News Government controlling your home

russ_watters

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Thanks. What did you think of my "price sensitive thermostat" proposal? Does it make sense to you?
Since electricity isn't a commodity for consumers (the price does not fluctuate from day to day....yet) and the rates are all published, you don't really need a price sensitive thermostat, just someone who understands the utility rates well enough to take advantage of the issues I discussed in my previous post. For consumers, this isn't much of an issue, but for businesses --- well, my dad makes a very comfortable living dealing mostly with this exact issue for businesses. There are all sorts of complexities and some companies do, in fact, use devices that regulate their power use based on the price impact of the usage.

There are some heating units that also do this. Heat pumps can be up to 3x more efficient than regular electric heat, but the efficiency decreases with outside temperature. And at some set of temperature and energy costs (I've calculated it before, but I'm not sure what it is right now), it becomes cheaper to heat your house with gas or oil. Carrier sells a combination heat pump/furnace that has a control algorithm that decides which to use at any given time.

There are other things you can do. My gas service is propane, which makes it only marginally cheaper than straight electric heating. So I use an electric space heater in whatever room I'm occupying at the time (providing some, but not all of the room's heat) and keep the rest of the house much cooler.
 

russ_watters

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It's largely obsolete now, but here's an article my dad published on manual demand monitoring and its impact on utility costs (today, it's mostly automatic): http://www.utilitycostconsultants.com/demand/demand.htm [Broken]

This client of his saved $670 a month. That sounds like a lot to a residential user, but chump change compared to what bigger companies save with similar efforts. It can be tens of thousands of dollars a month.
 
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WheelsRCool

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The University of Arizona completed their new School of Engineering buildings several years ago.

They built an A/C system that freezes water at night during off peak hours. The ice and ice water is kept in an large insulated underground tank. The cold water is distributed to air handlers during the daytime.

The savings has been enormous.
 

EnumaElish

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Don't know if ya'll know or not (I didn't read the entire thread), but there was public outcry on this, so they stopped their plans for the moment:

http://www.johnandkenshow.com/archives/2008/01/14/state-wants-to-control-your-thermostat/

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/01/12/news/top_stories/9_02_1801_11_08.txt
IMO that was a plan that would find popular support hardly anyplace, least of all in the U.S.

Why not just "beam" instantaneous price signals to homes/offices, and let the consumers make their own decisions?

I'd guess that when excess demand (roughly load minus generation) was up and the price started to climb toward +infinity, people would willingly take their homes off the grid for a while.
 
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WheelsRCool

Yeah, I don't like what California is trying to pull at all, IMO this is an example of how environmentalists want to micromanage everyone. I say just build another powerplant!
 

IMP

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The University of Arizona completed their new School of Engineering buildings several years ago.

They built an A/C system that freezes water at night during off peak hours. The ice and ice water is kept in an large insulated underground tank. The cold water is distributed to air handlers during the daytime.

The savings has been enormous.
The Houston Museum does this too. Rates are better at night, and the A/C unit is much more efficient when the outdoor temperatures are lower. It also means that they are not drawing large amounts of current during the day when there is peak demand. It really is a great idea...
As far as the gov controlling the thermostat in your private home: not a chance.
 

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