to fuel oil where possible.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

And You Thought Bitcoin Was Volatile…

And You Thought Bitcoin Was Volatile…

If you are one of those people living in the Northeast who likes to keep their home temperature above freezing and waking up without frostbite, we have some bad news…

Another sudden bout of cold weather and LNG prices are soaring more than the seasonal norm.

Your heating bill may have just exploded over 300%…

Heating (and Cooling) Passively When It’s Too Late to Design Your Home For It

HEATING (AND COOLING) PASSIVELY WHEN IT’S TOO LATE TO DESIGN YOUR HOME FOR IT

One of the more difficult things about taking on a permaculture lifestyle when we already have an established residence is that, because the practice is based on efficient design, many times we having seemingly come to the game too late. Once a brick-and-mortar house is built and our savings are invested, it’s no small task to start renovating it to have a built in grey water system or south-facing aspect. But, that’s not to say nothing can be done.

With December rapidly approaching and temperatures falling here in the States, passive heating is more and more on my mind. I’m acutely aware of how poorly thought through, in terms of energy efficiency, many homes are. Having only recently returned, experiencing my first winter in a while, it’s painfully obvious, in fact, that rarely has any thought at all gone into passive heating. With power—natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear—readily available and reasonably affordable, houses simply haven’t been designed with this kind of efficient in mind for a long time. Economics has played a larger role than practicality.

That said, there are now a growing number of people wanting to live both more cost efficiently and more sustainably, but they are invested in homes not designed for that. For them, it’s important to find their own ways to contribute to and participate in positive lifestyle changes without immediately giving up everything they’ve worked for. They need to retrofit and make the most of what is already in place. Luckily, passive heating, to some degree, is still an option.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Click on image to purchase @ FriesenPress