Aug. 11th, 2010

[Irrelevant note: my forearm started itching in the night, waking me up for half an hour until I got an icepack on it. Started itching again this morning. Annoying; no sign of skin disturbance.]

Most of my work (that paid) has been some form of global optimization, from optimizing parallel programs and schemes to automatically optimize parallel programs, to optimizing plan layouts in subdivision, to managing investments considering all tax and estate consequences and adverse events.

The new house in Palm Springs is no exception. Built in 2003, by the standards of the time it's well-insulated and efficient. At that time, electricity cost about 12 cents per kWh; currently the highest tiered rate (which we will easily reach using AC) is above 30c/kWh. The pricing scheme is hugely complicated and unpredictably micromanaged by an incompetent state legislature and regulators, and discriminates against large families as well as wasteful users. It does, however, result in such high marginal costs for larger houses that solar power, as currently subsidized, is more than competitive for the highest-tier rates.
Making the new house more comfortable without breaking the bank... )

[next: irrigation; outside lighting; music and TV distribution; security; evolution of the house computer; media servers; solar voltaic; LED lighting]



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