Monday, 22 July 2013

It's not easy being green - energy saving devices installed in your home/solar power - the drawbacks

Have you been visited by the polite young man who offers you free energy saving devices? This Victorian Government (Australia) is commendable and sounds good on paper but...
Being a whingeing old fart, here is my rant.
We already had been visited by another friendly young man with free devices to save electricity – powerboards that turn off automatically, you have to keep pressing your remote each hour or the television goes off.
Yesterday another visit from another energy saver. My wife said yes. Because this dude also offered some good stuff: weather seals on front and back doors and a nifty inflatable damper that fits up your chimney to stop heat loss (free pump – looks like a sex aid – I think).
This stupid balloon thing spread soot everywhere each time you removed it and deflated over time.

The not so good stuff:
He replaced our low water pressure shower head with his version (boring and no adjustable flow). The replacement shower head in our daughter’s bathroom leaked, not much of a water saver, so I had to reinstall it when he left.

Now the really crappy stuff:
He took all our light bulbs, replacing them with 24 of his, except the dimmers he couldn’t change – thank Christ for that! The new bulbs are so dim it is like mood lighting, tough luck if you drop a tiny object and want to search for it. The ceiling recessed downlights used to have globes that fitted perfectly. These new screwy, ugly looking bulbs leave a huge gap so draughts from the roof cancel out any energy saving from other means. So this morning I’m up in the ceiling placing cloth around these circular gaps to stem Melbourne’s wintry winds.

An extra word on solar power:
Unless you have at least 8 panels (2 person house) or 12+ panels for a large house/family the outlay isn't viable. It also concerns me that people cutting down north-facing trees so they can get more sun for their solar panels. In the Southern Hemisphere, surely north-facing (particularly deciduous) trees are environmentally (as well as aesthetically) desirable.

As a cute amphibian said once, “It’s not easy being green”.

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