The headline grabs your attention: what you ask, save 1000 dollars a year on energy costs?

Although this sounds like a late night sales pitch, this comparison was made by the SEU task force, which compared Delaware’s energy household consumption intensity to those in other states that have already progressively attempted to diminish demand for electricity.

So with bated breath along with the rest of Delaware, we anxiously await Tommywonks‘ expert analysis. Until then here are a few items of interest.

Amazingly Delaware households use twice as much energy as a household in New York.

Graph showing comparisons between Delaware and other states.

Prepared for the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility Task Force by the Center for Energy & Environmental Policy.
Figure 5.1 Comparison of State Residential Sector Electricity Intensities (DE = 1.000)
The results are sobering: Delaware has the highest residential sector electricity intensity among the eight states. New York, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey households use one-half or less of the electricity used by Delaware homes, thanks to well-funded and broad-based energy efficiency and conservation policy regimens. Because their programs were more recently created, Connecticut and Vermont residences use more electricity than those in the four best-performing states. Still, their homes consume only 55-70% of the electricity of their Delaware counterparts. Only Pennsylvania is statistically near the rate of energy inefficiency of the Delaware residential electricity sector.

The basic philosophy of this plan is this. Instead of investing gigantic sums in large scale power generation schemes, the focus shifts to assisting individual homeowners who invest in solar, wind, and geothermal technology to generate electricity for their own use and cut down on what the grid provides them now.

Money is also spent to conserve energy, through new appliances, new insulation, new housing designs. etc.

Based on the results of neighboring states, it appears to work.

Particularly interesting is it’s analysis of here-to-unmentioned California’s bounce back from the Enron-induced blackouts earlier this decade. Completely unable to invest in any NEW energy generation facilities, by REDUCING DEMAND, the state of California, was able to reduce peak power demand and lower prices.

The other states have also made serious inroads in the amount of power used by each household on an individual basis. And with a deduction in power usage, a subsequent deduction in CO2 gases expended is also realized. So much that it may be possible to offset the amount of CO2 generated by coal by as much or maybe more than a wind farm could.

On a political perspective, this bodes well for hard working families dependent on household construction to keep from starving. More jobs will be created by installing household applications on every house in Delaware than in building a Giant Coal Dinosaur, that will be extinct in five to ten years.

Not to mention great entrepreneurial opportunities for anyone willing to jump into this business. This segment, which has exploded next door in New Jersey, should find funds to sustain itself, particularly since it could pay for itself with future energy savings within a few short years. So it is hopeful that this proposal woos our state’s labor’s support away from the political suicide pact it has made in its support of NRG’s proposal.

Unfortunately, the Democratic hopeful in the 41st district has just put a bullet through his head by declaring his support for the new NRG plant. I will be interested if my theories that what should have been a slam dunk shoo-in Democratic victory, won’t be, because of the old guard failure to account for wind’s appeal among 94% of the electorate.

But having investigated the future price structure, the anticipated amounts of carbon energy available, the potential for shortages both real and fabricated, I have in my research been led to determine the best new resource for Delaware’s energy needs, is some type of DIRECT COMPETITION against fossil fuels…………….Perhaps it may be some of the genetic republican residue, still attached to one of my chromosomes, that lead me to believe that the 400 Trillion market has more powerto make changes than any resolution proposed by handful of men within a state capacity.

However, again in this SEU report, little mention was made of future energy prices. The anticipated future savings were again made on the assumption that energy prices would remain consistent where they are today.

But if energy costs continue to rise through either speculation or panic over future supply shortages, then despite that savings may pay off faster, our total costs will continue to rise. This is similar to the way our cars gas mileage climbs each time the price of gasoline goes up. (At ten miles to a gallon, a three hundred mile trip would cost $30 at a dollar a gallon. Increasing the miles per gallon by 150% to twenty five miles per gallon, the same trip costs would rise to $36 at prices approaching today’s $3 a gallon.) The cost to us still rises!

My concern is that if we decide to conserve and cut demand, solely as our source, we have done nothing to stop coal from being burned. On the other hand, a wind farm acts like a great energy price stabilizer. The wind is free. therefore the cost is controlled by interest payments and repairs, that is all.

Without some type of competition against fossil fuels that will force the price of energy downward, the inevitable rise of energy costs will, even with the anticipate conservation benefits, result in the same out of pocket expenses despite the fact that less energy used.

But…………. if this SEU plan is coupled with Blue Water Winds proposal, then Delaware has stepped to the plate, connected with a home run, and started its own win streak, all the way towards the pennant ……….this time.