Posts Tagged ‘electricty’

OMG, You Totally Need to Check Out an Electricity Meter from the SF Public Library – See How Much Juice You’re Using

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Well of course you know how much juice you’re using on a a monthly basis, but if you go to your local branch library you’ll be able to check out an electricity meter that’ll tell you how much each of your appliances is sucking down.

Like this:

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The entire program is ably explained here by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Deb Wandelll. (And obviously, people, make sure you unplug you old analog 13″  CRT TVs that you don’t even use anymore…)

I’ll tell you, I haven’t borrowed anything from the lieberry in a good long time, but this thing I just checked out myself.

The big fridge is brand new and you can tell by looking at this meter, so that’s good. (I wish it didn’t have to be an expensive counter-depth model but this one was the biggest model available that would fit through some super-narrow Victorian doorways (after taking both fridge doors off, yish))

Now the mini fridge and the chest freezer, well, they’re just not built as well so they cost a pretty penny to run even though they’re newish. Oh well.

The 70″ Sharp is from 2011 – it’s fine. It’s LED after all.

Speaking of which, you can light up a whole room with a “25 watt” LED light on a desk lamp, as I do. The meter says that these bulbs burn 5 watts, which is about what I figured.

You can’t use the meter to see what your overhead room lights are using, but you can just look at the bulbs’ ratings for that. (2012 was probably the first year it made sense to convert to LED lighting  - Costco is now selling heavily-subsidized bulbs so you ought to get some yourself.)

Or if you want, you can just buy a meter from Amazon, I don’t care. But then what do you do with the meter when you’re done with it.

Congratulations to the SFPL for this program

OMG, Our San Francisco Public Library is Now Letting Your Check Out Electric Meters for Free – Save $$ at Home

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Soon you’ll be able to see how much juice each of your appliances is using by simply checking out a meter as if it were a book.

But act fast – these things should prove popular.

All the deets:

“San Francisco Public Library to Offer Home Metering Devices - To Measure Home Appliance Energy Use - Adds to list of services for city residents

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 16, 2013 – The San Francisco Public Library today launched a new program to offer library patrons What’s Your Watt home electric metering devices as a tool to measure energy usage in home electronic appliances.

Sponsored by Wells Fargo and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), What’s Your Watt is a collaborative effort by the San Francisco Public Library’s Green Stacks program, the Department of the Environment (SF Environment), and the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3). Wells Fargo presented the idea for the program and a seed grant to purchase meters, which are now available for check out at all 28 San Francisco public libraries. PG&E provided the home metering devices. Borrowers may take the devices home to determine wattage, associated costs and C02 emissions information for all electrical appliances, including computers, refrigerators and hair dryers.

“Thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo and PG&E, San Francisco library users can now check out a home energy metering device along with their books,” said Melanie Nutter, director of SF Environment. “We are delighted that our libraries and local businesses are so committed to helping San Franciscans reduce their energy use, save money and lower their carbon emissions.”
Standard library borrowing rules apply for the home metering devices, which can be checked out for three weeks. Each branch library and the SFPL Green Bookmobile will have two devices and the Main Library will have six devices.

The What’s Your Watt home metering devices are simple to use and come with instructions in English, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. Additional information can be found at: www.sfenvironment.org/whatsyourwatt.

“It is our hope that San Franciscans will take advantage of this program so they can reduce their energy consumption to lower their energy bills, while benefitting the environment as well—both great goals to start in the new year,” said Tracy Curtis, president of Wells Fargo’s San Francisco market.

About SFPL Green Stacks
San Francisco Public Library’s Green Stacks is dedicated to helping the City go green. Libraries have always been dedicated to free, renewable resources and this new, citywide program highlights the environmental initiatives, programs, exhibitions and information created and supported by today’s library system. In partnership with SF Environment and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Green Stacks empowers all library users to live a more eco-friendly life.

About SF Environment
The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) creates visionary policies and innovative programs that promote social equity, protect human health, and lead the way toward a sustainable future. We put our mission into action by mobilizing communities and providing the resources needed to safeguard our homes, our city, and ultimately our planet. For more information on SF Environment, visit: www.sfenvironment.org

About the Business Council on Climate Change
The Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) is a public-private partnership between local government and the business community that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in San Francisco through collaboration and direct action. For more information on BC3, visit: www.bc3sfbay.org

About Wells Fargo
In April 2012, Wells Fargo released a set of environmental commitments to be achieved by 2020; including reducing the company’s environmental impact, financing the transition to a greener economy and encouraging stronger and more sustainable communities. A leader in reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions and building sustainably, Wells Fargo has been recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project and the U.S. Green Building Council. Since 2006, Wells Fargo has provided more than $11.7 billion in environmental finance, supporting sustainable buildings and renewable energy projects nationwide. This includes investments in more than 260 solar projects and 34 wind projects that generate enough clean renewable energy to power hundreds of thousands of American homes each year. For more information, please visit: www.wellsfargo.com/environment.

Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, it provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the US.

About PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric Company is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the US. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California.

Funding for What’s Your Watt was provided through a partnership with the City and County of San Francisco. Through the partnership, PG&E offers comprehensive energy efficiency services and technical assistance to residential, small commercial, large commercial and municipal customers. This program is funded in part by California utility customers and administered by PG&E under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

San Francisco is So Rich We Can Afford to Light Up the Giant Market Street “VIRGIN” Sign in Perpetuity?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Here’s the reverse-angle, at night, from Market Street near the Union Square Apple Store.

It’s the giant neon sign for our long-closed Virgin Megastore:

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Now didn’t I talk about this just last month? So why is this sign still burning brightly 24-7? There’s no actual Megasto any mo, right? Has this store sign become an ad for the Virgin Empire? Does somebody turn the sign off on Christmas to honor the Baby Jesus ‘n stuff? Does the City and County of San Francisco pay for the juice to power it?

I know not.

The juice, the precious juice

Wow, Those SmartMeter Crazies Almost Make Me Feel Sorry for PG&E, America’s Worst Big Utility Company – But Opt Out If You Want

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Well, here it is, your brand new PG&E SmartMeter opt-out option.

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David R. Baker was on the scene at the big CPUC meeting yesterday, actually engaging with the crazies, so check that out if you want.

And if you think that a SmartMeter has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with your health (and, oh yes, you yourself are somehow particularly affected by infinitesimal amounts of additional non-ionizing radiation in your life, I hear what you are saying) you’re barking up the wrong tree. People who don’t tell you that are just patronizing you, just saying.

Now here’s what PG&E has to say. Enjoy:

“SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1, 2012 — Residential electric and gas customers who have concerns about wireless technology can now choose either a new SmartMeter(TM) or a traditional analog meter, following the final decision today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) supports the CPUC’s decision and will respond quickly to customers who opt-out of the utility’s SmartMeter(TM) program.

“We know personal choice is important to our customers when it comes to the meters on their homes,” said Helen Burt, PG&E’s Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “This final decision in support of analog meters is a positive step forward for those who have concerns over wireless technology. We understand some customers have been waiting for this decision, and we are actively reaching out to those who have expressed their desire for a SmartMeter(TM) alternative.”

PG&E is installing digital, wireless SmartMeters(TM) throughout its service area in Northern and Central California as part of a statewide effort to help customers save on their bills by offering them more control over their energy usage, improve reliability and customer service, and conserve natural resources to help the environment. As part of a global effort to modernize the energy grid and transform it into a digital network that will deliver more reliable power to homes and businesses, similar metering programs are now underway at utilities throughout the country and around the world. To date, PG&E has installed nearly nine million gas and electric SmartMeters(TM), on its way to about 10 million meters in 2012.

Independent studies repeatedly have affirmed the safety and accuracy of SmartMeters(TM). However, in response to comments from some customers, PG&E in March 2011 proposed offering them a choice to turn off the radios in their SmartMeters(TM), and then provided customers with the option to delay the installation of new SmartMeters(TM) pending the CPUC’s final decision. In December 2011, PG&E asked the CPUC to approve analog meters as another alternative to receiving a SmartMeter(TM), which was the central element of the CPUC’s decision today.

Burt added, “The vast majority of our customers are already seeing the many benefits of SmartMeters(TM). By choosing to stay with our program, our customers will continue having control by seeing where they can save energy throughout the course of the day and making simple but effective changes around the home to save money.”

PG&E customers who want to opt-out of the SmartMeter(TM) program can submit their request online at www.pge.com/smartmeteroptout or call 1-866-743-0263. PG&E plans to remove the gas and electric SmartMeters(TM) from the homes of those opt-out customers who already have SmartMeters(TM); those customers who still have analog meters will be able to keep them.

The CPUC’s final decision requires customers who opt-out of the program to pay a $75 initial setup charge and a $10 monthly charge. This will cover the costs of manual meter-reading and associated operational and billing issues. Income-qualified customers will pay a $10 initial setup charge and $5 a month.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

Uh, Who Pays for the Electricity to Power the Giant VIRGIN Sign on the Side of Our Long-Shutdown Virgin Megastore?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

You see, our world-class City (go ahead, Google the terms “ed lee” “world class” right now) used to have a world-class Virgin Megastore at the world-class intersection of world-class Market Street and world-class Stockton Street.

But then our Virgin reka sto shut down, a while ago, actually.

But now the sign is still burning brightly, wasting the electricity that San Francisco stole from the rest of California fair and square back when Hetch Hetchy got built.

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Bon courage, Virgin Megastore sign.

May you shine forever.

When PG&E Comes to Tear Up Your Street, They Really Tear Up Your Street

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

As here, on Grove betwixt Divisidero and Scott. 

Would you call this block a part of Alamo Square (after all, you can see the wide, wide steps of A.S. right there), or the Western Addition(literally, this block was added as part of the western addtion to San Francisco, which used to have its north-south border on Larkin in the Tenderloin) or the North of Panhandle (NOPA) District (the grass-fed burgers of NOPA restaurant are just a block away!), or something else? No matter.

The point is that this block is right near where conspiracy theorist Crazy Rob Anderson (go ahead, ask him about the truth behind the death of JFK) lives. Check it:

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(Man, I’ve seen people freak out over just one truck working a block. Can you imagine how the NIMBYs felt about this disruption to their day?)

I was going to try to get on my HAM radio to see if I could warn Rob about this overt operation, tell him about how undercover agents from the FBI, CIA, NSA, ETC could be laying in their own cables right along with friendly PGE.

But then I thought, well, that’s just what THEY would want me to do, probably triangulate on my broadcast equipment in a New York minute. Then they’d find my chemtrails videos and everything. So, I didn’t do nothing.

But remember, The Truth Is Out There. We’re through the looking glass, people!

The Lights are On, But No One’s Home at the TransAmerica Pyramid

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Now, leaving aside the issue of decorative holiday lighting at night and the whole novel concept of turning the lights off at night

And leaving aside the “questionable” concept of have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too carbon offsetting…

What about turning off the lights at the TransAmerica Pyramid when nobody’s using them in the DAYTIME? Of course the cost of having all these lights on must be trivial compared to all the expenses of running a business, but if the people upstairs can see their way clear to turn off the lights right next to the windows, why can’t you?  

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Just asking.