I signed up last night to have our 11 year old oil boiler replaced with the Ducati of boilers.
In a typical installation, this unit reduces home heating oil consumption by FORTY PERCENT (it ranges from 30-50%, depending on numerous factors).
But here's the fascinating part. The small heating contractor who is doing the work sold 36 of these units in 2007 and was Energy Kinetics' (the company who makes this boiler) largest NY dealer. This year that same small dealer is on track to install ONE HUNDRED TWENTY, or about 4x as many. And every home that gets one uses about 1/3-1/2 as much oil.
We were going to go geothermal, but decided against it for a number of reasons. This boiler is the Phase One in our Greening of Casa Pcad program. We may well add a high efficiency heat pump and/or solar energy options. We're also spray foam insulating the attic to greatly reduce the load on our HVAC equipment.
There is no cure for stupid oil prices quite as effective as stupid oil prices. It also makes me think that every time Toyota sells a Prius, somebody is replacing a car that gets 22 mpg with a car that gets 45 mpg. They're going to sell almost 200,000 of those fuel sippers this year.
Oil Demand Destruction. It's a beautiful thing. All these changes drastically lower carbon footprints too. That's why, in some ways, the best thing that could ever happen to the USA is $150bbl oil. Painful for many, but ultimately it would lead to a faster Greening of America. Of course if you're a fixed income senior freezing to death in the dark in Vermont in February, that's small consolation. But the anecdotal evidence is strong, from Prius sales to System 2000 installations, that Americans aren't waiting around for government assistance. If they have the means, they're going green now.