John Millhone, Minnesota State Energy Director, discusses the major energy and conservation bill passed at the end of the legislative session. Millhone also answers listeners questions.
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You know energy conservation is frequently in the news these days with reports of congressional action on President Carter's energy proposals the house Ways and Means Committee voted a couple of weeks ago not to give the president the authority to impose an additional gasoline tax of up to maybe fifty cents a gallon just yesterday the committee approve tax credits for people who insulate their homes or those who install solar or wind energy devices and the Ways and Means Committee also cut out the the gasoline tax deduction that many people use in itemizing their federal income taxes.Generally, the some of the toughest parts of President Carter's program have been cut out by Congress. Although I guess we really won't know what final compromises and Agreements are made until the legislation finally lands on his desk legislators here in Minnesota grappled with energy legislation earlier this year as well passing a bill on the very last day of the legislative session many Provisions that bill will take effect this coming Friday July 1st, John Millhome director of the Minnesota Energy agency was closely involved with this legislation as it progressed first from the governor's office to the individual House and Senate committees, and then through the final conference committee compromises. He has joined us in the studio this noon and after we chat a little bit about some of the major provisions in the bill, he'll be happy to answer your questions on this legislation or other energy matters that occur deal.They're about to lie. Guess half a dozen to a dozen major sections of this energy bill John one of the most important extends the state building code to all communities in the state. What is the significance of that as far as energy conservation January 1976 an Energy Efficiency code that has been Statewide. However, we haven't had a Statewide building codes are there was no mechanism to effectively enforce the Energy Efficiency requirements. These are requirements that new buildings be constructed in such a way as to minimize their energy needs the effect of having a Statewide building code will mean that then we will have a vehicle throughout the state that will make it possible to implement the Energy Efficiency requirements. So that also has a certain effect as far as state-wide implementation of a building standard so for the handicapped as well.So this is I think probably the most significant feature of the Omnibus Energy bill does the building code also apply to commercial buildings as well as residences. Yes. It applies to industrial commercial luck and the residential buildings also eliminates Outdoor Advertising. The requirement is in the bill that the energy agency developed rules that would limit outdoor display advertising rules. I was supposed to be prepared by October one of this year. So we are currently in the process of developing those rules that will play some kind of constraints on the hours and the amount of lighting that can be used for outdoor display purposes. Those rules will be prepared and then reviewed by the legislature and they won't be effective until July one night.In 78, so this will give the legislature another chance to look at what we come up with. What about the air conditioner efficiency? There's some aspects of the building deal with that as well. That's the legislature require that all room air conditioners sold after January one 1978 must have an Energy Efficiency ratio of 7.0 and the Energy Efficiency ratio measures the amount of cooling in BTUs. So to the amount of watts of electricity used the 7.0 is a good standard at this time, most of the major air conditioning manufacturers produce a variety of different unit some more energy efficient than others virtually all of these are able to hit the 7.0 standard for their more efficient units. So this won't place any constraint on the manufacturers who are able to sell their air conditioning units in Minnesota, but it will require that. They sell only there more efficient units here. Do all air conditioners sold in Minnesota, Minnesota Now list at Energy Efficiency ratio, they showed there has been quite an effective cooperation among the air conditioning manufacturers to voluntarily list this eer rating if a buyer finds one that doesn't have the listing he or she ought to ask the seller if it's available and if that's not available, we have a record at the energy agency of what the different units how their how they performing we could provide that information. I know that the higher efficiency air conditioners cost a little more money initially. How long will it take for a person to save that money back in energy electricity use depends somewhat on how much they use the air conditioning unit the but the standards that we have set so far would clearly pay for themselves over the life of Air condition unit. So on any kind of life cycle cost we're requiring that the units be economical. That is although you pay more initially yours more than save the cost of the amount of the initial cost over lower energy cost. How about natural gas appliances in pilot lights hear the legislation bands pilot lights on new gas appliances a forced air central furnace has the cooking appliances stoves. The weather is an electric supply cord and clothes dryers that are sold after January one 1979 are they are safe electric ignition device that take the place of pilot lights and this will require that these appliances be equipped with those electric ignition devices. And although this also will somewhat increase the cost of the appliances here again, the buyer will more than pay for the additional cost through a reduction in the natural gas because the pilot lights burn continuously and all they don't they don't use a lot of natural gas up during 1 hour by burning continuously over the course of a year. They consume a significant amount of natural gas people shouldn't shut their pilot lights off on. On the furnace is now December. Yes. I think that is advisable to the shut the shut the pilot light off on the furnace during the summer then have it checked during the at the fall before you start up again. What about energy use in existing home insulation standards and existing homes one of these proposals that we made into legislation are we didn't get it approved completely. And this was to require at point of sale that a certain Energy Efficiency that is insulation weather stripping storm windows be required of an in any home. We have the Energy Efficiency building code for new construction, but still if we look at the air 2000 some 60% of the housing that will be available then is already in existence. So we need to get some method of getting into that that Storehouse of existing dwellings and this was an effort to get into that area. Now the legislature did not approve the retrofit at time of sale as a mandatory requirement that but it did direct the energy agency to develop standards for Homes at the time of sale. And then to report back to the legislature by February 15th of next year on a method of implementing this a requirement. Have you begun working on setting those standards yet. We've already been working with the building codes division to develop those standards for residential buildings and will have them in shape. Well before that time table governments both at the state and local levels are large consumers of various kinds of goods energy consuming goods. And will you want to just legislation have the authority to order a government not to buy an inefficient whatever we do have what's called Authority in the procurement area for government purchases. Now, we have quite broad Authority as far as state purchases are concerned. We could set standards. We haven't done this yet. We've done it more through a voluntary cooperation with the Department of administration and it has in certain areas such as air conditioning for State purchases and for new windows set standards that are very good and we would hope to continue to do this in a voluntary fashion. We also have as far as local governments are concerned authority to set the Recommended standards for the purchases of different items and government is a very large purchaser of a broad range of things. So, although I'm not a great deal has been done in this area yet. We feel as if this is an area of great deal of potential in terms of both the Energy savings and also dollar savings. Heated garages I see that on the list of things that are forbidden to be built after when 79-78 send the governor's message as are most of these and we were during the last winter when we had the severe Energy emergency. The governor asked me if there was some way that we could turn off the heating of some of the garage has a particular State the parking garages we found it. This couldn't be done because the water systems went through the garages and the heated garage was necessary in order to keep the pipes from from freezing. So as a result of that the governor of recommended that the agency agreed and so the legislature and that in the future a commercial parking garages should not be heated and that other methods ought to be used Saying that the water of pipes going into a building would not freeze in there are number of engineering and architecture ways of doing this without eating the entire garage wouldn't discover fleet vehicles as well. I think for example of a fleet of buses or diesel powered trucks and diesels don't start to well if it's awfully cold out to deserve this applies to commercial parking garages. Those were atheus collected by the person parking the vehicle. Most of virtually all the things you talked about here are designed to conserve energy. Is there anything in the legislation that will promote the dishes supplies of energy? I think so. We try to have a balance Bill one of the most important provisions of the bill is for a coal use study. One of the energy resources that is got to be more and more important in Minnesota in the future is called where eyes are on the wrong end of the pipeline for natural gas and petroleum. We're quite close to the large coal deposits in the northeastern Wyoming Southeastern Montana and Southwest North Dakota. There are problems throughout the coal fuel cycle and the use area here. There are problems of air pollution from particulates in sulfur oxides is a problem with the location of cold transshipment facilities coltrane's or coal slurry pipelines and Study will be a comprehensive analysis of the energy environmental and economic implications of increased coal use it involves. Not only the energy agency, but the other affected the state agencies State planning the pollution control agency the Department of Transportation Department of Natural Resources. So I feel as if this is a wise way to go to come up with a plan for using additional call in a way that doesn't have adverse environmental impacts. Also we have funds in the Omnibus Bill to look at some of the legal and financial problems associated with a crease increase use of solar energy. They such things as Sun rights if you build a solar system, how can beat you be assured that your neighbor doesn't build a large apartment building that the blocks out the Sun? Some of obtaining financing for solar facilities these types of questions will be studied which won't move us along I think in this area of increased use of Alternative Energy Systems. What about Pete? We already have through the funding of the legislative Commission on Minnesota's resources funding for some ongoing research in terms of the use of Pete. I also should mention that outside the Omnibus Energy bill. There are funds to the legit through the legislative Commission on Minnesota's resources for a alternative energy Grant and also for assistance to people in Minnesota and use it in developing proposals for Federal grant funds all together these this alternative incentive area provides funds for on some five and a half thousand five and a half thousand $550,000. So there is a significant amount of research Grant work that has been funded by the legislature in the Alternative Energy area as well. It's about a quarter past the hour Our Lives. Yes to this new one is John Nolan director of the Minnesota Energy agency about taking some phone calls happy to okay in the Twin Cities area call to 911 to 22 outside Minneapolis or Saint Paul toll-free Watts. Line number is 800-652-9700 Twin Cities area 29112 to to outside Minneapolis and st. Paul 800-652-9700. I suspect that you didn't get everything you wanted out of the legislature this year. What will you be going back for next year already? We can see three areas that will be very likely to be considered during the next session. We will be going back with the recommended method of implementing the retrofit at point of sale that I mentioned earlier in another area that wasn't resolved. I don't think anyone's satisfaction was the question of what kind of tax incentives ought to be provided for solar energy. Should it be a property tax exemption for the solar facility itself tax credits for the cost of the facility an exemption from the sales tax. All of these were considered the Senate feels quite strongly that the Sundays of this kind ought to be approved. The house has been quite resistant to tax credits. This was resolved by the recommendation of the governor of that the tax study commission camp. Legislators from both houses. I consider this question and come back with a recommendation dealing with solar tax credits. Undoubtedly that will be another issue to come up during the coming session. In addition. There was a discussion of the tax lady a gas guzzler tax on automobiles. And this probably coming up next year. Also. I think we have a caller on the line. Let me just state that there are a couple of lines still open here in the Twin Cities area at 29112 to 2. So if you'd be interested in putting a question to pick up the phone and you can chat with him here on the radio I first caller is standing by good afternoon. You're on the air and I'd like to ask a vet to know how the question regarding is. I'm in the process now of remodeling my home. The three parts to my question, which is good to the fact that I need to have answers and I need to have materials say between now this phone complete the project because by the time his answers come through which I got them from the program is a my questions. Are these where is it possible for someone like myself to get genuine specifications regarding installation valleys in the sort of thing to come from someplace get an idea of what future minimum standards again tube so that we can meet them this Summer and said that if there is going to be some form of tax credit out of state or federal whatever it is, it'll cause possible Okay. I'll try to come up with specifics. Okay, those are good questions, and I'll try to answer them. We do have a number of information documents that give specific standards on insulation values, and we will provide these free to anyone who request them. So you could write to the Minnesota Energy agency 740 American Center building 160 East Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul and get the those materials. Will that telephone number is 296-5120. We also have there a computer program that makes it possible to come up with recommended increased insulation installation additions that would pay for themselves. And so it would be possible. If you're remodeling to give us the information on your fuel source and the dimensions of your house the type of construction age and we could come up with a pretty good recommendations on what increased level of insulation out of the lot to pay for itself by and large. We're finding that insulation in r value range of a Ford E-250, which is a great deal more insulation than normally would be recommended would be desirable as far as a payoff over the life cycle of the pub home now, they tax credits, which was the third. Are you mentioned in the federal legislation the president recommended that All tax credits be retroactive back to the date on which he recommended the fossa, which I think was April 20th and Congress has indicated its willingness to go along with that retroactive probation. So it appears as if at the federal level any tax credits will be retroactive do anything. That would be done the summer. Is bombarded obviously with a considerable amount of information from the commercial sources of various types of insulation on the home. Would you say that bad that judgments of the insulation values of that own products? Are they reasonably genuine? I think that we have been working with the insurance industry and by and large. I think you can get reliable information on the product by an insurer now there are exceptions but by and large I think the insurance so I'm sorry that the insulation industry has done a good job of trying to place itself as an organization called I can that we've worked with that is trying to accomplish this clearly any time. Someone has a particular product that he's trying to sell. He'll give you the most favorable picture of what it can do. So I would advise anyone who is going to undertake a major insulation product project to get some information that compares the different qualities of different forms of insulation and answer only one who looks at the R-value of the insulation. That is fine. Thank you very much for your call. I think we have another caller standing by on the line. Good afternoon. You're on the air. I'm coming from Moorhead Minnesota. And I'd like to address a couple questions to mr. Millhon the first one being a rural land in Otter Tail County and we intend to rely on wood as a fuel source, and this would be on our own property. It's a large enough that it would be pretty much self-sufficient than Is going to have to have on us since we will not be dependent on other energy sources all that much. For example, you mentioned like heated garage is will be banned under the new bill. And how much is this is going to affect us. If we are not depended on fuel oil to gas a girl first. I'm glad to see you're going toward there has been quite an increase in the amount of wood that is used for heating in Minnesota. And this of course is a replaceable resource. I would recommend if you go to wood that you make special precautions to see that your chimney is Titan that you have are protected are there has been an increase number Fires as a result of the increased use of wood. How the building code will be applicable across-the-board to all new residences so that even your though you're using what you wouldn't be Exempted from the the building code and what it recommends are things that makes sense. I think whether using wood or natural gas or we'll have you that's why I think that the kind of you're obviously concerned about your energy requirements in the kind of structure that you would want to build as far as it's insulation and tightness. What have you would be the kind that would be required under the energy code. Now I should make one clarification if it wasn't clear earlier and that is that the the band on heated garages applies only to commercial garages not to the garage that's associated with your residence. Okay, then the other question I had also would be if we apparently are they going to be building inspectors secured by the stage. Are they still going to be County inspectors or who's going to be policing the responsibility for administering the building rest with the code division of the Department of administration? There are in many communities already building inspectors. The additional inspecting will be done either by municipal or County inspectors so that they will need to be some increase in the amount of inspection employees throughout the state the inspection system will be financed through a series of fees. And that's what will not should not be a burden financially to the additional communities in County. Okay. One thing I'm wondering is if for example for particular inspector decides not to grant us a permit to build for whatever reason what recourse do we have for there is a there is a mechanism for an appeal them to the Department of administration. Okay, sir. Thank you very much for calling. We have a couple of our phone lines open in the Twin Cities at 29112 to 2. And also for those in the rest of Minnesota 800-652-9700. Another caller is on the line. Hello, you're on the Air Force or even a standby gasoline rationing? We are. Doing as much as we can through the education information programs through which we are trying to get information out to the public on Minnesota's energy situation any kind of problem as far as a standby gasoline rationing and some of these other mandatory measures I think must rest upon an acceptance by the public of the fact that our energy situation is is as serious and requires these kinds of measures. So I think a good information education program is the first thing that needs to be done beyond that. We are working to develop the recommendations for coping with an emergency. We found out during the last winter when we had to use some of those measures that they worked quite well and we have a contingency plan working through the department of administration and the emergence Services division for dealing with a variety of different kinds of emergencies as well. Some of those would involve mandatory gasoline rationing. Information education program of this be a total state government effort or is it largely within your own office where we are increasingly involving other departments and agencies. So we had a very good meeting. I think this week with the Vocational Technical directors, and I think that they will be increasingly involved in some of these programs are also working with the entire department of education and with the other agencies and departments as well. We will be submitting later this week an application to the energy research and development Administration in Washington or request for funds for a much more comprehensive Statewide information education program. Thank you for calling we have another listener on the line how long you're on the air through the building of a new sports Stadium possibly dome which will utilize colossal amounts of energy. It all seems rather paradoxical. Is it possible to have an energy-efficient dome stadium? It's certainly possible with any kind of building to have one that's energy wasteful or energy conserving the soft Dome Pontiac type stadium that used that uses a heated the air to keep the Dome up would be a very wasteful design for a dome stadium. Now, there are other ways that the that could be designed in a number of ways that would mitigate the amount of energy that would be required and still be domed if you use the soft Dome you could just use air that was moved by your fans rather than heated air. It would be possible to a lower the profile of the stadium by sinking into the ground more on that would reduce the energy requirements. If you had a dome stadium that had to fix them rather than a soft Dome that had be maintained than the energy requirements would be less energy agency will be working with the Group that is studying the different Dome the different Stadium proposals and will be taking the position that whatever location or design of the stadium is used that it be designed in such a way that would minimize its energy requirements. Thank you very much for calling. We have another listener on the line. Hello, you're on the air sometime ago. And I'm wondering I'd like the address of Christ into it, Camila. Okay, I've been reading that it's more efficient to use direct combustion of feet. Nny. Would minnegasco want to make natural gas out of it then and if this is more if it is more efficient for the sake of energy conservation. I was wondering if you could address that. Well first I should say that no decision has been made regarding how Minnesota speech should be used or whether it should be used at all. It could be used in a variety of ways minnegasco. I think is interested in gasifying Pete because as its sources of natural gas decline, it wants a product that it can use to use its existing gas pipeline delivery system. I think the gasification of Pete is something that is certainly worth exploring worth getting some more information about in terms of its environmental and economic and energy impacts. The paint that is used Now by and large is used as a direct the combustion fuel its use that way in Ireland and in Finland and in Russia, so one of the other Alternatives that we are looking at would be to use be does a as a something quite similar to Kool and the other possible ways of using peat other than 4 energy. Purposes it could be used as an agricultural Farmland enrichment substance has small amounts of heat currently are used or it could be not used to talk could be kept it may be that we would find that these some of the environmental implications of using feet are so important that it shouldn't be used to all these different options are currently being considered right out that direct combustion of the top of the page is the most efficient and I think many people feel that for the sake of energy conservation. We should be very careful to dim gas find us because we should get the best most mileage out of the peace and not and I guess you didn't really answer me. Is it more efficient to burn to be? Well, I guess I didn't answer you because I'm not sure. I know the answer the question. This is one of the questions that's currently being considered. Certainly we ought to look at the net energy gain of any kind of system. And I think we do know that the heat loss the energy lost by the conversion to gas is considerable and that at the plant itself. There are some efficiencies over the direct combustion of Pete rather than the gasification and all the aspects of the problem. I don't think we know fully yet is now if you're going to if you're declining availability availability of natural gas means that you can't continue. You're quite large investment in your natural gas. Delivery system then there are certainly some energy efficiencies that would be involved in not having to come up with some alternative delivery system using Pizza has a direct combustion with the additional Pete fired power plants and transmission lines so that when you get into that area some of the energy implications of that decision get to be quite complex. I don't think we have an answer to those questions. We're not resolved person will we have been doing this in quite a phased way and the grants so far too many gas go up in quite limited. They would be additional steps that would have to be approved before all of the potential land that might be needed by minnegasco would be available to it. So at the at the At the present time the level of research is much smaller than that and we will get answers to those questions before minnegasco gets permit for all of those up for that acreage. You describe All right. It's about 25 minutes now before 1 or alive. Yes. This noon is John milhoan director of the Minnesota Energy agency and he's standing by owner studios here to answer your questions and listen to your comments about energy legislation and energy questions you have Our next caller is on the line. Hello. You're on the air. And like it but the installation is terrible and I'm wondering what recourse I have with my landlord to have him improve the insulation in the home because I pay for all the bills. So he had no of an Angel incentive to do it on his own. That's an excellent question. This is really one of the toughest issues to get at and let the with apartment dwelling submit a new home or older homes since the landlord has little incentive because the Raptors pay it doesn't get done. And the rhetoric clearly doesn't have much of an incentive to make an insulation investment for someone else's property. What the agency is considering at this time is the Apostle ability of a man dating certain insulation standards in apartment dwellings how this of course is for existing a apartment dwellings. We already have the energy code that would apply to any new apartment construction other possibilities that are being considered would be low interest loans to landlords are two apartment or a large drawings that are broken up into Apartments so that they could undertake these Investments had a lower than I've been otherwise cost. This is one of the most serious problems and we don't have an answer to it at this time. But these are some of the things that are being considered Thank you. Thank you for calling we have another listen to standing by good afternoon around the year. We hear that it might really be cheaper or about the same expense to have a professional put insulation in the Attic me hear, you know that the temperature timer for money that you don't pick it up. I could be about the same what you're off and head coming on that. I'm just how handy you are doing that sort of thing. If you if it's not a difficult job that is if you don't the beams are exposed you get in there easily and are handy at doing that sort of thing. Then I think you can save some money by doing insulation yourself, but if it's not something if you're not on a handyman who enjoys puttering around the house or Do you have a particularly difficult the problems say it's a one-and-a-half story or two and a half story where you've got a slanted the top the level that you have to work the insulation in the along some of the beams then I think you would be advised to hire the work be done made a comment that in the next 6 months rates will be going up about the same as I have the last four years laughing about that and he really sort of stood behind that I would be your observation on the I guess I'm going to have to duck that question. The rate increases are decided by the Public Service Commission and I'm not familiar with the race request that are pending there. Convert these two pilots systems, or actually you don't have to buy a new stove. No new hot water heater in summer. There are some conversion kits wouldn't do that myself. I would hire those be done by a professional because you are dealing with some things there that could have some danger connected with him. Yes, the arc. There are some conversion kits. Thank you for knowing you're on the air. I sure was so natural resources. He sings taken because they are all the way back from federal conservation program. I'm not as familiar with some of the technical aspects of that kind of roofing system is as some of our Engineers by and large your total systems are more efficient than your window units. And of course they should be you may very well be right that there are significant ways to save energy and these areas there have certainly been as the cost of energy gone up has gone up a great many savings that can be made in your basic heating venting air conditioning system. So if you're dealing with units that have an age on them at all. My guess is that the major improvements could be made that would the result in a significant savings Okay. Sure. Thank you very much for calling. A listener is on the line with us. Good afternoon. You're on the air. Am I online? Yes, you are by electrification of lions and under consideration. I don't have the figures at the top of my head, but you're right in that the electric motor is a more efficient way of propelling a locomotive than the diesel fuel. Now. There is of course a significant capital investment. That would be necessary in order for a railroad to become electrified. There are I think some projects on The Limited length of line where there has been a conversion to electricity. I'm not familiar with any kind of incentives that are tax credits or investment the support that the is being considered that would lead to the large-scale electrification of the railroad Main Line server. Thank you for calling toll-free watch line for people outside. The Minneapolis area is open and that phone number is 800-652-9700 would like to hear from some of those some of you and parts other than Minneapolis-Saint Paul. In fact, we have a couple of lines in the Twin Cities area open now also at 291 12:20 to have a question for John milhoan director of the Minnesota Energy agency. Another listener is on the line. May we have your question, please? Do you have you already thought out who will be responsible for paying for those alterations? Will it be going to rain between the two of them? What I'm thinking of is this time? A great number of us. I'm sure have probably I like saving wrapped up in her home and it's at the time of sale the amount that has to be paid out for. Reinsulating or altering. The insulation has a great deal of that. Do you have any answer for this was a question that led to the fact that the legislature didn't act on this issue this year. We looked at two proposals. Then one would place the burden on the seller and I think the Realtors with the some understandable reasons we're opposed to that approach. We also considered placing the burden on the buyer and the lending institution. So we're concerned about that approach. So it was the inability to find a place where it could be a accepted as a workable mechanism that led to the request by the legislature that we look at this further and come back with recommendations. The approach that we will be considering that we consider to some extent before would be the creation of some kind of escrow account. So that a seller would be able to replace a part of the income that he or she received from the sale into an account that then would be available to the buyer to achieve the the insulation now, this is one approach that certainly we will be exploring but I think we will be asking the Realtors and bankers to join with us with a look at this question to see if we can't come up with a mechanism that is acceptable. Got it will be hearing held on those. Yes. There will be a hearings and studies and we will be asking for people to come in and give us their recommendations. Thank you for calling. Her next questioner is standing by. Hello. You're on the air. Yes. Transportation say automobile jet airplane price because last Twitter Jets taking off of water Yeah, there have been such studies and by and large they show that the airplane is the least efficient in terms of just the transportation of one person from one place to another then Rail and bus are probably the most efficient than car would be someplace in-between and then you got a different set of priorities as far as the movement of freight goes with the pipelines being very efficient barge being next to the inefficiency rail a little Rail and Barge gets a little tricky depending upon your destination in your goods then a trucking being a little bit less efficient yet. But here again, it depends upon I almost a detailed studies and terms of your your destination and the available transportation. And of course the Energy Efficiency is The only consideration on Transportation also the speed of arrival and the condition of the good swim at the Rives are also important though. I have a general feeling of agreement with you that during the Energy emergency. There should have been more done to achieve some savings through some reduction in aviation flights. What you are we trading off too much energy for to save time and which one we have more up for a while at the present time. You mean John that it would be more energy efficient for a person to drive by themselves in their own car to Chicago. For example, then to fly on an airplane with other people obviously depends on how you would how you would figure that if you would take how many people you would have in the car weather clearly if the plane was going to be making that flight anyway, and you just filling an empty seat while then very small amount of additional energy would be required. But if you take the total number of Passenger miles logged by the air service and the amount of energy used for those flights and compare that with the total amount of Miles logged in passenger Miles by writ by Automotive. Your energy per mile per passenger of figure would be greater for an aviation than for a passenger car. Next caller is standing by good afternoon your on the air. We've considered putting a conversion into solar heat and I wondered if if you know of any breakthroughs that are about to take place that might reduce the cost or do you think it's one 12 to go ahead and invest 5 to $8,000? Well being from Colorado your experience as far as increase, the prices will be quite familiar to people in Minnesota as well. They've had the same experience. There is a great deal of research being done. As far as solar systems at the present time. You're five to eight thousand figure is a pretty good ballpark figure. Now, it's very difficult to predict with any kind of assurance that there's going to be any significant reduction in your solar system much of your system involves. I just general building operation the panel the paneling the background the support struts the piping the coolant container. That's what that they is the major elements in your system. Probably won't be affected too much by any kind of major breakthroughs not I may be a more efficient collector that would And that you're collecting unit itself would be somewhat less costly in the future. But I guess so although there are some people who look at significant cost reductions in the Soulard area. It's my best estimate that there is unlikely to be any kind of major cost reductions whether or not you're going to be able to pay for the solar system in Colorado would depend upon how much sunlight do you have their how much in your particular location Colorado's very good for sunlight. What's your heating a fuel would be the location of your house as far as the sun is concerned somebody's detail that question. So I think that you would probably in the area there for your solar system could very well pay for itself for over a long. Of years, but it would require I think some local architect who's familiar with the Solar System's there. I would get his advice before going ahead. Ask another question if we do want to put in a well. We have in Minnesota recently gone through the procedure setting performance standards for solar system. So I would know how to answer that question here. I know some of the people in the Colorado energy office and my recommendation would be that you contact the Colorado energy office and see if it can give you some recommendations as far as the companies that they are that they would recommend. Thank you for calling her next listener is on the line. Hello. You're on the air? But I wondered if one the standard that said they will take into consideration the type of construction of the house. Or whether they will be the same for all the standard says they are developed will take into consideration the existing structure its characteristics and its age and the disease of factors as well. It. We can't have simply one standard for all all dwellings. Although they will probably tables and that sort of thing that allow you to find what kind of requirements would be necessary for your particular type of dwelling. Okay. Well, then I have another question which is in the house with the expansion that I can watch the Raptors. I believe it or not to buy 4th. Is there any way to add more insulation maybe on the outside of the roof decking there are ways to deal with that kind of problem. It would if you haven't that kind of addict usually it would be much better to enclose the the from the interior by adding some insulation among between the studs and perhaps the thickening then the interior rather than to get into some construction on the outside. Those kind of problems are our unique for some buildings and their numbers that have the same kind of construction talk about it is more costly to insulate that kind of dwelling. Okay, thank you for calling we have another listener with a question. Maybe we have it please. Oh, that's a quite difficult to do without in some kind of on-site testing. We have a research program that we're undertaking with Gerda to find out just how effective the existing insulation has been over. Of time. You can certainly get the the type of insulation that was used and its thickness and then there are some general rules of thumb in terms of the R-value of different insulating material so you can get an estimate but that's all it would be. Okay, I guess what I'm trying to do is I know that I've got a tin of fiberglass in there with a royal back on the think I would want to go to the expense of having someone come in with a different type of insulation if they could improve upon what was there, but I thought it would be possible. I think if you were to contact the energy office for us to take the information in terms of the amount of insulation you have in the type of construction and get an estimate of the R-value and then run it through our computer system to see if there is additional insulation that would be required and we would be happy to do that for you. You could do that by contacting the Minnesota Energy agency in st. Paul. That's at 160 East Kellogg Boulevard Saint Paul 55101. Thank you very much. You never recommend any additions to sidewall insulation. It's so usually not going to pay for itself nearly as fast as some of the ceiling insulation sometimes sidewall insulation does does make sense of it depends upon the the house the type of construction and the fuel source, we would recommend that at some time. It's very likely that the retrofit at time of sale rules that were talking about will not include that there were looking at items that will pay for themselves within 5 years when you go into the sidewalls use they talking about a longer pay off. We have another color with a question. Hello. You're on the air. vario work units and there's absolutely no insulation in the side in the ceiling in the Attic. It's totally bear and naturally our heat field specialist really ridiculously high and we also have a problem of having a landlord who really doesn't care about putting any insulation in and I'm wondering if there's anything we live here can do to get this done. I would I don't think this is any. statutory or legal way that you could compel your landlord to insulate the what I would suggest is that the the writers get together and Suggest to the landlord the first she might just ask him to see if he wouldn't consider doing it then maybe accepting some increase in and Ranch in order to pay for the cost. If he's not willing to do that. You might suggest that you do it yourself. So with some understanding that he not increase the rent. So because the property is more valuable. Those are the only suggestions I I could make and you probably thought of them already as I mentioned earlier. This is one of the most difficult areas to get into Well, okay. Thank you. Anyway. Okay, we have just about two minutes left time for another you're a quick call or two. We have someone waiting go ahead you're on the air if the energy agency is going to be doing any studies into the health hazards that some insulation like something in particular fiberglass and rigid foam. Ridgid cheats What we have been doing some testing and some of these insulating materials have been tested so concerned particularly with some of those it to mention. Then there is some concern about the that those be flameproof and by and large there has been significant progress and ensuring the safety of these kind of insulating materials because many of these are manufactured nationally were more interested in seeing that the national government insist upon good standards and we are doing that. I have a short a real short question after that. I was wondering if a homemade solar collectors would be fall under tax incentives. It might come out. Well in the tax incentives bill that were considered by the legislature, although not passed those would be covered. I'm not familiar enough with the specifics of the federal legislation that's being considered to be a certain that they will be covered. But it's my understanding there would be Thank you for calling we I think we're about out of time now John want to thank you very much for coming by this new and then spending your lunch are visiting with us and with the books all around the state and I want to thank those of you who called in and and ask questions also. Lil skies are generally cloudy to partly cloudy around Levi's Stadium area today temperatures are much cooler than they were yesterday in the Twin Cities area 65° duluth-superior 64 Rochester 69, St. Cloud 63 Fargo-Moorhead 70 and Sioux Falls 74 Possibility of some shower and thunderstorm activity today, but then it'll be clear to partly cloudy tonight. And tomorrow are the highs today ranging from the 60s to the 80s with lows tonight in the 50s. The time is one this is listener-supported Radio.