Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Province of New Brunswick Canada, becoming short of electricity, is considering the outlawing of baseboard electric heat in all new construction. Very interesting.
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Comments

  • FrxddyFrxddy Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Sounds like a rumor to me. Canada has abundant electricity and electric heat is common up there. I have a friend in Quebec. He says you can't get cheaper heat.
    I think long before they outlaw electric heat they will stop selling excess power to the USA. I live in Maine. We get a bunch of our power from Canada. Just last year they ran a new high tension power line down to us.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    New Brunswick isn't Quebec, nor is it BC. W have abundant hydro power here. Except that we don't anymore. We've gone from exporting power to importing it. Rates are low but going up, and yet the rate increase can't be justified.

    Outlawing baseboard electric for new construction seems like a good idea - on the surface. But in some applications it can be cheaper and use less energy over-all than central heat. New construction, ironically, is more likely to use it efficiently. But you can't really trade off one type of energy for another, as some people would have you believe.

    It's a lot more complicated than it seems.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    How much more efficient do they claim other types of heaters are?

    Or is this just a green whim?

    I know baseboard heat is often looked down at as it is often on exterior walls where heat loss is maximum but -

    Russ
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Actually it's standard procedure to put any form of heating outlet on an exterior wall, under a window. This helps create the convection to distribute heat through the room and makes the cold loss through the window less noticeable - the room is more comfortable.

    Whether or not you use electric heat is a matter of price and availability. Wayne is saying that NB figure the availability is going down; no cheap, abundant hydro electric in NB. So the idea is to eliminate all big users of electric that have an alternative. I wonder if they will outlaw electric hot water and clothes dryers?
  • FrxddyFrxddy Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Ahhh, yes, I should know better than to lump all our northern friends together. Here in the states electric rates vary widely between states, it is probably similar in Canada.
    So, if they do force you to do something other than electric, what do you have for options? Oil? Natural gas? 80% of people here heat with oil. Virtually no one heats with electricity. Electricity isn't cheap here. Oil would have to approach $8 a gallon before electricity would make sense.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    Actually it's standard procedure to put any form of heating outlet on an exterior wall, under a window. This helps create the convection to distribute heat through the room and makes the cold loss through the window less noticeable - the room is more comfortable.

    Whether or not you use electric heat is a matter of price and availability. Wayne is saying that NB figure the availability is going down; no cheap, abundant hydro electric in NB. So the idea is to eliminate all big users of electric that have an alternative. I wonder if they will outlaw electric hot water and clothes dryers?

    Modern design is to place the heat source under a window? Kind of backwards - you get less residence time for the heat before it escapes through the wall. A higher temp against a wall will lose heat more rapidly than a lower temp.

    The entire NB situation and solution sounds rather green to me - meaning a knee jerk reaction not seriously thought out.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    With high-efficiency heat pumps able to operate to much lower temps than before, I could see this happening - but at much lower latitudes than NB...
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Problem in NB is that they depend on Nuclear for a lot of their power. Safety upgrades to their Point Lepreau plant are three years behind schedule, $1 billion over budget and they don't have the money to pay for it. If they have to shut it down, NB could be in serious trouble. They also provide much of the electricity that the nearby province of Prince Edward Island uses, they having basically nothing but a few wind turbines as a local source. I doubt, especially after Japan, that this kind of thing is going to be unique to New Brunswick, but we shall see.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,015 admin
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    I am sure that they are not doing anything as stupid as this for renewable power:
    The turbines, at a range of sites across Scotland, were stopped because the grid network could not absorb all the energy they generated. Details of the payments emerged following research by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF).

    The REF said energy companies were paid £900,000 to halt the turbines for several hours between 5 and 6 April.

    According to the REF research, the payments made cost up to 20 times the value of the electricity that would have been generated if the turbines had kept running.
    Sounds like blackmail / payoffs going on somewhere here...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    Frxddy wrote: »
    Ahhh, yes, I should know better than to lump all our northern friends together. Here in the states electric rates vary widely between states, it is probably similar in Canada.
    So, if they do force you to do something other than electric, what do you have for options? Oil? Natural gas? 80% of people here heat with oil. Virtually no one heats with electricity. Electricity isn't cheap here. Oil would have to approach $8 a gallon before electricity would make sense.


    Just how much do the charge you per KWH up there?
    After adding on all the 'carrying charges' & etc. our cost is 21 cents per KWH.

    Luckily, we are 10deg F south of you, and using a mini-split for electric heat,
    does not cost us an arm&leg. For most of the winter, it's about $2 a day.

    It also costs $2 a day to 'oil' heat our hot water.
    It burns oil for about 30 minutes on most days.
    We only use the oil for heating the house if it gets down under 10F for a few hours.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    XRinger wrote: »
    Just how much do they charge you per KWH up there?

    Not sure about New Brunswick rates, but here in Nova Scotia, homeowners are charged $0.12074 per KWH. And Nova Scotia Power has applied for another increase, this time 9%.
    My last bill, for the standard 2 month period, totaled $24.89.
    $21.66 of that was the "base rate" that we pay even if we use no power at all.
    My 17 KWH used over 2 months, totaled $2.05, and taxes added $1.27
    All the rest of my electricity came from Solar and mini-micro hydro and I love it :)
    Why don't I cut the grid wires? We're all getting older, I won't always be able to look after my system, and no one else is going to do it for me. If I can't do it myself, it ain't gonna happen. That's life in the sticks.
  • FrxddyFrxddy Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Electric cost here, delivered: 18.7 cents /KWH


    Your degrees days: 5641
    My degree days, 70% more: 9651
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    Frxddy wrote: »
    Electric cost here, delivered: 18.7 cents /KWH


    Your degrees days: 5641
    My degree days, 70% more: 9651


    Check my annual average mean temp at the bottom of this page.
    http://www.idcide.com/weather/ma/woburn.htm


    Here's Bangor airports mean temps:

    http://www.idcide.com/weather/me/brewer.htm


    It looks like it's about 4 deg F colder up there (over the course of a year).
    So, I'll bet you have a lot of hours each winter where you could avoid burning oil,
    using electricity with the right technology.

    When it's between 10 & 66 degrees F, Mini-splits can provide heat for 1/3
    to 1/4 the price of oil..

    It's just under 50F here this evening. The Mini-split has warmed the house
    up to 72F for the last 6 hours. It was on for 3 hours this morning too.
    Total cost was 1.7 kwh (36 cents).
    tempdaycomp.png

    Of course we needed some hot water too, so we also blew $2 on oil.. :(
  • FrxddyFrxddy Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Our electric, delivered: $18.7 KWH. When did your rates go up? For years we have been higher than almost anywhere.

    Your degree days: 5641
    Our degree days, (70% more) : 9651

    Some people do use heat pumps, but it's debatable whether they save money.
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    Frxddy wrote: »
    Our electric, delivered: $18.7 KWH. When did your rates go up? For years we have been higher than almost anywhere.

    Your degree days: 5641
    Our degree days, (70% more) : 9651

    Some people do use heat pumps, but it's debatable whether they save money.


    I'm not taking about old tech heat pumps, I'm talking about new tech hardware.
    The Mini-split "Inverter" type (used all over the world) is kinda new to America.
    And are power-misers compared to the old American style watt-hogs.
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=11063&highlight=sanyo
    You can run them off solar PV if you live in the boondocks..

    degree days:
    I have found 'degree days' numbers (for the Boston area) don't really
    match up with actual power usage, since they don't seem to take solar
    gain into account. My house has a few south facing windows.
    Those windows help reduce my heating bill on every sunny day,
    during the winter. The degree days numbers that I've found for this area
    don't seem to reflect if it's sunny all day or cloudy.. (like my power bill does).

    I used a TED power monitor on my Sanyo, and can read my oil bill,
    so in my case, there is no question that oil is 3 to 4 times more expensive.

    As time goes on, oil isn't going to get a lot cheaper either..
  • TheBackRoadsTheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    A bit off topic but you guys talk about "oil" used for heating.. I've always thought that NG is the cheapest way to heat... (obviously not avail to all) not true? Electric bill is hard to figure out exactly but were paying about $.11 KwH in MN.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    A bit off topic but you guys talk about "oil" used for heating.. I've always thought that NG is the cheapest way to heat... (obviously not avail to all) not true? Electric bill is hard to figure out exactly but were paying about $.11 KwH in MN.

    It all depends on where you are.
    Up here wood is the cheapest way to heat, providing you don't mind a little labour. :p
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    A bit off topic but you guys talk about "oil" used for heating.. I've always thought that NG is the cheapest way to heat... (obviously not avail to all) not true? Electric bill is hard to figure out exactly but were paying about $.11 KwH in MN.

    11 cents is darn good. Have not seen kwh that cheap in many moons..

    In New England, some folks use NG, but a lot still use oil burners.
    We don't have gas on our street, but many streets in the area have it.

    When we go for walks in Lexington, there are a few streets where the smell
    of leaking NG is so strong, it almost gags you.
    Last year, we had over 20,000 gas leaks in the state.
    http://www1.whdh.com/features/articles/hank/BO144452/

    When it gets cold, there is a great deal of oil truck traffic on my little street.
    The roads take a beating. Those things are Heavy!
    Kinda glad we don't have gas pipes under the street.



    Anyhow, I'll bet they have outlawed E-baseboard in parts of Australia.
    I've read that in some areas down-under, new homes must be built with solar
    hot water systems, standard.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    Up here wood is the cheapest way to heat, providing you don't mind a little labour.

    That's my solution! Wish there was a way to power A/C from wood, too. ;)
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,015 admin
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    In our area, wood fires have been regulated for pollution control... For example, fireplaces are being banned in new construction and winter burn bans when there are inversion layers that keep the "smoke" near ground level in the winter.

    There are exemptions for people with only wood heat--but I would imagine that dealing with the government enforcement agencies would not be fun if there were complaints.

    In our urban area (San Francisco Bay Area)--the little wood that is burned in our area (Thanks Giving, Christmas, etc.)--Wood is supposed to be one of the top polluters (particulate?).

    Modern wood burning stoves are now EPA registered--and much cleaner + more efficient than the old fireplace--which is always an improvement for everyone.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    techntrek wrote: »
    That's my solution! Wish there was a way to power A/C from wood, too. ;)

    Two words: steam engine. :p
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    We are in the process of designing a new house at the lake.

    We were told by the architect that next year the Nat. Building Code will require 8" walls, up from 6", as the minimum. Old fiberglass 4" = R 12, 6" = R 20, New Roxul 4" = R 15, 6" = R 23, 8" = R 28. Double 2 x 4 = R 30.

    Not sure if this is just in our 'colder zone' though or maybe across the board as it should be...

    going back to the topic of this thread, this increase in insulative value in the average house will be so far above the old 4 " standard there should be no need to ban baseboard heaters. The benefits of upping the insulation are long term not short term, as a ban would be. without conservation measures made to existing homes the problem just shifts from electricity to another energy source...

    my 2 cents worth

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • TheBackRoadsTheBackRoads Solar Expert Posts: 274 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    Two words: steam engine. :p

    Thats what came to mind as well! haha :cool:
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,015 admin
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    I agree with addressing the issue (heat loss/heat gain) vs addressing a technology (electric base board heat) is a better method.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Eric;

    I think the actual requirement is for walls with a particular R value, not actual thickness. But you could have trouble explaining this to some building inspectors. You could also have trouble pronouncing, much less finding, polyisocyanurate. :p

    What do we always say around here?
    Chorus: Conservation, conservation, conservation! :D
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    When we needed new siding 3 years ago we tore off the entire outer layer and extended our walls from 4" to 6". Then added another layer of insulation and sealed it up well with a vapor barrier over the new plywood. Made a huge difference. In the past when it got down below 10 F (-12 C) I would have my large-box wood stove wide open and it could barely keep up even though it has a catalytic converter (EPA certified). Since the insulation addition I've been using less wood and often I can't get the stove hot enough to engage the converter. If I try it gets too hot in the house.

    LOL, I can see it now - "honey, it supposed to get above 90 today, I'm going outside to fire up the steam engine... should be up to pressure before lunch". Might have been a great use of surplus steam locomotives back in the 40's and 50's!

    I have read of A/C pumps that use an adsorption process (ammonia I believe, like RV fridges) and so it uses a flame source to drive it.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Here's something some of you more experimentally-minded might want to play around with:

    Way back in the 1970's (before you were born, no doubt :p ) I designed a "steam engine" that use Freon 12 instead of water, and it boiled at 118F I recall. The heat source was solar. In that respect, it would be possible to construct a solar heat collector that could be the source of heat for a refrigeration unit that functions along the lines of a propane refrigerator. The hot summer days would power the air conditioner to cool off the interior.

    Work on it. :D
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Marc, I like your idea.
    One could use evacuated solar tubes for the collection...might even work in the winter as an alternate heat source for a propane fridge...

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • chevensteinchevenstein Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!
    techntrek wrote: »
    That's my solution! Wish there was a way to power A/C from wood, too. ;)

    Sure there is, see my post here: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showpost.php?p=82391&postcount=34 ;^)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,015 admin
    Re: Possible outlawing of baseboard electric heat!

    Probably the closest people will be able to get electric power from wood without a HUGE risk of blowing themselves up (i.e., home made steam boilers)--is Wood Gasification connected to a converted gasoline/propane genset.

    Not to say that gasification is safe--you have less explosion energy potential, but you still have carbon monoxide poisoning, etc. potential--but it is probably the only practical low tech way to make electricity.

    A recent discussion here:

    Garringer Gasifier I think this would work good to back up my solar

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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