The Average (Joe) American vs. The Carbon American Family

By John Walsh  3-14-09

A comparison of the Average (Joe) American family to the Carbon American Family.

Both live in approximately 1800 sf homes is suburban America but let's take a deeper look into three major expenses power/energy, heating and transportation costs.

Most families have at least one Fuel Consuming SUV

Live in energy consuming home which were built during a period when energy cost were low and environmental issues were seldom in the media

1.     Let’s start with the Average Joe Family

a.       Average Joe gets his power from the utility company, his oil for heat from the local distributor and fuels his family’s cars up at the local gas station. Seems like a pretty normal family but let’s dig a little deeper.

b.       The oil which fuels our power plants, heating system or is made into gasoline for our transportation starts at the oil fields, either in the USA or overseas. The oil is refined in large plants around the US and made into gas or home heating oil for our use.

c.   The oil and gas is used to generate electricity for our use in business and homes. Some power plans use nuclear and coal to power them. These plants are large, complex and appears to be polluting our air.

 d.   Let’s take a look inside the plants as you can see these are very complex requiring a lot of maintenance repair and upgrades. They not only pollute the air but large amounts of water is being used to cool these system. Small levels of radiation and pollutants are always transmitted to this water which can have devastating results. Sometime these can be extreme disasters in nuclear plans if things go wrong and the communities near them pay the price.

e.    The oil, gas and electricity are transported in many ways to our homes with a lot of equipment and energy used. Approximately 40% of the electricity generated never makes it to the final destination it is lost in the transportation.

f. Sometimes the oil and gas never makes it and there are devastating results and nature pays.

2.      Now let’s take a look at the Carbon America Family from the outside they look no different than the Average Joe Family’s home.

Similar size and look of home although you notice the PV panels on the roof.

SUV looks the same from the outside but it is a fuel efficient hydrogen hybrid

a.    Let’s take a look inside the home at the how they make their electricity for power, heat their home and fuel their vehicles. They use Photo Voltaic for electricity and generate Hydrogen when they do not need the excess electricity. The hydrogen is used to run a hydrogen generator when the PV's are not producing power. They also use the hydrogen to fuel their cars. The hydrogen generator also produces the heating and cooling for the home. 

b.    Now the CA family may still use the city power and oil for emergencies or back-up if their systems are not producing or need service but for the most part they are very independant, carbon neutral homes. 

3.      Let’s look at the simple economics of the two different homes for a moment.

a.      The Average Joe family spends approximately $800/month on electricity, home oil and gas for their vehicles.

b.      The CA family spends between $0 and $200/month for the same energy costs. If there is a cost to the CA family it may be on the transportation side, most of which from fueling the hybrid SUV's on the road. If the CA family can achieve this $600/month difference in operating and transportation expenses this would make a great economic stimulus package for America. Note, in some cases the PV power produced (if greater then the amount needed for the home) can be sold back to the utility company and it is possible to be totally independent of the utility company cost, Carbon Neutral Living. 

The obvious question we all have is can the CA home be affordable and achievable?

At Carbon America we believe with the continued help of our government and congress signing the $62 billion dollar 10 year green stimulus package,  the  progress of hydrogen, PV and nano technologies and of course the Help of your local Carbon America Store, these systems can be achievable and affordable to all.  

As you can see in this comparison, making and transporting energy to our home is inefficient, obsolete and is damaging our lives and the environment.  We have the technology to make our own power, heat and cooling for our home and fuel our vehicles right from our own homes and with the current stimulus money it is starting to become affordable. Let the staff at Carbon America help you achieve your healthy and sustainable Carbon Neutral living.

Thank you