Friday, February 24, 2006

'Free' power

I actually thought of this yesterday.
Here's the context. I'd like to design/build/live-in a house that is extremely energy efficient, and preferably 'off-grid'. I've thought about what sacrfices I'd have to make to achieve this goal (no big screen TV, maybe even no TV - I'd watch movies on a laptop computer - smaller stereo system, shorter -and fewer- showers, no microwave, etc.) and I got thinking about stuff powered by batteries (cell phone, laptop, MP3 player) and how I could charge them up at places other than my house. Apparently that would be considered theft.
I know of people in university who would use the showers at the gym instead of showering at home, just to save on utilities. The guy in Scott Adams' post did something similar, "He also tries to time all of his bodily eliminations to occur at work so that he uses company water for flushing etc… to further save himself money and cost the company."
Got any other suggestions on how to 'play the system', or screw over 'the man'?


Anonymous Anthony said...

Take showers at work, or if you don't have showers, have a sponge bath in the toilet stall.

And of course, don't limit the venue to work: make sure you grab all the ketchup/salt/napkins/etc. from fast food places that you can!

12:18 p.m.  
Blogger HCJoel said...

Breuks, if and when you figure out how to make your future home more efficient, let me know. I'm very interested in doing the same. I'd love to have solar panels on the roof and batteries storing up the juice so we save money and are more environmentally friendly.

6:33 p.m.  
Anonymous Daniel Zylstra said...


Found out you can replace you hot water tank with a far more efficient way of heating water. Called a Tankless Hot Water Heater, instead of storing a large amount of hot water 24/7 the unit will actually heat your water "on demand", saving you up to 40% Natural Gas consumption compared to an equivalent tank and 50% electricity consumption. They cost about $1000.00 for a normal house (under 2500 sq. ft.). If you go to, you can find more information about them there--there are other manufacturers, but I can't remember them now.

3:20 p.m.  

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