1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Home Heating Oil: the bell tolls for thee...

Post in 'The Green Room' started by woodgeek, Jun 6, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,750
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    Vermont Yankee was in limbo for a while so I think most utilities here were prepared for that eventuality and procured their supply elsewhere. However, that is another whammy that will be coming over the next 20 years. Many nuclear plants had been built in the seventies and are at the end of their engineered lifespan. There will not be enough new nukes coming online to replace those making our reliance on NG even greater. Let's just hope the projections are right and we will be able to get at least as much NG out of those fracked wells as we produce from conventional wells whether that makes sense or not.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,729
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    VT sold out to Hydro Quebec before Yankee is shut down. HQ power is expensive but noting compared to renewables They do have overly generous renewable incentives that the folks without solar have to subsidize. There is a very vocal bunch in VT that are opposed to natural gas line extensions and natural gas in general as they feel it is encouraging fracking elsewhere.

    VT has a somewhat notorious reputation int he region for very poor electrical infrastructure and very sparsely settled tree lined rural roads. Definitely a good state to own a generator and a wood stove as if nasty weather blows in the power can go off for a while.
  3. CenterTree

    CenterTree Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    625
    Loc:
    SouthWest-Central PA
    No doubt ASHP's have become increasingly efficient and more adaptable. Along with way less maintenance than oil burners.

    Newer heat pumps run quiet, clean and efficient. They are able to be used in much colder climates than ever B4. Add the AC side and BINGO, you have a new winner.

    I know I certainly DON'T miss the oil truck in my driveway!
    ::-)
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,731
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I agree about the comfort. I used to have hot air gas years ago and then went to hot water oil and then to coal boiler. I dont miss that air blower cycling on and off.A hot water radiator stays hot for awhile ,while an air duct gets cold pretty fast. Not as noticeable if insulation levels are high. One downside HW baseboard is the danger of freezing up if the heat goes out. I had a tenant freeze and bust a whole house full of Cast Iron Baseboard cuz he ran out of oil and didnt call me until the next day. Damage was in the Thousands.
  5. This is an example on how markets work. Things that are to expensive will not last. That is why a lot of this green energy will not last b/c the market will not support it. It cost to much. It's on life support now with the gov't subsides it receives. If it has a place then it can function by itself.
  6. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,868
    Loc:
    SE PA
    I buy local wind power on the market at $0.134/kWh. My local conventional power is $0.148, or 1.4 cents/kWh more. The fed subsidy of windpower is 2.2 cents/kWh, for the first 10 years of operation, then nada. Adding the 2.2 cents back in hardly seems likely to cripple the industry, as it will put wind smack in the middle of the pack, costwise.

    Notably, a lot of big oil and other energy companies are now assuming a Carbon tax cost in their long-term financial forecasts. The price they have settled on is $60/ton CO2. This would add about $0.75/gallon to HHO, or 3 cents/kWh to conventional power on the East Coast. With that in place, offsetting a fraction of the externalized costs of FF energy, the cost of conventional power would be 2 cents/kWh higher than **unsubsidized** onshore Wind Power in PA.
  7. The gov't subsides way more than just that 2.2 cent. That may be the price that you get from the gov't, but the wind companies themselves are getting a ton of taxpayers money for this pipe dream of an idea.

    If wind and solar can stand on its own then great. But the problem is the sun doesn't always shine nor does the wind always blow. Also this kind of energy will never be mainstream across the nation, just in certain parts of the nation where there is more sun then not and more wind then most.

    It just amazes me how people can be duked by these environmentalists. We are tying both hands behind our backs because of these people. It is a religion for them and it will take us down economically. If you ever talk to these people that is all they want anyways---that is for people to digress and reduce the population as a whole.

    We should be drilling for more oil, more coal, more natural gas and build nuclear power plants, oh way, that makes to much sense----better not do that.
  8. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,221
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    Yes, but today's efficient home is tomorrow's sieve due to poor maintenance.
  9. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    755
    Loc:
    SE PA
    You'd be surprised at how many here are proud to call ourselves environmentalists, so please don't claim to speak for us saying we want the world to depopulate. Your arguments against subsidies are equally valid against the fossil fuel or nuclear industries, let them pay the true cost too. The cost of pollution and its health effects, the cost of multiple wars and decades of oil-centric foreign policy, the cost of carrier groups permanently ready to protect oil tankers and middle east refineries or the cost of storing radioactive waste for thousands of years. I don't remember the government asking the nuclear industry to repay the research costs of the Manhattan project, isn't that a subsidy too?

    TE
    semipro, Dave A., jharkin and 3 others like this.
  10. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,868
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Evidence? Way more? Both the wind turbine owner and the utility that buys their power to sell to me are private companies. As well as the many companies that built the hardware. Of all those companies and me, only the turbine owner gets a govt check. For 2.2cent/kWh sold.

    In Philly, folks they have a 10 year property tax abatement on new residential construction. You buy an old house, you pay property tax. You buy a brand new house, you pay no property tax for 10 years. Rather than reducing the amount of tax collected, this policy has led to a surge of new construction, because it makes the business proposition of building new property a lot better for the builder and the homeowner. In 10 years, you have a revitalized neighborhood where previously there had been vacant lots for many years. Seems like good public policy incentivising private enterprise.

    Similarly, a very modest tax subsidy for wind power developers has led to the creation of an entire (largely domestic) industry that now provides more than half as much electricity as all the hydropower dams in the US. And is still growing.
  11. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,914
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Let the anger go. It's not going to do you any good.

    Let everybody pay the true cost. It works for me. We'll be back on fossil fuels in no time! That is the lowest cost source of energy. *fist pump for global warming!*
    Joful likes this.

  12. Never meet one environmentalist that wouldn't love to have the world get depopulated since mankind is the root of all problems. Like I've said before, environmentalism is a religion for them.

    I'm against all gov't subsides. Don't confuse a normal business depreciation with a subside.
  13. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire

    Yes the upfront costs of many of the renewable solutions can be cost prohibitive and the solutions themselves are sometimes not very practical either. I don't know if I'd go as far as to say the renewable energy market is on life support but it does appear to be a tough sell. It seems like the technology that uses fossil fuels is much cheaper than the green energy technology yet green energy fuel is much cheaper than fossil fuel. There is a lot of interest in renewable energy and it's not all your "save the earth" types either. If renewable energy technologies can be delivered to the consumer at nearly the same price as fossil fuel technolgies are then we'd most likely see more and more taking advantage of renewable energy technology. I suspect there are powerful forces in the fossil fuel industry that don't want this to happen though. I guess time will tell.
  14. ^^^^^ not everything is a conspiracy theory, that is big bad oil isn't trying to take out "green energy".

    But I will say this is why environmentalist like to see high pries for oil,gas,lp,coal and the like. This is the only way "green energy " looks good and comparable. This is also way the environmentalists block building new coal power plants and block things like the keystone pipe line and hide behind honorable excuses like they are doing it to save the plant, health reasons and the other blah blah blah reasons they have. They know this would lower the cost of traditional and feasible forms of energy and make their green energy die on the vine.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,731
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I dont consider myself and enviromentalist but i do think the population as it stands and is rising is quite unsustainable. Of course if your not concerned with standard of living then yes we could all conceivably live elbow to elbow, many in squalor. What to do about this? I dont have that answer.
    The available resources will peak at some point and then it will be survival of the fittest or the richest. As population rises some get richer but many more in number get poorer as resources,energy,farmland ,fresh water ect. deplete. So average standard of living goes down.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  16. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,868
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Well there is the problem right there....I've never met a single environmentalist that wanted to depopulate the world. In fact, the ones I know (including me) are trying to get a world where more people get to live happy, healthy and safe lives.

    My problem with FF energy is that FF pollution is killing plenty of people right now, and through global warming promises to kill a lot more in the future. IOW, phasing out FF is a 'pro-people' agenda.
    jharkin and Seasoned Oak like this.
  17. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,868
    Loc:
    SE PA
    The original topic of this thread was HHO, its high cost, and the fact that people are (sensibly) phasing it out in droves.

    Does anyone think the high price of HHO is because of environmentalists? Not me.

    Does anyone think that 'drill baby drill' (i.e. fracking) will bring back $1/gal HHO? I actually think it might...I would put the odds of <$2/gal HHO 5 years from now at ~30%.
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  18. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    755
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Few businesses sell their products at a price below what the market will sustain. Whether recent oil price increases are due to speculation or actual supply/demand issues, it allows oil companies to gauge the critical point where demand drops significantly, and they will regulate their production and prices accordingly.

    TE
    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  19. Woodgeek meet Seasoned Oak. Maybe he is not a self proclaimed environmentalist, but he is for sure a liberal and there is a good chance for him to become an environmentalist because it is only one very small step away. He might be the first person that you know that thinks we are over populated but I promise there are many more.

    Seasoned Oak---if you are concerned with the standard of living----don't keep liberals get in power.

    Woodgeek--they way we got to this point is because we talked about free markets and how HHO won't last because the cost is so much. Green energy is in the same boat--soon to die. It is only keeping its head above water because of all the subsides it is receiving and the incentives which are out there.

  20. The market dictates the price at which the product will sold at not the other way around. If this wasn't the case, then why did big bad oil let oil/gas prices go down to a $1 a gallon? Why don't they just cut production and get it up to $5, $8 or even $10 a gallon--then they could really gouge us then.

    Maybe we should try to get more oil on the open market so the prices would go down--oh wait the environmentalist wouldn't let us b/c they will only be happy when people live in a 3rd world banana republic. That way no one will be rich and everyone will be 'equally' unhappy and poor.
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,562
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I just installed a new oil burner on my boiler early this year.

    I have owned four. While okay for heating an auxiliary office, or the room over the garage, I would NOT want to live in a house heated by mini-splits. They're extremely annoying, blowing warm air into the room at face level, ugly to look at... they're a retrofit when no other option is available.

    Ditto. My family has owned or lived in more than a dozen houses since I was a kid, and all but one were heated with oil. In fact, all but one were heated with oil boilers and hydronic baseboards or radiators. These numbers are a huge surprise to me.

    Agreed. I lived in a few apartments with heat pumps in my college years, as well as my wife's apartment before we were married, and always found them much less comfortable than any house with hydronic baseboards or radiators. It's interesting to watch people spend what I consider wasted money on some luxuries, but aren't willing to spend money to be more comfortable in their own home. I still notice this when visiting houses with heat pumps, the air they blow into the room feels too cool, when the blower is running.

    Not me. I continue to use oil, in addition to wood. When I get older, I anticipate I won't have the ability to process and handle quite this much wood, and so there will be some increased reliance on some "traditional" form of heating. I'd prefer that to still be some sort of boiler, driving the miles of baseboard we have already installed. Retrofitting ductwork into 18th century housing is never pretty.
    woodgeek likes this.
  22. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,330
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    Prices crashed because of demand destruction from the financial crisis meant a lot of people couldnt afford to but fuel. Consumption plummets resulting in oversupply, driving down prices then producers cut production. Economy recovers, demand exceeds supply then prices go up as producers race to bring hte nonconventional sources (deepwater, tar sands, frac oil etc) that provide most marginal extra production beyond the 80 mbpd or so that is the max conventional sources have hit.

    There is an easy path to endless cheap prices you want... keep the economy in the tank :( Our obstructioninst friends in congress are hard at work at that.....

    Back to reality... No matter how hard you wish for it oil is always going to be a finite energy source that mathematically has to get scarcer and thus more expensive in the future. Its emissions are also poisoning the environment we depend on to live whether you want to beleive it or not.

    . . . . . .

    Its sad really, that Fox News and the like have built this image of environmentalism as some liberal world domination conspiracy theory... because at its root true environmentalism is actually a very classicaly conservative idea - trying to preserve the natural world in its original state.

    Since the 'can is closed my jedi powers sense a thread lock coming.....
    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  23. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,868
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Thanks for bringing it home. We agree that expensive tech gets retired, eventually. I am not convinced that the price of oil will be up up up. If it were, it's done for heating. If HHO price is flat here....it will trade back and forth with propane on a regional basis. If the price falls, it will be around for a while longer, and maybe start getting installed in new construction again. Hard to predict. The oil cos are assuming that a price for Carbon will eventually be applied. In that case, the probability that oil gets more expensive, period, and more expensive relative to propane (its main competitor) goes up a bit. Only time will tell. The good news is that sulfur in diesel and HHO is way down and will keep falling.

    On the renewables, we disagree. The cost trend line is falling rapidly for solar, and and has a little way to go for (unsubsidized) parity. There are different projections out there, but in niche locations like Hawaii it is a no brainer now w/o subsidies. Are you gonna tell the folks there that solar is a pipe dream? Onshore wind is more mature, costs are pretty flat, but basically at parity depending on variable fuel costs. Offshore wind, well, we don't have any of that yet.
  24. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,868
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Oh sure....you had to mention 'congress'....;lol
  25. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,562
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Pruning@trunk was very entertaining at first, but this is getting stale. All I want to know from those of who think you can predict where oil is headed (and when) is, can you tell me when to sell my Exxon stock?

    While the rest of you were sitting around complaining about oil and gas prices, I was investing in oil, and made quite a bit of money. Wish I'd have known to sell in 2008, but it looks like things are recovering nicely. When's the next drop, and are you willing to back your guess with cash?

    exxon.jpg
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page