Archive for April, 2009

21st April
2009
written by simplelight

I frequently meet with the executives of alternative energy companies. Unfortunately, in most cases, the price of the electricity they’re generating is too high or the payback period for the required capital investment is too long.

In the past two years (April 2007 to March 2009) my wife and I have used 13,226 kwh at an average price of 13.3 cents per kwh (including all the taxes, distribution costs etc.). The total cost was $1,761 which amounts to $2.42 per day. We are fairly efficient and only use about 18.2 kwh per day which, according to PG&E, is a lot lower than average.

Nevertheless, it is hard to contemplate spending $10-20k to install any type of edge electricity generation when we can so easily pull it off the grid.

California, though, has a tiered rate system. Similar to tax rates, the more electricity you consume the higher your rate per kwh. The following are the approximate rates in California as of today.

  • Baseline
  • Tier 2 (up to 130% of baseline) — 13 cents per kwh
  • Tier 3 (up to 200% of baseline) — 21 cents per kwh
  • Tier 4 (up to 300% of baseline) — 37 cents per kwh
  • Tier 5 (over 300% of baseline) — 44 cents per kwh

The baseline rate varies by geography and season but is priced around 11.5 cents per kwh and includes about 23 kwh per day currently.

If you are consuming enough electricity to be hitting tiers 4 and 5 then it begins to make sense to install solar panels or fuel cells such as those provided by ClearEdge Power.

14th April
2009
written by simplelight

This graph of the Iraqi stock market index says it all:

2004 - Feb 2009

2004 - Feb 2009

11th April
2009
written by simplelight

Never underestimate the capacity of men to abandon that which is complex but provably true for that which they can understand. That’s why we abandoned the mystery of God for the seductions of neo-Darwinism.

11th April
2009
written by simplelight

WebDesignerWall has a great introductory jQuery tutorial. There are ten tutorials, including ones on animated hover effects, collapsible panels and menu accordions.

2nd April
2009
written by simplelight

I was using the Rails helper observe_field to monitor a text entry form on my web app. I couldn’t figure out why the relevant method was not being called until I realized that it was happening every time there was a single quote in the text entry. The solution is simple. Use the escape_javascript function as shown below:

[ruby]
<%= observe_field :guess,
:frequency => 0.5,
:update => 'ajaxWrapper',
:url => {:action => 'feedback', :o nly_path => false},
:with => "'correct=#{escape_javascript(@text)}&guess='+encodeURIComponent(value)" %>
[/ruby]