After reading just a glimse of the Cap and Trade bill,I am astonished at the intrusion of this government. We will now need a license [they call it a label in the text] on our own house after paying a $200.00 fee to have it inspected.It says that they want this completed on 90% of all houses within a short time.What are these people thinking about our trusty coal using equipment? I cannot find that out from what I have read so far. Judging from the way these legislature types think about coal,I think we are in deep trouble.Tell me I am wrong,please!! Mike
To the best of my knowledge that provision was removed and would now be voluntary. There is some exception where if you're applying for a specific grant it would need to rated. The idea is to label them like an appliance, in addition to that and more importantly you would of had to upgrade it to meet certain requirements before selling it. Rep. Scalise from Louisiana outlined it quite well here before they removed that language:
There is already laws like this in some communities and it's costing people enormous amounts of money especially if they go to sell their home. You might have a home that is only 10 or 20 years old and they have to rip out all the windows and insulation to meet the new specs. Having said that the national building code regarding energy efficiency is still included in the version that passed the House, if you want to put new windows you'll need to put ones in that meet certain efficiency ratings. It will also apply to all new builds.
Some of the problems with this for starters homeowners will be faced with similar issues faced by aging power generating plants that use coal, the EPA regs are an all or nothing deal. If you want to upgrade X you need to upgrade Y. While X may make economic and environmental sense Y may not, it's cheaper for them to do nothing. The same thing could happen within a house, since the cheaper windows that provide some efficiency will no longer meet specs you'll either have to buy ones that do or not do anything.
Other problems will include having to forgo things that might make better sense in your area. I'll use the example Scalise did and expand on it. Suppose you live in an area where strength in a window is important. Right now you might be able to purchase a really strong window for $300, a really efficient window for $300 or one that is both strong and really efficient for $500. Since the the first one will no longer meet building specs the homeowner will have to forgo the strength and buy the really efficient one if they cannot afford the $500 window.
I'm just using windows here but the building code applies to many things, the second example may or may not be realistic.
As for how this will apply to coal heat and anyone with an existing coal unit I'm pretty sure there is nothing in the bill that will effect you yet. You can expect that in the future there will be efficiency standards for furnaces and most likely some type regulation of CO2. The latter is going to present the biggest problem to the coal heating market as coal is the largest emitter of CO2 where home heating is concerned, at least when you consider just the point where it is being used. As has been discussed here before it undoubtedly is much less than those using oil or electric for heat when you consider the "life cycle" or how much CO2 is generated when everything is considered like transpiration and processing.
Richard, Thank you for the excellent clarification.I suppose I tend to think the worst when big brother gets his mitts into our private spaces. Some reform is good but lately Washington seems to turn straight line simple and effective cures into a huge cumbersome unmanageable mass of unintelligible red tape. Mike