10 July 2011

See Light But Squander Heat


You know what I don't get - and, I ask, do you get this? The federal government is outlawing Thomas Edison's cheap source of good illumination, the incandescent light bulb, but is not banning the sale of water heaters as sold in their present, apparently incomplete and energy-wasting - not fully insulated - form.

If, as our elites keep lecturing us but are doing precious little about it, the US national goal is reduction of energy consumption as a means of attaining national energy independence from foreign sources, then why are water heaters sold without those aftermarket insulating jacket kits. You know, the big awkward horse blankets of plastic-sheathed fiberglas insulation that energy experts and every HVAC dealer in the land urge us, if we are really concerned about slimming down our gas & electricity consumption and bills, to bundle and tape round our water heaters. Why, then, is our federal government's chief (ir)responsible agency, the DOE, not banned, or proposed legislation to end, the sale of halfway-insulated water heaters , and begun the New Energy Progressive Era of properly factory insulated, or upon-installment fully insulated, water heaters?

Isn't selling halfway-insulated water heaters rather like selling new homes topped with half-insulated roofs?

Is there a natural gas utilities lobby resisting a mandate for fully factory-insulated water heaters, or a water heater manufacturers' lobby looking to keep water heater prices down and thus more appealing by not fully factory-insulating these energy gobblers? Wouldn't you think that fully factory insulated water heaters and a federal law to mandate their exclusive manufacture and sale makes sense?

Isn't this also true of other halfway-efficient appliances? For instance, why aren't maximally efficient new-manufacture refigerators, washers, dryers, computers, TV's, HVAC systems the only government-permitted types to be sold? But then none of those appliances can be made more efficient by their owners applying, as to water heaters, an aftermarket energy-conserving add-on - which is why the lack of legislation forbidding halfway-insulated water heaters just seems to stand out as peculiarly ignorant and absurd. Where is the Obama administration's Water Heater Full Factory Insulation Czar?

Of the incandescent light bulb ban US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said last Friday, "We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money." Here's a tip, Mr. Secretary: how about banning consumers' non-choice of being forced to buy inadequately insulated water heaters that make people, you know, "waste their own money"?

It doesn't hurt to ask, does it?