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I can some it all up in a nice graph.

TED, meet Air Conditioning.

TED, meet Air Conditioning.

Graph explained,

First bar is Thursday. Nice day no AC. 74 Degrees F outside. (18.87 kWhrs)

Friday is a nice day but my wife turns on the AC late in the day. (27.94 kWhrs, AC on @ 9pm)

Saturday and Sunday, AC on all day and night. Warm days with highs around 85 Degrees F outside (Saturday was 48.20 kWhrs, Sunday was 48.71 kWhrs)

Monday I turn off AC in the morning. (24.5 kWhrs)

During the night, the temperatures always fell below 70 Degrees F. If I had a whole house fan and ran it during the night and shut the house up in the daytime I could have maybe saved 20 kWhrs a day in electricity. But I don’t have a whole house fan yet. So I ran the AC. At least now I have some good baseline data. This will give me some leverage with my wife whan I start down the fan route.


I don’t normally “just watch TV”, I record what I want to watch on my DVR. The other day I was just watching TV, PBS to be exact. I was captured by a program called Planet Forward. Here is there Website. You can watch the episodes online. The show originally started online.

The nice thing is that I have a great show to keep me thinking about how we all can do our part to help the planet. So click on over to Planet Forward and give it a look see. I think you will find it very interesting.

Why make one day, Earth Day? I think everyday should be Earth Day. One day out of a year is not going to change very much. I did not wait till Earth Day to change my light bulbs. I am not going to wait until the next Earth Day to replace a major appliance. No, I am going to do it as soon as I can.

So Make everyday Earth Day!

Making the world a better place just makes sense.

I have called everywhere to source my PVC well pieces. No luck. I even tried to have Ace Hardware ship-to-store. That did not work either. So I am left with hitting the Internet again.I may have found a site but I will have to await to see if they have what I need in stock. At this point I don’t trust a website’s “In-stock” announcement. Found another link, this is the best by far! Perfect! I was originally going to purchase the wrong thing. Now I am just going to do it just like the instructions state. Could not be any easier.

I hope shipping is not too expensive.

BP wind farm.

Now how much does this cost? Compare that cost, to the cost of a new coal gasification plant? Even if they cost the same, one of them does not have a cost of fuel and the others fuel cost with go up.

Well, I missed my energy target. The green PC runs at 40Watts. There are a few reasons for this.

One, I purchased a Western Digital Green Drive. I placed it into my DVR that runs 24/7. This will save me more money. The DVR drive that went into the green PC uses 9.3 watts at idle. The Western Digital Drive uses only 2.8 Watts. That would have made 6.5 Watts difference right there. On the bright side, the saving from the drive are multiplied by 4 (Green PC up time is only 6 Hours).

Two, I purchased a Blue ray drive instead of a regular DVD drive. Since the drive then has two lasers its power requirements will be more.

I figure these two “upgrades” put me well over the 35 Watt mark. But, they are worth the investment. I still save energy over the computer it replaces and the new PC is faster. Now having finished this little guy I want to make an even smaller one! But where would I put it?

Hardware breakout:

Seagate barracuda 7200.10 (320GB)

Jetway NC92-330-LF

FoxConn RS233 Case

Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667


In another blog I stated that it was better to get a solar hot water heater instead of a add-on heat pump. I have changed my mind. Here is the reasons why.

One, I want to turn off the gas service to my house. Normal solar heat exchanger tanks use electric anyway, but during the winter when the sun does not shine very much I would be using the electric backup a fair amount.

Two, I have limited roof space. Even though solar heating is more efficient then solar electric, electricity is more versatile. With the limit space I would like to devote as much as possible to PV panels.

Three, the add-on heat pumps waste product is cold air. This could help with my AC bill in the summer. Since the water heater is located in an unconditioned space in the basement the waste cooling would have little effect in the winter.

Lastly, if a solar hot water system is designed correctly, in the winter I will need to use the backup heating elements. Then during the summer I will be wasting thermal energy because I simply can not use it. Utilization increased in the summer leads to more backup in the winter. More output in the winter leads to more waste in the summer. With the heat pump feed by future solar electric, there is no waste. What electric I don’t use is given back to utility to use at a later time.

airtapI have purchased a heat pump from Air Generate for $550. I am planning on purchasing an 80 Gallon water heater from Whirlpool. I will not be paying $800 because it is cheaper in my area. I will then mount the heat pump onto the water. Then set it in place. I have the 30amp 240V line already run to the location. I may not even connect the water heater up to 240VAC.  But a nice feature of this water heater is anti-freeze setting. The heat pump runs off 120V. FYI-the reason for the big tank is it has better insulation then a smaller ones and I want to set the temperature at 110 degrees for better heat pump efficiency. Thus the need for more holding capacity. As always I will post the finished product.

Total cost estimates are about $1200. This is about $800 more then if I just replaced my gas unit but I don’t think I will ever run out of hot water. And I get “free” AC in the summer.

This latest battle was a victory again. Duke Energy Reported usage of 704 kWhrs. TED reported 660 kWhrs. Yes, there is a difference. But, overall, this is the lowest month ever at our home. In the eight years we have lived in our current home we have never had a bill this low!

What to do about the big difference in readings. I am going to email the makers of TED and see what they can tell me. Next, I was thinking about calling Duke and asking what they think may cause the difference. Lastly, I have a “KVAR” unit. I don’t think it does anything. But could it be messing with TED. So I shut it off. For the next month I will leave it off and see what happens with TED and Duke. Maybe they can be a little more agreeable.

TED has proven to be very helpful in enlighten me on electricity usage. This has enabled me to greatly reduce my bill. I would recommend TED to anyone interested in saving money and electricity. not to mention the planet too! If I keep this up solar panels on the roof are completely plausible. For my location 10 Watts of solar panels gives me 1kWhrs per month on average. If I have an average bill of only 500kWhrs, I would need a 5,000 Watt solar array. That would cost about $35,000 before rebates. I think I will just keep looking to reduce my load for now.

Remember the links from my previous blog? Well, (ha ha) I found another good one. Self-help wells. The section I found very usful was the Jetting part. Since I have sandy soil this could be very easy!

Campbell #BFSC-125-40 1-1/4 PVC Slip Coupling (I will get 4 to be safe)
Wash Down Valve (BWDV-125) – Campbell Manufacturing
BRADY PRODUCTS INC #BBP125-5 1-1/4×5′ Well Point
Some 1 1/4″ Schedule 40 PVC pipe (about (3) 8 footers should do it)
Shallow well pump. (Not sure what I want yet)
Hand Pump (for testing)

When I add the prices up I am at only at $250. Or half of my original allotment. I still have a call into my local Ace Hardware. If they can not help me I will be forced to purchase from the Internet.

The wash down valve has threads to connect  a garden hose. What I think I may do is run the hose though everything dry. Then as I go down glue it all together. I hope to do this very soon. I would love to start water my lawn and garden with fresh well water.

One things I like so far, free. This is a free service offered by my electric company, Duke Energy. Duke Energy program for Indiana. But there is a catch, I have to have electric heat or an electric water heater. Well, I have gas for both. But, I am in the process of replacing my gas water heater with an 85 gallon electric with add-on heat pump. So I have to wait until I get that installed. When I do get the energy audit, I will post the results.