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Power alarm over home electronics

Globe and Mail Update

Boom in cellphones, flat-screen TVs and MP3 players to spur electricity surge, hurt environment, IEA warns ...Read the full article

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  1. Ronald Needmayer from Canada writes: This is a pretty minor detail to be concerned about. My electrical consumption, which is probably typical, is nothing compared to my natural gas, gasoline, food, and material consumption. Two-thirds of the year I need to heat my home anyway, so that can't be considered wasted energy any more than any other source of electric heat.
  2. Roger Gagne from Calgary, Canada writes: Ronald Needmayer from Canada writes: This is a pretty minor detail to be concerned about.
  3. A G Peterson from Vancouver, Canada writes: Well duh. Imagine how much power corporations use for data centres with routers, switches and cooling systems operating all day. individual consumtion is way less consumed, however it is worth noting - it's one's personal consumption which needs attention too. Turn-off un-needed equipment. This isn't new.
  4. Roger Gagne from Calgary, Canada writes: Ronald Needmayer from Canada writes: "This is a pretty minor detail to be concerned about."

    Hi Ronald,

    In an avalanche, every snowflake pleads "Not guilty".

    Of course, it's mainly not about guilt, but about an opportunity and a call to shift towards a more fair, sensible, harmonious means of living on the planet, and with each other.
  5. A. Nonymous from Job Ville, United States writes: "Of course, it's mainly not about guilt, but about an opportunity and a call to shift towards a more fair, sensible, harmonious means of living on the planet, and with each other."

    and what would be a more "fair, sensible, harmonious" means of living?
  6. H Rosenthal from Canada writes: From a practical perspective, just use a power bar and turn it off when leaving the room. Maybe we should have switched plugs or plugs that go off with the lights in the room or timed power bars/switches. I was in a hotel once that had a switch at the exit door that turned off everything in the room except the electric clock.
  7. instant karma from Burlington, Canada writes: hmm... so how will all those Chevy Volts getting plugged in at night impact the power grid...
  8. Doctor Demento from Canada writes: This report makes no sense. The examples of electronic devices provided use a tiny amount of electricity compared to appliances, lights and alternatives that are being replaced like cathode ray TVs.

    Air conditioning requirements as the planet warms and electric or hydrogen cars are far more likely to cause a spike in electricity demand . . .
  9. garth mckenzie from Canada writes: Right now in my house: two computers on (one being used), printer on (always on regardless of use), TV on playing the radio, house heated with electrical heat, two phone-rechargers plugged in (but not actually recharging anything. I leave two porch lights and a living room light on all night. I don't turn the TV off until bedtime. The computers almost never get shut down, and I drive a truck that gets 20 miles to the gallon with a tail wind.

    Eat it, hippies.
  10. Roger Gagne from Calgary, Canada writes: A. Nonymous from Job Ville, United States writes: "and what would be a more "fair, sensible, harmonious" means of living?"

    Hi Nony,

    Well, you could try what your American ancestors in the Iroquois Confederacy did, by considering the impact of their actions on the seventh generation to come after...

    But that's a daunting prospect for just one person to take on, I think it's actually intended as a societal project, so how about starting with using only the energy that you need? As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The world has enough for every person's need, but not for everyone's greed."
  11. g h from Canada writes: garth mckenzie, ignorance and selfishness are not virtues, let alone something to crow about on a public forum. I bet you were even stupid enough to use your real name. You've completed the trifecta!
  12. Brian Bishop from Over here., Canada writes: instant karma from Burlington, Canada writes: hmm... so how will all those Chevy Volts getting plugged in at night impact the power grid...
    --------------------------------

    Not much at all!

    Basically the Ontario government has got ahead of itself for a change with Smart Meters.

    This will penalize you if you don't recharge those cars at nighttime. That's really the only thing Smart Meters can do, they don't reduce consumption or anything else for that matter. A Smart Meters soul purpose is to penalize you for your consumption at the wrong time.

    It's not so much the amount of hydro we use, it's when we use it. Nuclear reactors run whether we use all the available power they produce or not.

    At night reactor's have excess capacity, during the daytime we exceed reactor capacity & then must run coal fired generators to make up for the shortfall!

    This is where your greenhouse gas emissions occur.
    -
  13. Brad Bender from Calgary, Canada writes: Likewise to what "instant karma from Burlington" said.

    So what this report is saying is that when I get my 100% plug-in electrical car, it's not "free" energy and I still impact the environment!? My God! We are doomed. dooooommmed.
  14. Brian Bishop from Over here., Canada writes: Doctor Demento from Canada writes: This report makes no sense. The examples of electronic devices provided use a tiny amount of electricity compared to appliances, lights and alternatives that are being replaced like cathode ray TVs.
    ---------------------------------------

    Consider the telephone, a landline telephone consumes a miniscule amount of hydro.

    Now we have nearly what 500 million cell phone's, they require battery recharging all the time. That one tiny device has had an enormous impact on energy consumption! One cellphone charge is greater than the electricity required to run a landline phone for a year.

    Then add in iPods, laptops & all those millions of portable handheld devices that require recharging.

    The impact is huge, remember we've always had those other appliances, frig, stove, washer & dryer. Those appliances, lighting, furnaces, central air have all advanced in efficiency.

    As for televisions, I choose a 37 inch LCD rated at 145W, instead of a 41 inch rated at 265W. Multiply that by millions & the consumption the world over is massive.

    Let's not even look at 50 & 60 inch Plasma & LCD TV's, they consume upwards of 600W & even 750W.

    Realize that a device rated at 1000W used for 1 hour equals 1kWh.
    -
  15. steve notgoingtell from Toronto, Canada writes: maybe instead the media can do a piece on why the police do not enforce the noise bylaws for motorcycles. We have so many trashy bikers roaring down the road with no mufflers or straight pipes and you can hear them a mile away. Why don't the police deal with them?
  16. john smith from Canada writes: Brian Bishop from Over here., Canada writes:
    "This will penalize you if you don't recharge those cars at nighttime. That's really the only thing Smart Meters can do, they don't reduce consumption or anything else for that matter. A Smart Meters soul purpose is to penalize you for your consumption at the wrong time."

    basically you have to understand that smart meters are not about over consumption but about reducing peak usage.
  17. comrade canuck from Canada writes: Good thing we have cabon taxes ( in B.C. at least ) to reduce consumption. Because electricity use is going down, isnt it? I don't see many people on this forum using their computer any less. Obviously the carbon tax isn't high enough. More carbon tax please!!
  18. john smith from Canada writes: garth mckenzie from Canada writes:
    "Right now in my house: two computers on (one being used), printer on (always on regardless of use), TV on playing the radio, house heated with electrical heat, two phone-rechargers plugged in (but not actually recharging anything. I leave two porch lights and a living room light on all night. I don't turn the TV off until bedtime. The computers almost never get shut down, and I drive a truck that gets 20 miles to the gallon with a tail wind.

    Eat it, hippies."

    and who cares about you, your money and it is yours to waste. I just hope that our governments start charging real market price for electricity. so there is no even small chance that I subsidize you with my tax dollars. otherwise, good luck with your life.
  19. Jason Bonham from West Vancouver, Canada writes: Isn't it time for someone to jump in and relate this to how bad Harper and the Tories are? Or at least take a shot at the Liberals?

    Come on, this is the Globe comment page - its all about how bad our political leaders are and not about the content of the article.
  20. Food for thought from the West Coast from Canada writes: Roger Gagne: thank you!!

    Garth McKenzie: you sound like an angry laid off auto worker who lives and breathes the redneck credo. Good on ya. Hope you are a happy camper with your lifestyle and mentality.

    In the meantime, those of us who recognize that there are multitudes of others with whom we have to share oxygen, not to mention other things like electricity, are prepared to "share" and "be accountable". Ever hear of those words Garth?!? I doubt it.
  21. Grampa Canuck from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: garth mackenzie sounds like a real cro-magnon. Sort of like the type of person who vandalizes a work of art and then brags about it because he somehow thinks it's cool.

    Somebody mentioned that purpose of smart meters. Yes, it is to reduce peak demand. The power grid (generation capacity and current-carrying capacity) has to be built to carry peak demand, not average demand. If you can spread the peak out over periods of low-usage, you reduce the demand on the grid, and hence the required capacity to produce and deliver energy. This results in a lower-cost grid.

    There's many ways to lower peak demand and move consumption to off-peak times. Reduce air conditioning loads (set your system for 25C, not 18C), recharge devices (including automobiles) during the night, use your clothes dryer (if you must) at night, use thermal storage and so forth. I know one fellow down in the Maritimes that uses electric heat. He has thermal storage, which is basically a crib of rocks in his basement. Resistance heating is used to heat the thermal storage at night and only a fan is run during the day to move air through the crib to absorb and distribute the stored heat energy.

    Another poster also uses a good practice. He uses a power bar to turn stuff dead off. My TV, VCR, DVD player and small stero use 40 volt-amps of power when they are "off". This is the phantom load problem for electronics. So, I at least use a power bar on the downstairs entertainment gadgetry and always turn it off when its not in use. This is a great energy-saver.
  22. Rick from Sidney BC from Canada writes: Brian Bishop from Over here., Canada writes: Doctor Demento from Canada writes: This report makes no sense. The examples of electronic devices provided use a tiny amount of electricity compared to appliances, lights and alternatives that are being replaced like cathode ray TVs.
    ---------------------------------------

    Consider the telephone, a landline telephone consumes a miniscule amount of hydro.

    Now we have nearly what 500 million cell phone's, they require battery recharging all the time. That one tiny device has had an enormous impact on energy consumption! One cellphone charge is greater than the electricity required to run a landline phone for a year.

    Where did you find that figure?

    Sounds fishy to me.
  23. Bill G from Calgary, Canada writes: Woe is us. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Follow our lead and we will show you the promised land!
  24. Ziad Fazel from Calgary, Canada writes: When I walk around a typical business in my computer work, I always find power adapters for unused equipment sitting around.

    The old speakers, printer, or ethernet switch may have failed and been taken away, but the lonely power adapter still sits under the desk or cubicle.

    There is also at least one office with an old inkjet or bubblejet printer, often powered on, the cartridge dried out years ago, for the worker who uses a shared laser printer down the hall.

    Unplug these things, give yourself a 5-10% drop in your power bill, and fill up your city electronics recycling bin. They are often reused by charities, or properly disassembled and recycled.
  25. Brian Bishop from Over here., Canada writes: john smith from Canada writes: I just hope that our governments start charging real market price for electricity. so there is no even small chance that I subsidize you with my tax dollars. otherwise, good luck with your life.
    -----------------------------------

    Tax dollars have never subsidized hydro in Ontario!

    Where do you come up with such nonsense?
    -
  26. Thames Sailor from East of the West and West of the East, Canada writes: for all the posters who say it is minimal. It is compared to the old cathode rays. But in my house we have a microwave and coffee pot and tv and clocks....probably ten or twelve red light on 24/7. and we have far fewer elctronic devices than many of our friends. So figure at a minimum 10 little red lights times the population of Ontario, it adds up. At night when our power consumption is by hydro and nuclear that would be running anyway, not a big deal; during the day when the load gets big and the coal is getting thrown into the coal plants? It adds up. That's all this article is saying and it needs to be said.

    cheers
  27. Fractional Reserve Banking from Canada writes: john smith from Canada writes: I just hope that our governments start charging real market price for electricity

    _____________________

    We have enough problems as it is.
    You may want to read up on the travesty that was California deregulation.

    Listen to the Enron trader tapes, they tell everything.

    Cheap abundant electricity is what drives the country and the economy.

    If a country were a body, electricity would be it's heart.
    Oil, more akin to a major artery.
    No lights, no power.............................
  28. Brian Bishop from Over here., Canada writes: john smith from Canada writes: basically you have to understand that smart meters are not about over consumption but about reducing peak usage.
    ---------------------------------------

    No I think you need to understand, Smart Meters will do absolutely zero, zippo, nothing to reduce peak usage!

    It's a myth, fantasy land dream stuff, a make belief fairy tale story!

    It sounds all nice & cute, it plays to the radical right & the enviro-nuts, then on the gullibility of everyone else, but in the end it's all psycho babble bullcrap.

    Truth be known, with Smart Meters you actually will be subsidizing someone, those who actually work it so their usage is charged at the lowest rates, below the actual cost of hydro!

    Try remembering that every second your using hydro during the two higher rate times, which you will be!

    I have battery banks for my eight 208W solar panels, I'll charge them with off peak cheap electricity & sell my solar power back at 15 times the rate I pay, what a scam!!
    -
  29. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: So how will all this additional electricity be produced while governments/ power companies are being told to reduce carbon emissions. In the flat land, not a lot of waterfalls for additional hydro produced electricity, but lots of coal. The wind blows most of the time, but only a few gigs of wind power. Southern Ontario is planning to close their large coal burning power plants and replacing some of it with natural gas , which still produces carbon emissions. Are Nukes next?

    So, how are they going to produce all this electricity? A 30% increase is more than the coal thermal plants in Ontario.
  30. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: Rick from Sidney BC from Canada wrote: "Consider the telephone, a landline telephone consumes a miniscule amount of hydro."

    When I was young, the entire telephone system was run by two "A" dry cells batteries in each house which lasted at least a year. Many farmers only changed them every three years.

    Only some provinces have the taxpayer subsidize the electricity rates, in Quebec mainly for industrial power, Ontario for consumers and Manitoba. Residential retail electricity should be over 10 cents/kW-hr to break even. In Nunavut, retail power is subsidized down to 35 cents.
  31. Journey Man from Canada writes: Ronald Needmayer from Canada writes: "Two-thirds of the year I need to heat my home anyway, so that can't be considered wasted energy any more than any other source of electric heat."

    While I don't disagree with this sentiment, most of us only heat for about 5-months of the year, and what about the cooling season where in many buildings the air conditioners are fighting off this waste heat?

    I do agree that this waste heat inside the building envelope does have an effect on the heating/cooling system that is seldom factored in for these 'studies'. For example the energy savings from the compact fluorescent bulbs is not nearly as great when the lack of waste heat during the long dark winters is not included in the calculations.

    But alas people just want easy solutions and politicians just want to get re-elected.
  32. Cape Breton Cowboy from mainland NS, Canada writes: boys and girls , when we run out of cheap energy it is going to be fun. i can't help but reiterate we are on a meandering path to self destruction. Some of these clowns on here bragging about using excessive energy. Good one. My kids will love to hear all about it.
    When we run out of cheap energy and we will, the old cell better work on solar. You really have to wonder about some of the people in this world. When it does happen I just hope to be here to see the fireworks. The age of entitlement, when will it ever end.
  33. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: The simple safe solution is nuclear power. The altenative, no power. Carbon taxes to encourage conservation are a tax on suckers who will pay for any warm wet feeling peddled by has beens or wannabe's.
  34. Smokezz from Southern Ontario from Canada writes: Ziad Fazel: You don't really think that a power adapter that's plugged into power, but not into a device is actually using power do you?
  35. Steve Mitchell from Canada writes: Face it folks, humans are an environmental disaster. All this green nonsense wont save the earth. Only humans going bye bye will.
  36. Ziad Fazel from Calgary, Canada writes: Yes Smokezz, a power adapter plugged into power but not a device is actually using power. This has been proven by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, among other reputable scientific organizations.

    http://standby.lbl.gov/summary-table.html

    See the above link for power used by adapters and chargers with their devices off, or without their computers, laptops, printers, cellphones, etc. The menu bar on the left provides access to the full report, including the methodology and links to reports from other labs.

    Unplugging these things and redeploying them within the company, or for charitable donations, saves a business money.

    So yes, I do know what I am talking about.
  37. Steve Mitchell from Canada writes: Classic post!

    garth mckenzie from Canada writes: Right now in my house: two computers on (one being used), printer on (always on regardless of use), TV on playing the radio, house heated with electrical heat, two phone-rechargers plugged in (but not actually recharging anything. I leave two porch lights and a living room light on all night. I don't turn the TV off until bedtime. The computers almost never get shut down, and I drive a truck that gets 20 miles to the gallon with a tail wind.

    Eat it, hippies.
  38. martha stewart from Canada writes: But... but... I thought we could all just plug in our electric cars and save the planet?

    I guess that electricity is going to come from the savings provided if I unplug our LED nightlights.

    And this is a classic case of a global comment that ignores local realities. In most areas where this could be a factor it is more about when power is used. Best to leave your computer on right now. Hope that makes everyone reading this feel better.
  39. Alban Leurk from Ottawax, Canada writes: Ohh and who would not save the poor polar bear? The hunters that are given hunting licences in... Canada. Read Lawrence Solomon paper on this one and sleep well...

    perhaps someone should tell the globe that greens even in BC represent 8% at the most, knowing that during low participation votes, fringe parties tend to mobilize the most voters... so gleube: stop pandering, it doesn't work!
  40. John Stewart from Eden, Canada writes: OK you electrical engineers out there, would it be reasonable to wire a house with a primary 120V AC system AND an independent 12V DC system? The DC system could be powered by solar panels or wind turbines or water turbine or what have you. The 12V DC system would take care of computers, cell phone chargers, lights, doorbells and other miscellaneous phantom loads. The AC system would do the heavy lifting for stoves, water heaters, furnaces fans, fridges and freezers, microwaves, etc. The AC system could also charge the batteries at night if necessary as mentioned by a previous poster.
  41. asaninetentacles huh from cityoflights, Canada writes: Given that I'd rather die slowly and with dignity from a brain tumour than to be torn to shreds, I'll take cell phones over polar bears anyday haha.

    Seriously though, while I'm not saying it isn't important, I'm sure the proliferation of Blackberrys will play only a very minor role whenever someone takes into account our rapidly growing demands in energy. Bring on the fission already.
  42. Brian Bishop from The house on the hill, Canada writes: John Stewart from Eden, Canada writes: OK you electrical engineers out there, would it be reasonable to wire a house with a primary 120V AC system AND an independent 12V DC?
    --------------------------

    No it's not practical since all electric appliances are AC. So they developed power inverters to convert DC to AC electricity. This is what's used to tie in your solar & wind power stored in DC battery's.

    With solar or wind you need battery banks to store the generated power & a pure sine wave inverter to convert the stored DC power to AC.

    A pure sine wave inverter provides the cleanest (quality of the waveform) power to match AC. Pure sine wave is prefered over modified sine wave because motorized equipment doesn't function that great using modified sine wave inverters.
    -
  43. Roger Gagne from Calgary, Canada writes: garth mckenzie from Canada writes: "Right now in my house: two computers on (one being used), printer on (always on regardless of use), TV on playing the radio, house heated with electrical heat, two phone-rechargers plugged in (but not actually recharging anything. I leave two porch lights and a living room light on all night. I don't turn the TV off until bedtime. The computers almost never get shut down, and I drive a truck that gets 20 miles to the gallon with a tail wind.
    Eat it, hippies."

    Hi Garth,

    So you're obviously made of money. Congratulations. But when the thrill of rebellion dies off and flipping the bird to the politically correct tree huggers of the world wears a little thin, does your energy use actually make you happy?
  44. Ziad Fazel from Calgary, Canada writes: Jon Stewart, interesting question. Here's my best answer, as an engineer, but not electrical flavour.

    I doubt the cost of a safe 12 VDC electrical system in the home, would outweigh the benefits of reduced standby current, based on the following factors:

    1. High risk of obsolescence, tying the infrastructure of a home with 50-year life cycle, to consumer electronics with 1 to 10-year life cycles.

    2. Powering electronics have gone through rapid changes, in my career from 27V to 12V to 5V to 3.3V to below 2V. Many devices use a mix of voltages.

    3. By definition, a charger means there is a battery, which have poor electrical efficiency and problems in disposal. The effort to replace batteries drove much investment in fuel cell research, and may become commercially successful with supercapacitors, or some other technology within the lifespan of a home.

    4. One benefit of technological progress has been a shift to appliances that use less power in general, like conventional ovens to microwaves, CRT to LCD, brick-like analog cellphones to wafer-like digital cellphones. Unlike the 120VAC with its pure efficiency as Brian Bishop explains, portable DC power still has much development and improvement under way.

    5. Many products compete in the marketplace, or face regulation, not only on their overall power consumption, but also on their power consumption when on standby.

    You'd probably be better off watching developments in solar and wind power to reduce your electrical consumption at a profit, and reducing/shifting your demand for energy in general.

    Again, I am not an electrical engineer, but I do play one on TV, when the power bar is on :).
  45. Roger Gagne from Calgary, Canada writes: Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: "The simple safe solution is nuclear power."

    Hi Hee Hoo,

    Nuclear power is simple? Huh? The only nuclear reactor being built in the Western world, the Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland, began construction four years ago and is now three years behind schedule and 50% over budget. Not much different from the Canadian experience, where Darlington's initial cost estimate was $5 billion, while the final tally clocked in at $14.4 billion. And let's not talk about costs of refurbishing before Darlington's expected lifetime.

    Nuclear power is safe? What? When no one on the planet has devised an acceptable means of long term storage for waste that will be lethally radioactive for millions of years? When researchers find that 37 children within a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius of German nuclear power plants had developed leukemia between 1980 and 2003, while the statistical average during this time was 17? The University of Mainz for Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BFS) didn't stop there, but suggested an increased cancer risk for children living within 50 kilometers of a reactor.

    I'm all in favor of serious action on global warming, but turning to nuclear for our salvation might be the worst mistake we could possibly make. Dollar for dollar, conservation and efficiency programs are several times more effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions; 5 - 7 times more effective, according to Dr. Gordon Edwards of the CCNR.
  46. Lynn Pelletier from Canada writes: It is May 14th and I have had my furnace running for a couple of hours everyday save 4 since November. Heating costs are the killer. Hopefully it warms up soon for a few months before winter hits again.
  47. William J Gillies from Canada writes: Lynn Pelletier from Canada writes: "It is May 14th and I have had my furnace running for a couple of hours everyday save 4 since November. Heating costs are the killer."

    Some folks use a sweater. Others claim that horsehair is too rough on their delicate skin. Cry me a river.
  48. Bert Russell Paradox, BC from Canada writes:

    It is appropriate that we are looking for intelligence in the cosmos ... our University graduates do not even have common sense.
  49. Harvey Easton from Canada writes: For everyone who thinks Smart meters are the holy grail, give your head a shake. The only reason smart meters were introduced was to sneakily provide a source of "tax revenue" to the province of Ontario. Residential demand for electricity accounts for less than 18 percent of total electricity consumption in the province.

    If you think families that turn on the electric stove to cook dinner at 5 p.m. are going to change that dinner hour to after 10 p.m. you are sadly mistaken. Or if you believe people will do laundry at 4 a.m. then I have some swamp land I would love to sell you.

    Now if we could just get that global warming going somehow, I wouldn't need to have my furnace running 8 months of the year! Here it is the 14 of May and the furnace is still running. Darn globull warming!
  50. R J from Mtl, Canada writes: It is time for us to re-think the "perpetual comfort" idea. What do all these contraptions give us? More worries than ease of life?
  51. Global Citizen from Canada writes: My house is double the size of an average home(I know, I need to downgrade soon), yet my hydro bill is only half of the average household which is 1000 KW/month. I can show you my hydro bill but I am afraid Direct Energy is going to sign me up without me knowing.
  52. Fractional Reserve Banking from Canada writes: Roger Gagne from Calgary, Canada writes: Not much different from the Canadian experience, where Darlington's initial cost estimate was $5 billion, while the final tally clocked in at $14.4 billion

    _________________

    You're so wrong. How did Darlington get so overbudget? The government. That's how. Every step along the way the Gov would suddenly step in and say" hold it a minute, we need to do a another study here"
    Gov delays upon Gov delays, upon Gov delays. The money wasted was ridiculous, but not from Ontario Hydro, from the Gov. Delays to schedules, manufacturing, delivery, currency swings, the list went on and on.

    Get your facts straight before spewing off BS on the web.

    =============

    "When no one on the planet has devised an acceptable means of long term storage for waste that will be lethally radioactive for millions of years?

    ____________________

    Again, your ignorance is outstanding.
    It's called Vitrification. Look it up.
    They use it in Europe and have done for some time.
    A Vitrification facility reduces (recycles) spent fuel to 1% of it's size. That's a reduction of 90%.
    France takes in spent fuel from all over the world and recycles it, for a fee, then sends the 1% remains back to the country of origin.

    Why have you not heard of this? Because you ignorant.
  53. Fractional Reserve Banking from Canada writes: You probably think waste is green in colour as well, like the Simpsons, lol
  54. Scott Dobson from Canada writes: If you do the numbers this actually adds up to a huge amount of power (and all the economic and environmental effects of generating it). With just a small amount of redesign people, without any effort, could reduce usage. Some people have the blinders on.
  55. B Lam from Canada writes: Brian Bishop from Over here., Canada writes: As for televisions, I choose a 37 inch LCD rated at 145W, instead of a 41 inch rated at 265W. Multiply that by millions & the consumption the world over is massive.

    Let's not even look at 50 & 60 inch Plasma & LCD TV's, they consume upwards of 600W & even 750W.
    _________________________________

    That is not true. See the discussion on this issue:

    http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=59797
  56. Tony Mareschealle from GTA, Canada writes: Well lets have governments legislate the number of "appliances" that a household can have - we in canada love to have everything legislated so it should be an easy sell.

    Oh and while they are at it - perhaps they can limit the number of vehicles to a house / physical address - just as they do in Bermuda there it is one - perhaps here it will be 2?? So if you have 3 kids and they all live at home - sorry not 5, but 2 cars.
  57. Brian Bishop from Someplace warm, Canada writes: B Lam from Canada writes: That is not true. See the discussion on this issue:
    ------------------------

    No need to visit some discussion, I checked manufacturers specs.

    Go to Samsung's, Viewsonic, Hitachi websites, you can see a TV's specs for yourself.
    -
  58. james p from Canada writes: we'll all be blobs connected to a huge life sucking mechanical grid by the time the environment becomes unfit for us, anyway. or was that from a movie i saw?
  59. A. Nonymous from Job Ville, United States writes: -Sigh-

    Cellphones and their chargers are not killing the electrical grid. It's the plasma TV's , dryers, computers, air conditioners, heaters, that suck up electricity.

    People need to get over living in comfort. 42C temperatures are fine, just give up the suit and tie, suck it up.

    In the winter, we can learn to live with 18C, or just enough that the water does not freeze.

    In the winter, unplug your fridge, place all your perishables in plastic containers on your patio or balcony. Never mind a little cold air entering the house.

    Why bother with a clothes dryer? Why not use a communal drying area?

    Why bother with air conditioning, just grin and bear it, it's that simple!
  60. Roger Gagne from Calgary, Canada writes: Fractional Reserve Banking from Canada writes: "Again, your ignorance is outstanding. It's called Vitrification. Look it up. They use it in Europe and have done for some time. A Vitrification facility reduces (recycles) spent fuel to 1% of it's size. That's a reduction of 90%. France takes in spent fuel from all over the world and recycles it, for a fee, then sends the 1% remains back to the country of origin.
    Why have you not heard of this? Because you ignorant."

    Hi Fractional Reserve,

    I'd only heard of vitrification as what happens when lightning strikes sand; I had no idea it was used to store nuclear waste in Europe. I quiver before your intellectual and bibliothecal might. But spare me your vitriol and insults.

    From what I read after Googling it, however, it sounds like yet another energy intensive process needed to prop up nuclear. This power source, ostensibly "too cheap to meter", has in fact needed huge government subsidies at every step along the way, at Darlington and worldwide. Compare this to the cost-effectiveness of conservation and efficiency programs. Compare the 10 year construction times to the speed of deploying renewables. Compare the risk of any amount of radioactive contamination, whether by accident or in routine operations, against the danger of a wind turbine fracturing and falling in pieces to the ground.
  61. Journey Man from Canada writes: A. Nonymous from Job Ville, United States writes: "In the winter, unplug your fridge, place all your perishables in plastic containers on your patio or balcony. Never mind a little cold air entering the house."

    This will not help anything and is the central point of my post above. All of the energy used to power a refrigerator in a house in the heating season goes into the building envelope. There is no waste. This heat assists in the heating of the home and is not waste.

    Any appliance that produces heat from electricity by design or as a by-product is 100% efficient from the plug (i.e., not including transmission/generation losses). Thus an electric space heater is 100% efficient heat source, as is a fridge, TV, whatever.

    The problem is when the windows are open or an air conditioner is on. Then this heat (energy) is wasted.

    Why can't people understand this?

    (or as Homer Simpson says to Lisa, "In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!")
  62. Journey Man from Canada writes: A. Nonymous from Job Ville, United States writes: "In the winter, unplug your fridge, place all your perishables in plastic containers on your patio or balcony. Never mind a little cold air entering the house."

    This will not help anything and is the central point of my post above. All of the energy used to power a refrigerator in a house in the heating season goes into the building envelope. There is no waste. This heat assists in the heating of the home and is not waste.

    Any appliance that produces heat from electricity by design or as a by-product is 100% efficient from the plug (i.e., not including transmission/generation losses). Thus an electric space heater is 100% efficient heat source, as is a fridge, TV, whatever.

    The problem is when the windows are open or an air conditioner is on. Then this heat (energy) is wasted.

    Why can't people understand this?

    (or as Homer Simpson says to Lisa, "In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!")
  63. A. Nonymous from CanadaVille, United States writes: "(or as Homer Simpson says to Lisa, "In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!")"

    Thermodynamics is just a theory..like evolution, or relativity.
  64. Journey Man from Canada writes: A. Nonymous from CanadaVille: I think that you need to crack open that old Grade 9 science text and read up on the difference between a hypothesis, a theroy, and a law in science.

    This is the problem in this country. People like you also get a vote.

    You would'nt by chance be Canada's Minister of Science & Technology? Or maybe Ontario's Minster of Energy?

    Just wondering...
  65. Journey Man from Canada writes: A. Nonymous from CanadaVille, United States writes: "Thermodynamics is just a theory..like evolution, or relativity."

    Yes, and you might as well add gravity to your list. Just a theory.
  66. Normand LaBine from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Anyone recall the CSA? We used to set the standards for Radios and TVs, how does a Paris IEA snooker that from us? You'd think Japan would be driving these standards, not France.

    One simple solution is for our still-existant CSA to write up a standard for a separate low voltage DC circuit of about 6 or 12 volts and power the Standby/OnDemand circuits from a small Solar panel or a small roof-mounted wind generator from Alberta's Windterra.com. Will Harper give the CSA some R&D bucks? I doubt it.
  67. Normand LaBine from Winnipeg, Canada writes: John Stewart from Eden, Canada writes: OK you electrical engineers out there, would it be reasonable to wire a house with a primary 120V AC system AND an independent 12V DC system? The DC system could be powered by solar panels or wind turbines or water turbine or what have you.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Exactly! Since our CSA used to control the standards and our PM got nada in his attempt to make Canada the new Navel of Global Banking standards, he might as well get a photo-op and fund the CSA to write up a new standard and start a trade war-of-words. He won't though. Seals are more political fun, and get more votes out in Danny's front yard.

    I am wiring my phnatom devices to do just that. I figure my wife deserves a nicer gown or two than the CEO's at MB Hydro. Saving a few hundred a year on Hydro just tickles my fancy, and ties right into my insulation and drywall renos.

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