[SATLUG] OT: energy costs SATX: $0.05/kWHr CA: $0.39/kWhr

Robert Pearson e2eiod at gmail.com
Tue Aug 10 19:48:32 CDT 2010

On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 5:54 PM,  <travis+ml-satlug at subspacefield.org> wrote:
> By the way, you guys have it wonderful there energy-wise.
> At $0.05/kWHr, it's no wonder RS hosts there.
> Here in the Bay Area, PG&E is dealing with the years-past energy
> crisis by charging residential customers $0.39/kWHr.  Yes, that's
> nearly eight times your energy costs.  Austin, supposedly deregulated,
> is ~$0.14, nearly three times your costs.

The last I heard Austin utilities do not charge governmental buildings
for electricity or phones. They make it up on working people. When I
lived there my electric and phone bill were higher than people in
Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Enjoy Camelot in San Antonio while
you can.

Since deregulation (with Enron showing the way) GREED is rampant in
electric producers. At all points in the process. I'm sure water will
soon join this elite group. Water bills have already doubled+ as
cities realized they were not charging for processing waste water.
AFAIK, after processing they just discharge the "gray?" into the
nearest available flowing water and do not try to generate any revenue
from it. It is safe for some functions. Some people say it is safe to
drink. I don't trust the people running the waste water treatment
plants to take a chance. I would flush my toilets with it if I had a
"gray" water system in my apartment. I might even feel OK about
watering non-edible plants. Shouldn't there be a gray water delivery
system to go with the fresh water (potable) system? Then we could be
charged double-double. Once for the fresh to gray and again for the
gray to gray. Cities have no imagination. There are millions to be
made here.

> Actually, you get a small allowance at $0.13 I think, but it's very
> small - I think about 150 kWHr.neighbors pay

I pay between $0.125 and $0.140 cents per kWHr in Dallas. Some of my
neighbors pay $0.16 to $0.22 cents per kWHr. Some claim to pay less.
Most of those plans are very risky. Something retired people on a
fixed income can't handle. I have a very old, inefficient A/C unit
which I cannot get replaced. They just laugh even when I offer to pay
for it. I use very little heat in the winter.
My typical thermostat setting are 60 degrees F winter and 80 degrees F
summer. Both those are subject to drastic change if money gets tight.
You have no friends at the electric company.
If you get bored just google for "smart meter" and read the comments.
The "smart meter" will be the next big way to raise rates.

> I have six computers and a portable A/C unit for that small bedroom,
> set at 75 deg F, used about 2000KWHr in a month, and my energy bill was
> over $700.  I'm trying to reduce, but the ACPI stuff doesn't work very
> well on desktops - even on Windows.  On Linux, my machines don't spin
> up their HDDs upon waking, requiring a hard power-cycle.  That's enough
> to make you not want to play with it much.

My solution is either CULV desktops or go with all laptops.
Performance of CULV laptops is close enough to desktops for all but
super power users to be OK.
The TDP (Total Dissipated Power) is rising as performance goes up. The
only saving grace is that at idle they are all below 10W. Operating
they can be in the 30-40W range which is still below the 65-105+ for
common desktops.
The solution to HDDs not waking up is to replace them with solid state
HDDs (SSHDD) or Flash USB boot sticks and low power external eSATA or
USB3 drives. A CULV laptop with SSHDD is now affordable for most
people with jobs. Old retired guys on a fixed income (rapidly
shriveling) have to get creative. All the pricing costs are based on a
median income of $70,000, whether you have that or not.

> WOL isn't very useful, either, when your machines have encrypted HDDs
> and need boot-time passwords.
> --

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