Painting Roof White Saves Electricity Costs By 40 Percent, I Don’t Think So

white-roofYou know how solar power is being touted as the savior to mother earth and the answer to the worlds problems. I love solar and think by 2050 solar may very well power the entire planet as we utilize 1 % of the earth as a gigantic solar generation plant.

For right now though if the claim that painting your roof white can save a home owner 40 percent on their energy bill why don’t we do this first prior to paying $30,000 – $50,000 on a total off-grid solar system?

Well in reality 40 % is an extreme scenario that almost is never achieved by painting ones roof. In fact for most people who live in the sun-belt region of Texas you might reduce your overall electricity costs by about 10 – 20 percent.

The roof painting scheme works the best for one story houses and with homes that are already lacking good insulation and other modern insulation building considerations. The reason it might actually save you 40% is if your house is basically not even insulated and so in that case the paint will in fact do wonders on its own. Even still you might save 40 % but your electric bill might still run $200 a month because you still don’t have insulation in the attic.

Newer houses that have low ceilings or even high ceilings, good vented attics, and hopefully some nice shade trees above head will experience modest savings by painting the roof white.

I am not anti-solar or anti-roof painting but I love pointing out irrational bogus claims and giving you the real facts of the matter. I am certainly not going to buy a bunch of paint and paint my roof white for a 10 percent energy savings.

You better believe I would be up their painting the roof if 40 percent savings was actually reachable. I would take that extra $50 a month and put it into a retirement account and let that nest egg build.

roofOver 90 percent of the buildings in the world have dark painted roofs and I consider that a real shame if 40 % energy savings is to be had. Considering that the real savings is more like 10 – 20 percent it is still wrong that building engineers missed this for so many years and we are just now seeing the light.

Dark roofs actually absorb more heat from the sun than their white counterparts which causes them to get piping hot. If you were to walk bare footed on one of these black topped roofs like I did as a kid at, Andy Woods Elementary, you would certainly know what I am talking about.

A black roof can actually increase in temperature by more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit while the white ones increase by only 10 – 25 degrees above ambient air temperature. Now imagine how hot the attic gets and then think about the air conditioning system having to work extra hard to cool a house that has to work against that type of heat.

Your annual energy savings on your electric bill will be in the 10 – 20 percent range for most of us although there are a few of you that could see 40 percent. It simply depends on what kind of house you have and how efficient it is already.

Even though I am slightly down on some of the goofy white roof project zealots in regards to some misleading numbers of 40 % I am still very optimistic about white roofs and the project. Don’t let these miscalculations prevent you from doing something as simple as this to reduce your electricity costs but at the same time don’t stop pointing out mistakes either. 🙂 It’s a first start in energy efficiency when considering price per kilowatt hour saved and a heck of a lot cheaper than solar panels.

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Do Data Centers Use Nearly 3 Percent Of The Electricity Consumed In US?

Yes they actually do. Data Centers use nearly 3% of the electricity consumed in the US and up to 50 times the electricity of a standard office. Considering most offices consist of a few computers and some lights turned on it comes as no surprise that a data center uses 50 times as much energy.

The evidence confirms that yes, when you do a Google search that search costs energy. Even if you have a very energy efficient computer, solar panels on your roof, etc. you are a part of the energy consuming masses.

For every 1 watt of energy your computer uses the internet data centers are using about 2 watts of energy to support your online activity. In reality you are in fact a great contributor to this electricity consumption circle of life.

Of course you have to consider the benefit to humans for using all this energy. We get to learn new things in record time but also consider most people on the internet are watching TMZ videos, endlessly browsing on Facebook, looking at porn, and playing networked video games.

Microsofts Data CenterOK, I know some of ya’ll are doing more important things like communicating with family and friends on Myspace but seriously 3 % of total electricity consumption in the U.S. is a ton of energy!

Data center electricity usage doubled between years 2000 and years 2005. Now consider that the U.S. government is creating the largest data center known to man that will house video surveillance, every single voice communication spoken in this country and likely other countries, as well as the possible hack into your homes smart TV video system.

The largest ever data center ever created that will soon bump up that electricity consumption number is simply called the Utah Data Center and is being built for the US National Security Agency (NSA).

The advertised purpose of this data center is to intercept, decipher, analyse and store large quantities of the world’s communications from satellites and underground and undersea cables of international, foreign and domestic networks.

datacenterThis 2 billion dollar complex will be fully operational by September 2013. As we as a nation become more and more data intensive by storing every single video we take of our kids, family, and friends on the cloud we will only add to this electricity consumption problem.

In reality though is this really a problem. I for one love storing my videos online to access later. I also make backups of my pictures and videos on CD’s for extra security. I have learned a lot of things by browsing the internet and have kept up with friends and family almost daily by using Facebook.

I have also found great benefit in using the online advertising platforms that both Google and Facebook offer to sell electricity service to those in Texas and the U.S.

Even though we are finding ways to be more efficient and simply use less electricity it is predicted that data center electricity consumption will increase 9 % per year until 2020.

It’s time to put down the hipster glasses and close the Macbook pro and take an honest look at ourselves. You may not be the green environmentalist you have always thought yourself to be.

Electricity Saving Light Bulbs Can Cause Skin Cancer, Save Your Kids

skinSeveral scientists, led by Miriam Rafailovich at  Garcia Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at SUNY Stony Brook, did studies on many different types and brands of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs from across Long Island to determine the amount of Ultraviolet rays the bulbs put out in a home. They were disturbed just how bad the light bulbs phosphor coatings were. Without a proper coating as has already been determined it causes them to give off a significant level of Ultraviolet C and Ultraviolet A.

There are a few studies that indicate that Ultraviolet C is the most dangerous wavelength that can cause skin cancer.

“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said Rafailovich.

Consumers should be concerned when using compact fluorescent light bulbs to save on energy because many of the bulbs out there have thin coatings that do nothing to protect you against skin cancer. You most definitely want to avoid using any UV light bulb at close range. In all scenarios where they could be used make sure there is an additional glass barrier of some kind between the bulb and your skin.

In the research done by these scientists they were able to verify that healthy human skin tissue cells were damaged. There is a cell known as a fibroblast that you will find in connective tissue that creates things like collagen and keratinocytes. These cells that are epidermal layer cells were damaged by the CFL radiation.

Healthy human skin tissue cells, including fibroblasts, a type of cell found in connective tissue that produces collagen, and keratinocytes, an epidermal cell that produces keratin, were damaged by the Compact Fluorescent Light radiation.

When comparing the new CFL bulbs with that of the Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs of the same intensity there was absolutely no damage to the cells.

Now good luck getting this information out to the public. There are plenty of ego’s that have championed CFL bulbs that will not be able to say, “I was wrong”. I’m not saying don’t use them but you better have some good layer of extra glass and distance protecting you. Also, be careful where you have these things near your kids.

Getting skin cell damage as a young child is the easiest way to develop skin cancer later on in life and skin cancer is extremely deadly if not caught early.

This Small Plug And Your Smartphone Could Save You Electricity

smart-plugI’m always interested in a simplistic not too hard way to reduce my electricity usage and what I have found is that if the product automates the process of saving electricity I usually end up saving money in the long run.

Instead of having to learn a new complicated device each time you try to find a way to save electricity it’s nice to have something like this MeterPlug device. This device measures your usage and automatically turns off the device that is plugged into it when the device is not in use.

In real-time this wireless blue-tooth device measures the electricity consumption of the device plugged into it and sends this data through bluetooth to your iPhone or Android smart phone. Now keep in mind you don’t have to do anything or even bother making a critical decision in regards to the data you see as the device will automatically turn off appliances not being used.

This small all in one plug can make phantom loads sending wasted electricity down the garbage basket a thing of the past.

The MeterPlug is about educating you about how much your appliances use in electricity but also it takes a practical step in automating the task of unplugging your unused appliance even while it remains plugged in. The reality is people with programmable thermostats never program them, and the same goes for those with electric usage monitoring devices, they never take the practical step to unplug or turn off devices not being used.

You can pair your MeterPlug to your smart phone app and receive alerts and control over all your appliances using this little amazing invention.

smartphoneappThe use is almost what you would expect it to be. You plug the outlet looking plug into your existing outlet and then plug your appliance into it that you want to track electricity usage. The next step is the cool part as actual electric usage for that appliance appears on your iPhone or Android showing you how much your hair dryer, blender, and refrigerator are using in electricity when on and off.

The “vampire” drain concept is when you have an appliance that remains plugged in for months or maybe years but rarely gets turned on. The MeterPlug looks for these appliances that are draining electricity while yet never turned on and simply shuts that drain off completely. Why waste electricity on an appliance you never even use anyway?

Via your iPhone or Android device you can turn appliances on and off at will but overall your benefit with this device is in the automation in monitoring your energy and saving you money that goes right to the bottom line budget by turning off phantom loads wherever they may be hiding.

There are companion apps that go along with this device that will show you electricity consumption usage history over several months time period as well as current usage and the cost based on your actual contracted per kilowatt hour electric rate.

You may discover that your old refrigerator consumes have the electricity you see that your being charged for on your electric bill. Based on this consumption data you may see that buying a new refrigerator would actually pay for itself in energy costs in less than a year. I have heard of some peoples malfunctioning old refrigerators using more than half of their total electric usage. This device could catch this problem quite easily.

meterplug2The main issue with this product as that one of these little babies will cost you $45. That ain’t cheap especially if you were considering plugging them up all over your house. Even still I would buy at least a couple of these guys and give them a try just for the nifty iPhone app where I can monitor a couple devices and see what’s using up all my energy each month. Learn more by visiting Meter Plug

Texas Electric: Get Federal Tax Credit for Making Energy Efficient Home Improvements in 2010

The federal government is going all out with its green energy initiatives. One of the ways it’s doing this is by incentivizing the program, ie, giving tax credits to homeowners for making their homes more energy efficient. Following is an overview of one such program for the year 2010 that can help Texas electric customers.

FAQs: How to Get Federal Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements Made in 2010

How do I get the tax credit? Basically, you have to make the improvement/purchase qualifying products and “place them in service” during the year 2010. You then claim the tax credit when you file your taxes next year.

How much of a tax credit can I get? The maximum amount is $1,500. The credit is 30% of cost. So in essence you get to spend $5,000 and get a credit for 30% of this.

Does this apply to products/improvements I make on my rental and/or vacation properties too? No, it must be your primary residence.


Which products/renovations qualify for the tax credit? Following is a partial list. Consult the Energy Star website for full details.

Windows and doors; insulation, metal and asphalt roofs, HVAC (including air conditions, heat pumps, furnaces and boilers; water heaters; and biomass stoves.

How to Lower Your Texas Electric Bill for $0

Don’t have any money to spend on energy-efficient home improvements? It’s okay; you can still save on your electric bill. How? By doing some comparison Texas electric company shopping.

Traditional Texas energy providers offer a host of money-saving options for budget-conscious consumers, eg, the LITE-UP Texas program. With this program, you can save money on your energy bill five months out the year (May through September)? And, it’s a no-deposit electric service plan.

Plans like this are ideal for consumers who are currently on prepaid electric service plans because they can significantly lower your energy bill during the five most high-consumption months of the year. And it needn’t cost a dime. All you have to do is call your Texas electricity company to get full qualifying details

Electricity Bid helps you find an electric rate and provider to save you money and keep life simple.

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