We need a champion, is anyone out there?

Sue Daugherty
Mar 23, 2010

Clearly Erie County residents are interested in the issue of what is being done so the "average Joe" can afford to heat their home this winter. One hundred and sixty people attended the public forum Sept. 8, "Affording Home Heating: What's In Our Future - Part II."

Although there are baby steps being taken to move us in the right direction (Senate Bill 221) requiring the use of more renewable energy as a state and implementing provisions for improved conservation, this bill itself provides too little for our current condition. In some respects SB221 is detrimental to affordability.

(BLOGGER'S SIDE NOTE: Please attend Ohio Consumers Counsel public forum at 6:00 p.m September 23, Sandusky Firelands Association of Realtors' Hall, 2710 Campbell Street, Sandusky for a more complete understanding of SB 221. (www.pickocc.org) hear about comparisons between proposed regulated rates and how the market will help achieve the lowest costs of the two options for consumers. Also, you'll learn how those ideas were not written into the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio's staff's draft rules and how the potential for higher electric rates threatens the affordability of service for low- and middle-income households)

Tim Brown, Director of Social Services at the Erie-Huron CAC announced that a 55 million dollar cut in heating subsidies is taking place for Ohioans living within 150 percent to 175 percent of the federal poverty guideline. To put that in practical terms,  a household of one with a gross annual income ranging from $15,600 to $18,200 a year will get very little in terms of heating assistance between November 2008 and April 2009.

Subsidies work in the short term and it's easy to understand low-income households, especially older people and the disabled, need the intervention of a heating subsidy. But the long-term subsidies only prop up the price of home heating, feeding the business side and gouging the consumer side. Ultimately the answer is to move off of our reliance of First Energy, Columbia Gas and associated suppliers of propane and fuel oil. The good news is we can, if we have a champion willing to take up this platform.

The panelists and an audience member at the forum explained that they already have innovations that would make us less reliant on the our home heating businesses mentioned above. There is a new urban windmill that is ready for market and can generate electricity for commercial and industrial uses, hence, allowing businesses to be free of First Energy for its electric needs. The innovation is called the "WindCube" and is designed to be used in an urban setting. A residential "WindCube" is in the making.

Another innovation is "in process" which uses a residential-size greenhouse with a few solar panels as a generator of heat. The heat that is collected is then stored in the homeowner's back yard in an underground mass of concrete that is hyper insulated. The heat can be pumped off of this thermal mass and brought into the home with a heat pump. And it can be done on demand. No natural gas, propane or fuel oil required. Just enough electricity to run the heat pump. An audience member spoke of the amount of energy that is currently available in our landfill, but politics and bureaucrats are keeping this alternative from becoming mainstream.

The opportunities exist to be free of high priced home heating fuel. The only thing missing is a champion. Someone in a position of power and influence (or will be in a position of power and influence — remember this is an election year). Someone who understands the difference between spending and investing. Someone who has the political courage to grab this bull (also known as the politicians and bureaucrats) by the horns and fight it!

My questions is this, is anyone out there?

Comments

Anonymous

Problem is Sandusky is full of them and is why nothing ever gets developed or expanded here in the weay of Jobs that will help heat homes. Hand Out capital of the world I'd say.

goofus

I will be your champion, how are people going to heat their houses and do crack and cocaine too. Let alone the child support they should be paying

Anonymous

More geo-thermal, wind, solar? A business in Milan is getting with solar. How about building earth tempered homes?

Anonymous

I think she's talking about the discrace of a billing statement that the energy providers are putting out for the consumers to try and figure out. I'm only in my 40's and can't make heads or tails out of it! Let alone try ot get someone of their employ that will talk english well enough to explain it to me...that is if anyone ever even answers the phone! I Know of a few seniors that have their electric pulled by automatic payment right from their accounts, yet ever month they are getting charged late fees. How many of our seniors are paying these fees and not realizing it? Just as an example of the poor business practices even at distribution level.

Anonymous

Alternative energies are great. They're also expensive at the moment. VERY expensive. Most of us can't afford to implement the technology, and won't live long enough to realize payback even if we could. A hard push toward more research and development will bring costs down, but we've got to actually want to do it.

Meanwhile, once again, we see Sue babbling about government hand-outs and how they're just not going to be enough this season. Well, Sue, I don't qualify for a hand-out, but I WILL if you don't stop taking my money to give away to others.

Discussing alternatives is a great start. Working toward them is even better. Can we just put our efforts there instead of talking about "alternatives" that are really just Marxism in a thin veneer of warm and fuzzy (albeit forced) "donations?"

Rick Studer

The problem with all of these alternative energy saving devices is the cost factor. Regardless of what anybody says the motivation for this type of item is to save money.

Everything that is “GREEN” has been correspondently jacked up in price to reflect its “energy saving “capabilities. Thus any savings from the device is not realized or at best, realized years down the road.

A good example is an on demand water heater; $999.00 for the heater, $299 for the vent kit, and installation cost, versus $279 for a 40 gallon Rheem. How long to recoup the difference? Several years I imagine.

Electric cars, $30,000, the “windcube” mentioned in this blog, what’s it cost? I bet it’s more than the $199 Home Depot barn fan that it actually is.

My point is none of these things will be practical until the companies that make them stop trying to take all the money you save using them for themselves.

Sure, if you’re Al Gore buying carbon credits, that’s cool. But if your butt is cool because you can’t afford heat, that’s a different story.

On a different note I would like to invite all you environmentally conscious earthlings to visit PETA.org and look at the articles on Hormel pig farms, and if you have the stomach, watch the videos.

In advance let me say if you want to make some Pam Anderson crack, kiss mine. But just take a peek, if for nothing else a different angle on mankind.

Earth Day quilts, $19.99 at Wal Mart…

Rick Studer

Geez… I feel a little stupid, while I was writing my post this Republican came in and posted with a few of my ideas, to set up his rant about taxes. How much you pay in taxes?

If you really pay enough to complain about, you are no where near being put on “hand outs” to pay for your heat.

Look at your pay stub, The taxes you are paying are for Social Security, which you’ll gladly collect, not for welfare.
For: From each according to his means..

If you really are paying for welfare then you’re making about $75,000 + a year. Boo HOO for YOU!

You ever been without heat? Hot water? What do you do for living? Please tell me, so I kind figure out if your Scrooge or Ebb from Green Acres. Have a nice day..

Anonymous

Did it years ago & still do. Green? Got the loop on south side roof. My own H2O supply, my garden,etc. Some never walked away.

Anonymous

Ohio needs to enact a progressive wealth tax to help pay for the cost of home heating and other necessities for the less fortunate.

Beginning at a level of $3 million dollars, individuals or trusts holding assets in excess of that amount would annually pay a tax rate of 1.5% based on the assessed market value of those assets. The asset amount and the tax rate could be adjusted upward accordingly.

Taxing annual income is not enough. Estate taxes are inadequate as the money can escape taxation by being donated to charity as people like the richest man in the world, Warren Buffett intend to do.

Too much wealth is tied up and untaxed in stocks, bonds, real estate and other financial assets. The value of these assets needs to be tapped for the good of all Ohioans.

Annually taxing the wealthy based on their accumulated assets would allow them once and for all to begin paying their 'fair share.'

Anonymous

Hey, there, Rick!

You've got a couple of things wrong about me. First, I'm not a Republican. Sorry to burst THAT bubble. Second, I don't make $75,000 a year. I WISH!

My heating bills last winter almost broke me. It took me until August to catch up. I used what savings I had to upgrade my furnace and insulation which should help quite a bit given the age of both previously. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to upgrade to renewable and/or greener energies.

Since I work, I do pay payroll taxes which represent a significant percentage of my income. And since I own a home (a small one, but mine), I do pay property taxes which seem to be going up consistently and constantly.

Republicans and Democrats alike have caused those higher taxes. I find it interesting that neither seems to be truly behind the notion of a FLAT tax where those who make just enough to manage won't be taxed at ALL, and Republicans making $75,000 a year will only be taxed a LITTLE. How can that happen? By taxing, with limited deductions allowed, those who make REAL money. Of course, that's not going to happen because both parties are determined to grow government - including hand-out programs - to maintain their own relevance.

Too bad...

Anonymous

There you go! The guy that wanted this years ago @ 16% was running for president. His name was Forbes. Remember?

Anonymous

Yeah, I remember Steve Forbes. Lousy politician, heck of a businessman. But since the IRS is effectively the "business" end of the government where funding is concerned, maybe more of the real politicians should have listened to him. Where money is concerned, I'm pretty sure he knew what he was talking about!

Rick Studer

To: From each...

My humble apologies for calling you a Republican. I would never call anyone a low down, scurrilous piece of animated worm dung (Republicans), if they weren’t. I wish I had time to write more but this is the night I soil Ann Coulter’s work.

You a John Birch?

We’ll talk later, thanks for the note.

Rick,

“No man is an island unto himself”

(a flat tax doesn't work unless the rich guys buy a 1000 cars, 500 lcd TVs, a million pair of pants, get the drift?)

Anonymous

LMAOROTF 3 million? OH my I can't breath. I'd think that figure should be A LOT LESS my friend. If they have 3 million they should be running a charity someplace!

Anonymous

This will drive out many current sucessful businesses what provide jobs, or at least make them move their assets to another state, and persuade those who might want to create jobs here to go elsewhere:

" Ohio needs to enact a progressive wealth tax to help pay for the cost of home heating and other necessities for the less fortunate.

"Beginning at a level of $3 million dollars, individuals or trusts holding assets in excess of that amount would annually pay a tax rate of 1.5% based on the assessed market value of those assets. The asset amount and the tax rate could be adjusted upward accordingly. "

Anonymous

Yo! Use guys never even tried it! (Flat tax). I'm gonna half ta get da guy from boston after use.

Anonymous

First of all, let me explain why I have been missing from here. Was driving to my friend Dales house when a Toyota S.U.V. ran a red light and spun me around into an oncoming Chevy Silverado. My car is totaled, and im sore but ok. But guess what the driver of the other car was a 75 year old war vet with P.O.W. and Bush/Cheney stickers on it. Old people should not be allowed to drive.
Anyway as far as this blog is concerned, if if cant pay your heating bill maybe you should get off your duff and get a real job. Try not going from low paying job to low paying job after only a few weeks. Or try not having kid after kid just to get food stamps. Its time we started to take responsibilty for ourselves and stop expecting handouts from the goverment. Just like I told the vet who hit me, buy American because you have no problem cashing that social security check provided by American dollars. Take action for ourselves and we will be a stronger nation. Not a bunch of whiners begging for a handout.

Anonymous

Hello Mr. Vandalay, sorry to hear of your mishap. I would like to invite you to visit Dorr Hyundai. Dorr is convenient and easy to reach since the facility is located just off of the Ohio Turnpike on Route 250 in Milan. Close to Sandusky, Huron, Norwalk and Bellevue, Dorr Automotive & Dorr HYUNDAI is only 4 miles south of the huge Kalahari indoor water park!

Whether it is a new or used car, truck, or SUV, you'll get a great deal, and a great deal more here at Dorr Automotive, Inc. of Milan, Ohio. We look forward to working with you. Ask for me, Bruce Baker, and I’ll give you a coupon for a free oil change. Have a great day!

Anonymous

Well I want to thank you Bruce at Dorr Automotive or whatever you choose to call it now since you sold out to the foriegn land. But I must decline your generous offer on trying to benefit from my tragedy. Is that your new business ethics now, chasing people like an ambulance chasing lawyer? Im suprised you didnt offer to give me a coupon for a free box of Rice-A-Roni to power the hideous pieces of tin you call cars. All of you at Dorr Automotive can count on me.....count on me to never set foot in your Benedict Arnold establishment. So enjoy your final 3 months in business. I am an American and thats what I buy, and I dont patronize places that sell out the community or there American values for what they think is a quick buck.

Anonymous

I demand the sandusky register explain why they deleted my response to Dorr Automotive! How dare you keep that post up trying to solict business from me who had an accident. I bet i can figure out why, they pay you money and I dont. You are just as bad as those sell outs. Repost my reponse at once or i will file a lawsuit for favoritism and irresponsible journalism. This is America, apparently freedom of speech if you have enough $$$$$$$$ according to the sandusky register.

Anonymous

You son-a-*itches!

Anonymous

RE Ohio 1.5 % wealth tax, hawkEye wrote:

‘This will drive out many current sucessful businesses what provide jobs, or at least make them move their assets to another state, and persuade those who might want to create jobs here to go elsewhere.’

Therefore the answer must be that the tax be enacted nationwide.

When will progressive politicians fight for fair taxation on the real wealthy to help pay for the less fortunate? A wealth tax is the way.

Rick Studer

Art, Glad you are OK. When we lose someone like you, based on averages, we’re all a little dumber. Thanks for making it.

My favorite place to buy a car is Tester Ford in Norwalk. That’s another family owned dealer that has always offered great service and product. Scott’s kind of a scoundrel but his dad always treated me right and I still do business there. Just watch your wife around Scott.

Anonymous

We aren't *ay. George: "Not that there's anything wrong with it."

Rick Studer

I'm a genius and love reading what I write.

Anonymous

To Re Sues Blog:

I you're off the chain...

Anonymous

Jerry once again I must reiterate you are not funny. Just because you can quote lines from a tv show does not make you the second coming of Milton Berle. You are more like Rick Studer the second coming of Paul Lynde. And Sue I must again thank you for deleting my post responding to Dorr Hyun. tacky atempt to solict my business by trying to take advantage of my misfortune. Its nice to see you can ramble on about worthless subjects crowing your opinion, and then have the nerve to silence me, then you tease n taunt me by leaving the Dorr post on the blog. Thanks, Im sure even Rick Studer will back me up on this one.

Anonymous

Yes Art, I whole heartily agree, with you. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, Larry Flynt and Bill Clinton. You have the constitutional right to freedom of speech as long as it doesn’t violate community standards of obscenity.

While I agree you might be obscene, in the context of this community, you are no more than sub-standard, or possibly even normal. Speak on rebel without a clue!

Anonymous

I feel this getting out of hand. I usually don’t regulate myself to newspaper logs butI find it necessary to defend my friend Art V. I just hope I haven’t had too many cosmos to think clearly.

I’ve know Art since he was a member of my Webelos pack. After leaving the priesthood because of an overblown incident I decided to pursue my family needs through Boy Scouting. Feeling my unique ability to young boys on the precipices of manhood scouting was an ideal match. Being single withknow family of my own, these boys became my passion. Young Art was in my first group. He first impressed me by being the only boy of 14 to know the proper way to weare the traditional Apache loin cloth at our jamboree on KellysIsland.

Art has twice accompanied me to Jemez New Mexico for the fertility festival of the Amushungkwa Indians on a mesa just west of Hot Springs. He has shown nothing but sound judgement and honor befitting a tribal medicine man. He certainly doesn’t deserve to have his words deleted from logs. I implore you to give art the respet he deserves.

Anonymous

What makes you think that you can bring your dog that into Aldis yesterday? Your dog is not a service dog. Your dog can hardly be considered a dog! It looked like a rodent! You put this filthy animal right in the cart, where the next person to get your cart will be putting their food! I was po'd when I seen that! Please understand that I am an animal lover, I have 2 dogs of my own, but I also see how dirty they are. They step in poop, roll in dirt, tend to have bugs and worms, etc. Your rodent, I mean dog, does not belong where someones food goes. This was just as bad as the time some Asian woman was changing a diaper on the picnic table at the zoo! Ugh!

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