Dynamic electrical pricing demands dynamic price data.

The power industry has begun its long-anticipated shift towards demand-based pricing of electricity. Dominion Power, my electric company here in Virginia, has two basic rates: winter and summer. Although the math is a bit complicated, electricity costs about 50% more in the summer than in the winter, averaging 12¢ per kilowatt hour. (One can also pay for sustainably […]

ABC News: Expert—Wastewater Well in Ohio Triggered Quakes

There has been increasing concern over the past year that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) can cause earthquakes. I don’t understand the seismology well enough to understand the specifics, but the premise is simple enough: pumping millions of gallons of water, diesel, brine, and other liquids into the ground is liable to have an effect on the […]

Links for October 27th

The Guardian: Mexico City considers fixed-term marriage licencesThe city is considering offering two-year marriage licenses. Couples would get married, and two years later their marriage contract would end, though they could, of course, renew it. Why? Because so many marriages end after two years, requiring an expensive and trying divorce. I've been forecasting limited term […]

Calculating my home’s energy inputs and outputs.

I’ve been wondering what the inputs and outputs are of my home energy usage. For some months now, I’ve used a CurrentCost Envi to track my house’s energy usage, so I know the numbers in kilowatt hours: 8,166 kWh in the past 12 months, an average of 680 kWh/month, with a low of 454 kWh […]

Links for May 5th

Snopes: Obama Lends $2 Billion to Brazilian Oil CompanyHeard the one about how the President Obama is spending billions on offshore drilling…in Brazil? Snopes rates it “mostly false.” This is another case of conservatives getting riled up about something that's not true and dates from President Bush's time in the White House. ThinkProgress: Exxon Makes […]

Links for April 7th

Public Policy Polling: Barbour, Bryant lead in MississippiForget the point of this poll—the real news is that half of Mississippi Republicans think that interracial marriage should be illegal. Oh, and Sarah Palin is leading that bunch by a wide margin. Small government what now? New York Times: Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food […]

Can your tap water do this?

As the keynote speaker at Gov. McDonnell’s energy conference yesterday, Hugh Pickens said fracking has no effect on drinking water: Pickens played down growing fears about a particular method of extracting natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses a cocktail of water, sand and chemicals to break up rock to release gas deposits. Some are […]

Is it worth the risk to drill off Virginia’s coast?

This is a NASA satellite photo of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico: As of this morning, the slick is 100 miles long and 45 miles wide. It’s twenty miles off the coast of Louisiana, and due to hit the shore this weekend. If this wasn’t enough of a disaster in the ocean, […]