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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2014 edited
    Steamyteas wrote
    "In the short term we should be reducing energy usage (but no one has every taken me up on my 48 kWh/day challenge, ever) as it is a fast and effective way to reduce CO2e, improve air quality, reduce dependency etc, but it is not a cheap option, and probably never will be. "

    Would you like to expand on this,
    does it include all aspect of life ?
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2014
    Copied from http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/forum114/comments.php?DiscussionID=12434&page=1#Item_12 :

    ST's 48kWh/day sounds a super-virtuous challenge, and it is - but it's still a stupendous amount of energy - it's the work output of 2.3 carthorses working continuously solely for the benefit of just one household. Or 13 super-fit Enduro cyclists pedaling away continuously 24/7. Or 20 or 30 slaves or serfs working long days, which is a fraction of what it took till recently, for an elite family to live 'civilised'.

    If only to avoid the inevitable return to that last, is good enough reason for humanity to use technology now to learn to live 'comfortably' in the future with zero need for imported, bought in, commodity energy; instead making do (comfortably) with the free energy, principally solar, that is available to every dwelling.
    Slight typo in the title! 48Wh/day really *would* be challenging!!
    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2014 edited
    yes indeed, but we need to start somewhere. Reducing load is part of the dual challenge hand in hand with
    utilising free energy. A good first step as many suggest.
    my family of 5, last year (june to june) used
    2.1kwh/day each person for our home energy consumption (gas+electric+wood-PV)
    so then we add
    consumer good
    what are these other values ?
    Posted By: Nick ParsonsSlight typo in the title! 48Wh/day really *would* be challenging!!

    edited :confused:
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2014 edited
    48 kWh/day or 2 kW is the world per capita average, for everything. Most of this is going to be wood burning in the very underdeveloped countries and much more that that is going to be infrastructure in developed countries.
    We pay to run hospitals, roads and schools regardless of whether we use them or not.

    Food is the tricky one, we need about 2.25 kWh/day of it, but processing it can be very energy intensive (my neighbour thinks that pasta takes 25 minutes to cook). So I would not count the basic food joules, but I would count the transport and processing (just in case a windfall vegan comes alone).

    I can easily run my house on less than half, or about 14 kWh/day on average, and that was for two people, just me currently so be interesting to see what I use alone (not been very good recently). My car takes more than my house, a lot more, easily uses 50 kWh just popping out for a coffee. Now that coffee is going to use a lot as I will have a 'stake' in the coffee machine and the premise (one place I used to go to constantly had outside lights on). This is hard to gauge, but I could say that a mug is a 1/3rd of a kg, the water was almost boiled, and that for every 10 mugs I have, there is one mugs worth of waste.

    But even taking my individual usage, or wastage if you prefer, I have little or no control over what the state uses on my behalf.
    I want roads, buses, trains, airports, harbours, 24/7 stores (there is a song about this), hospitals, schools, colleges, my rubbish collected, my water clean, this list can go on for a long time, but you get the picture.

    I am not sure how much we can reduce our personal and our national usage, but I think we should think harder about it.
    It is worth remembering that I am talking about usage, not offsetting, CO2e, generation, just what we, as a nation, use, and how we can get it down to nearer the world average.
    • CommentAuthorShah
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2014
    48kwh/day is a very big number. If I add up gas, electric, car use plus food at 2.25kwh/day then the total comes to about 24kwh/day (left out water usage and phone, not sure how to add them).The other things will be public services etc.
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2014
    Start with this (you have to dance around the varying units they use and it is based on old 2003 data)

    UK average is 4332.5 * 8.766 / 365 = 104.05 kWh per day per capita

    Calculating it on an individual basis is just going to ignore all, or most of, the externalities. Even at a country level it will exclude imports/exports.

    So we, as a country, need to cut our energy use in half to get near 48 kWh/day.
    • CommentAuthorShah
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2014
    Wow that is even bigger number :shocked:
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2014
    Thanks Ted.
    I think when I last looked at the figures in detail for every kWh I used at home, 7 where used elsewhere on my behalf. If I add in personal transport though, that changes drastically to every kWh I use the state uses 0.3 kWh. I use 5 times as much energy moving than sitting at home.
    One of the reasons that I think that if we could reduce transport energy usage (and we already buy a lot of new cars), we could reduce energy usage more rapidly.
    But of course we need to do both.
    One way to look at is historically. I seem to remember Vaclav Smill suggesting in one of his books that an equitable distribution of energy worldwide gave each individual the equivalent usage of a 1950s french person, leading him to ask, "was 1950s France so bad?"
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