Archive for September 2012

So I left off last time talking about the all-electric house and how we dealt with the four gas components that are now electric. Why do we have to deal with them? Because they’re no longer gas. That’s right, in all of our Greenkey projects, natural gas has been eliminated and replaced with all electric components. The cooking appliances, furnace/AC, water heater, and clothes dryer are all electric.

So what does it mean that we had to “deal” with them? There were two issues. One has to do with marketing and the other has to do with insanity.

For the most part, going from a gas dryer to an electric one was not an issue. Although the electric one obviously requires electricity and the gas one doesn’t, the amount of ADDED load on the electric system does not hurt us as a Title 24 issue. Most homes could go from gas to electric as far as the dryer is concerned and not hurt anything. The gas dryer probably uses $35 of gas per year, while the electric one uses $45 worth of electricity. I don’t think the $10 difference breaks anyone or really dumps that much more carbon into the atmosphere, but if your house already has gas, you might as well get a gas dryer and save the $10 per year. We certainly wouldn’t want a mass exodus from gas to electric dryers without the addition of solar energy because a lot of people switching WOULD cause environmental problems. I don’t think it’s reality that anyone would switch… so we can relax.

So let’s get to the marketing and insanity issues.

The marketing issue had to do with going from gas cooking appliances to electric. Gas has become the preferred choice of anyone that enjoys or takes cooking seriously. This is because of technology, or at least the lack of technology. Old school electric ranges used a coil system. The coil took forever to get to the temperature necessary to really cook well. Once it got to that temperature it was slow to adjust. True chefs need to have even and high heat but also the ability to adjust the heat quickly. Gas provides a fire. Fire heats very quickly and can be adjusted immediately. I say it was a marketing issue to overcome because EVERYONE, even people that don’t cook, are aware that old school electric coil ranges suck. I had one in college and I couldn’t even get mac and cheese to work. In other words we were going to have trouble selling the all-electric home if it had crappy electric coil cooking. But remember…. there IS no gas in the Greenkey homes. So we had to overcome the issue if we wanted to sell homes.

Well as with everything, except religion, electric cooking has evolved. Big time. It’s no longer the electric coil system of the 1970’s. Enter induction cooking. Induction cooking works using electromagnetic energy rather than a flame. Electronics located below the element send power to a special coil that releases an electromagnetic charge. That charge carries heat energy to the element, connecting it to the cooking vessel, which is a pot or pan made from iron or steel. Since this heat transfer relies on an electromagnetic charge connecting the element and vessel, as soon as the vessel is removed, the heat dies. In other words you can boil water in 30 seconds, pull the pan off the element, and put your hand on the cooktop and it won’t be hot. Although gas is widely accepted as a cooking method, it’s still a fire in your house. Fire can be extremely dangerous. Induction cooking is safer, more efficient, more powerful, easier to clean, and quicker than gas. Look it up. It’s the future. As is the all electric home.

Induction cooking solved our marketing issue AND it’s much cooler looking with its slick all black glass smooth top. It actually HELPS us market homes.

As for the insanity issue, I’ll save it for next time.

The hint is it has to do with Title 24 and the speed at which government moves.

Until then

Herb

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Green Builder’s Journal is written by Herb Gardner, President of City Ventures Home Building Group. Herb has 30 years experience managing the building of residential and apartment communities in over 60 municipalities in 3 different states.

A big proponent of in-fill communities and the urban lifestyle Mr. Gardner has extensive experience in all aspects of residential home building, ranging from land acquisition to warranty management, he specializes in managing teams of people in delivering communities on time, on budget and to the quality standards the marketplace demands.

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