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Alternative Energy Incentives and Global Climate Change: a quick survey

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mew

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Hey HBTers! One of my many interests is the environment, and how it is managed by human organizations. Below is a link to a short, six-question survey about alternative energy incentives and global climate change. It is designed to assess public opinions of alternative energies, their associated government incentive programs, and their relation to global climate change. It would really help me out if you would complete the survey. It will take no more than two minutes, and your participation will tell me how to direct and focus my research. Thank you.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=vdU2N0L2heWabBvmGOHL1w_3d_3d
 

david_42

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I've been using alternative energy systems for over 25 years. The main impact of government programs is attracting scammers (look at the Arizona multiple-fuel program) that ultimately drive legitimate businesses out. When the government program stops, the scammers move on and the industry collapses. We are going into the third cycle I've seen in those 25 years.

I installed a high-efficiency heat-pump three years ago and was unable to qualify for credits. Oregon was working from an old list of systems and even though mine is better & more efficient, I'm SOL.
 

Naidirem

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Honestly I think I find it easier to buy and have installed energy efficient appliances and housing updates than it is to do even the simple things like recycle. Our house came with a heat pump, I switched to fluorescent bulbs and all the appliances we bought have been high efficiency but I have a blue recycle tub in my garage that has never been used. There is just no real excuse for it. I always say I'll start but it is just so difficult to motivate myself.
 

zoebisch01

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The biggest hurdle, imo is that the cost of many of these systems is high, so we won't see them come into a 'reasonable' realm for the majority for a long time. The credits aren't a bad idea in that they can push someone who is on the fence...but not really big enough incentive for someone with a system/product that is less than 10 years old to switch. *shrug*

Personally, I think passive solar is one the biggest improvements to our house design philosophy that could make a staggering impact for minimal cost. Plus the beauty of it is it doesn't 'wear out' and if the sun goes out we have bigger problems :D. Technologies like LED lighting are very positive because they are a seemless transition that requires no changes except the product.

I would love to see ground loop Geothermal heatpumps come down in price. They work great here in the NE.
 
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mew

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I also think that the cost is the biggest hurdle. That's why I'm trying to get info on alternative and renewable energy programs. Like many on this site, I oppose industrial-grade ethanol production, but not just because it competes with barley. The US is a major exporter of food crops, if we turn it all to ethanol, somebody goes hungry.
Here in Eugene, OR, a research team that I've worked with in the passed is assessing Eugene/Springfield's total rooftop density with the hope that these pre-existing rooftops could be used to provide solar energy. I think that's a great idea.
Thanks to everyone who has completed the survey!
 

Germey

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Done, but I wasn't really sure about the answers to several. The answer to most of them really depends on a lot of different things for me. For example, "What would make you invest in Alt. Energy?" That would depend a lot on what it was, what I got out of it, and how much good it did in the world. I have switched almost exclusively to CF lights, and I don't even need to think about a return on investment.
On the other hand, I am on the fence about a tankless water heater. I know it will use less energy and I like the fact that it will take up a few less square feet in my garage. I don't like that it will cost about $600 more than a big tank one and will only save me about $40 a year. It pisses me off even more that SDG&E will give a rebate if one buys an energy star rated tank, but not if I buy the more efficient tankless one. Obviously, I am willing to pay more to do my part, but it is a complicated balancing act of considerations.
Good luck,
 

Donasay

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As someone who rents, I invest in those things that will save me money and pay for themselves over the year or two that I plan on spending in any given apartment. The first thing I do when I move in is replace every single bulb with the energy efficent compact flourecent variety. This saves quite a bit of money over the course of 2 years, I also make sure the weather stripping on all the doors and windows is up to date and caulk anywhere that I find a draft. These help save a lot on heating bills.

If I owned a home I would be far more likely to invest in green technology that would take several years to recieve a return on the investment, but without owning the place where you live buying energy star appliances (or any appliances) doesn't make sense.

On the flip side it would have been nice if my landlord had equipped the place with an energystar hot water heater, dishwasher and clothes dryer, those things all together would have saved me quite a lot in gas and electricity over the past couple years. The extra cost of energy efficient appliances makes it prohibitive for someone running a business thus the landlord is not interested in that, they in the end they aren't paying to run the appliances. With so many people renting instead of owning a place, it almost becomes necessary to come up with different ways to encourage those who are renting out their houses or apartments to use and buy energy efficient appliances.
 

Seabee John

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Done!

I was a little disappointed in the choices. The writer assumed that anyone taking the survey agrees with the reasons behind alternative energy or that global climate change is even a problem. I'm all for alternative/renewable energy, but not because of the myth of global warming. I think we should always be looking for better/faster/cheaper ways of getting what we need. Give me power for cheap, don't destroy the environment while doing it... but on the other hand, don't destroy the economy in the name of alternative energy either.
 
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mew

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I realize that these are very general questions that don't take all the variables into account, but they will still be useful to give some preliminary answers to direct a more specific and more scientifically sound survey. Sorry Orfy, I should've taken my audience into account. Again, thanks to all of you who've taken the survey.

Seabee John, your opinion is one that is well-represented in US gov (not quite as much in europe, right Orfy?), and I like that we can agree on the importance of alternative energy despite our difference of opinion on global climate change. Environmentalists too often fail to work with people such as yourself, labeling them earth-haters and such. All that does is create a rift that is no good for anyone. This is how environmentalists got a name for being extremists.
 

Seabee John

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mew said:
Environmentalists too often fail to work with people such as yourself, labeling them earth-haters and such. All that does is create a rift that is no good for anyone. This is how environmentalists got a name for being extremists.
Tell me about it... They are all welcome here in Minnesota though. It's gone from fanaticism to downright religion here. There are only two times I've been spit at in my life. Once on the Uof M campus in my dress blues after the start of the Iraq War (I was recruiting) and the other was driving my big ford F350 through the wrong neighborhood. (upscale Minneapolis area that is known as a liberal haven)

Every environmentalist I meet I ask one question as a test of their cognitive power: If global climate change is bad, what is the optimum climate for the planet? I have not received one plausible answer... they just start shouting you down??? WTF?

Edit: I am putting a bumper sticker on my truck as soon as it arrives: "Was that a pothole... or did I just drive over ANOTHER Prius? I know I know... it's inflammatory... but that can be fun :D
 

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