Friday, February 8, 2013


Originally published in the Observer Eccentric Newspapers

I would like to know how many organizations there are that control and set policies on energy consumption in this country. I think every person should be singled out and how much money is directed to each specific group. I want to know because I’m tired of not knowing who is responsible for the thousands of dollars that cost Americans right out of their pockets for the new ideas that come out of Washington. Who is it that has the right to dictate to homeowners that you can no longer purchase an 80% furnace and must install the 90% plus as a replacement? Under mandate of law, the heating company of your choice will no longer be able to sell them. Many consumers will be shocked at the increase in price for having a new furnace installed. This law goes into effect in the early months of 2013 and it reminds me of when the Energy Department got involved with the toilet issue that turned out to be one big mess. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in saving the planet, recycling and all the other things that can be called normal but I’m strictly against the rip-off ways that get mixed into the methods of getting things done. Let me give you just a few examples of how change which caused some very adverse expense results.

In 1982 the manufacturers of gas ranges had to change the method of ignition on their stoves. They had to go from a pilot light to an electronic ignition system. The old system worked great but it wasted gas which we had plenty of and still have an abundance to feed us for the next 200 years. This move had to cost the manufacture many millions of dollars in new design etc... I want to tell you that it didn’t take very long for them to get a return on investment. The igniters were just a pure piece of junk back then and many range owners had to buy a new one every year at a cost of near $100.00. It was several years before the igniter was perfected to withstand some longevity. The same picture is true of furnaces. Most people who purchased a new furnace 20 years ago with the new ignition system had to replace several igniters during the first few years of operation. I know, I’ve replace 5 of them in my furnace which is still operating like a champ but now comes the big decision I have to make along with several million other homeowners. I simply don’t want to replace my furnace at this time. My old one works great and I might get another 10 years out of it. If I do decide to replace it now, I don’t want one of the higher efficiency units. I don’t believe that the extra expense of installation and extra cost is feasible to recover in my remaining years. It just doesn’t work for me and I’m not alone. To sum it up, I either purchase an 80% furnace now or I wait until my current one goes bad down the road and I buy what is available and the 90% furnace is shoved down my throat.

Now let’s say that I am really concerned about energy savings and have the new energy saving furnace installed now.  I figure that I might save a lot of money compared to what it will cost me a few years from now.  Keep in mind that it is not just the extra cost for the product but the additional amount of money I’ m going to spend to have holes drilled through the side of my house for the new venting requirements on this new furnace. Thank God I don’t live in the center unit of a condominium or I’d be spending more for venting than I would for the furnace. I think I spent $1400.00 for a furnace 17 years ago and today it would cost around $3000.00. I expect that next year it would cost around $5000.00 and who knows what the price will be in the next few years.  I would like to know who the people are that have never held a screwdriver and make these decisions for me. Stay tuned.  

No comments:

Post a Comment