De-Regulated Electricity Ghosts: Enron, and California Blackouts

Don’t let ghosts of Enron haunt us again Sacramento Bee 9-25-16 BY BILL JULIAN Special to The Bee     Remember Enron, rolling blackouts and double-digit electricity rate increases? How could we forget so soon. California embarked on a momentous and catastrophic experiment to deregulate its electrical system 20 years ago this month. We are […]

Climate Credits to California Consumers

 Climate Credits Announced by California Public Utilities Commission [sent in a Pacific Gas & Electric Customer’s Billing] This month* your utility bill will include a credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.” Your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your utility bills. This payment comes from a California […]

Shallow borehole design, 22 feet deep

A shallow borehole filled with a helix coil is providing an alternative to the typical vertical-style ground heat exchanger (GHEX).  Instead of  drilling a borehole 150-600 feet deep, a shallow borehole fit with a vertical helix coil can do the job at only 22 feet deep.  Provided the soil is (silt only), this auger-drilled shaft can […]

Sustainability of geothermal heat pumps

Call the graphic at left “The Blossom of Sustainability.”  There’s nothing but benefits with the deployment of millions more geothermal heat pumps (GHPs).  They separate society from the use of fossil fuels for occupied buildings.  GHPs connect with thermal energy underground like a battery.  That’s access to a sustainable renewable resource. Sustainability GHPs are long-lived.  Some in residential use […]

Geo heat pumps better than air-source heat pumps

The image at left may cause you to think this is an inactive air conditioning condenser in winter months.  It is not.  This is an air-source heat pump (ASHP) struggling in the heating mode.  It’s a vertical discharge unit that normally pulls air in from the sides and discharges it vertically. RESTRICTED BY SNOW As […]

Leverage, efficiency of geothermal heat pumps

One of the biggest hurdles to clear when talking to others about geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) is to erase the common misperception that this equipment is somehow connected to hot rocks and steam generation of electricity from deep under the earth.  That’s not it!  GHPs leverage electricity to efficiently work with the earth’s thermal battery. […]

The residential energy use pie

Residential energy use called out by function in a pie chart matters very much.  This is because such information can point us toward that next best goal to reduce consumption and save money. Not every home will consume the same proportions by function of the pie chart at left, but the variance will be least among the […]

Shallow earth temperatures aren’t sexy, but…

The temperature of the outside air is what affects the comfort of indoor spaces in all buildings.  Unlike shallow earth temperatures,  outdoor air displays a great range from day-to-night, and across the seasons.  This results in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment always opposing the influence of outdoor air during extreme temperature swings. HEATING—COOLING […]

Who pays for Aliso Canyon?

BILL WATCH Assembly buries Aliso Canyon aid bill Sacramento Bee 5-6-16 — JEREMY B. WHITE Following late resistance from business groups, a bill giving Porter Ranch residents more tools to seek legal redress for a gas leak fell far short in the California Assembly on Thursday.  The question is, who will pay for Aliso Canyon? A […]

California PUC wants substitute for Aliso Canyon storage

Excerpts from the DRAFT PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Agenda ID 14895 ENERGY DIVISION RESOLUTION E-4791 May 26, 2016 RESOLUTION Resolution E-4791. Authorizing expedited procurement of storage resources to ensure electric reliability in the Los Angeles Basin due to limited operations of Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility. PROPOSED OUTCOME:  Requires Southern […]