The Domestic Renewable Energy Resource That’s Saving Japan During Its Electricity Crisis

Following Japans Fukishima Daiichi Nuclear disaster, the country is facing a serious power shortage. Prior to the nuclear meltdown, 30% of Japans energy was supplied through 53 power plants. Two years later, each of these power plants lies dormant and the much of the country is threatened of being cast in shadows. One Irish company hopes to change this.

Dimplex Logo

How Dimplex Plans to Be a Crucial Proponent in Japan’s Electrical Shortage

Japan has been importing fossil fuels at much higher prices especially when compared to the nuclear power it previously depended on. Japan has also been redistributing energy across its own regions to prevent forced blackouts. Interestingly, Sharp has also initiated a Cool Biz Campaign where employees are encouraged to wear shorts and short sleeves to limit the use of air conditioning and lighting.
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Are Ethanol Fireplaces Safe? Scientific Research on the Topic

Recently, an article on Treehuggger was published by Lloyd Alter commenting on a recent Scientific Research Study published by Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research. The study concluded that ethanol fireplaces are a health hazard and should only be used in well-ventilated spaces. Here is an excerpt taken from Science Daily:

“These stoves do not feature any guided exhaust system whatsoever, so all combustible products are released directly into the environment.. …On a case-by-case basis, precisely how the course of that incineration runs really depends on the quality of the fuel and other factors – like the type of fuel, or the incineration temperature. As a rule, ethanol does not burn out completely. Rather, the incineration process results in CO2 – along with poisonous gases (like carbon monoxide, a respiratory toxin), organic compounds (like benzene, a carcinogen), and irritant gases (like nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde), as well as ultrafine combustion particles.”

-Dr Wensing, Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research

Holly and Martin Walton Ethanol Fireplace

The Walton Ethanol Fireplace by Holly & Martin, one of the most trusted manufacturers.

Here is the original article published by Science Daily and the original study by Franhofer-Gesselschaft.

So Why is this Misleading

“If ethanol runs out when filling the combustion chambers and it ignites, then the entire room could go up in flames.”

-Yes, if you spill ethanol and light the fire, it will burn. The same can be said about wood logs. If you dropped a wood log outside of your firebox and lit the fire, your whole house could “theoretically” burn down. Never refill an ethanol fireplace while the fire is lit. Always clean up any spills before lighting the fire.

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Beijing Bans Outdoor Grills to Curb Pollution

Take a walk through the downtown Beijing and you’ll find streets lined with popular eateries that serve skewered meats and cold dishes such as garlic cucumber salad and cold tofu skin. A new ban on outdoor grills is forcing many of these shops to close in an effort to combat dangerously high smog levels. Under new measures, even cold dishes, decorative, cakes, and raw seafood products are not allowed to be eaten outdoors.

Beijing Outdoor Grill Ban

Source: imxw

Beginning May 1, 2014, a new law has been implemented to enforce the ban. Under the Interim Measures on Management of Summer Al Fresco Dining,” all outdoor grills must be moved indoors. The new law also restricts where outdoor dining can take place. Violating the outdoor grilling ban in will result in a fine of up to 20,000 yuan ($3,200).
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US Outdoor Grill Industry Projected to Grow 4% Year by Year

The US Outdoor Grill and Furniture Industry is a balking $6.2 Billion market. By 2017, the outdoor furniture and grill market will generate $7.5 Billion in revenue. After a rough economic downturn during the 2006 recession, the US economy has begun show signs of recovery.

Of these rebounding markets, the US Outdoor furniture Industry is expected to increase 4% per year through 2017. Patio heating products are projected to be the fastest growing market as a result of growing consumer demands in residential and commercial sectors.

Backyard Patio Heater Trends

Data in this post stems from an industry report published by Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Each year, Freedonia publishes over 100 industry research studies to provide a detailed outlook on market forecasts an industry trends.
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EPA Moves to Place New Regulations on Wood Stoves

Just this week the Federal Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposal to lower emissions and pollutants from residential wood stoves. Changes in the policy will affect a wide range of heaters including wood stoves, wood pellet stoves, fireplace inserts, masonry heaters, and forced-air wood furnaces. This is the first time that heating devices aside from normal wood stoves will be regulated by the EPA.

Current EPA policy certifies non-catalytic wood stoves that emit less than 7.5 grams of fine particle per hour. Standards would change in 2019 to force new stoves to emit just 1.3 grams per hour, a sizeable difference by any measurement. With 11.5 million U.S. homeowners using wood for heat, the affect of the policy will have a large affect on an industry that is projected to manufacture 85,695 wood stoves in the year 2015 alone. (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration)

Fireplace Emissions

Fireplace emissions based on type of unit. Click to view larger image.

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Holly & Martin Fireplaces – Featured Brand

Holly & Martin Fireplaces always come up when homeowners begin their search for the best fireplace. Established for years within the home furnishing industry, Holly & Martin provides a range of décor items that turn a house into a home. Best of all, they’re a family owned company that cares about their products and the satisfaction of their customers.

Portable has teamed up with Holly & Martin to offer the guaranteed lowest prices on some of their most popular models. We enjoy working with them because of their exceptional customer service and knowledgeable (and friendly) staff that is always available to answer questions. So let’s see why Holly & Martin has become known as one of the best fireplace brands on the market!

Holly & Martin Huntington Electric Fireplace

Holly & Martin Huntington Electric Fireplace. More info.

Pictured above is the 44.5” Holly & Martin Huntington Electric Fireplace shown in a charming ivory finish. With an enamoring floral design daintily featured on the façade of the upper mantel, the Huntington has been outfitted with many smart features that ensure safety. The Huntington electric fireplace comes with a flame-resistant fire box, safety thermal overload protector, and built-in cord storage. Offering 5,000 BTU’s, this beautiful electric fireplace will heat a 1,500 square foot room in less than 24 minutes!

Browse Holly & Martin Fireplaces
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How You Can Buy Prepaid Electricity & Cut Your Utility Bill in Half this Winter – Solar PPA’s

With the cost of living rising on a daily basis, frugal homeowners are always searching for ways to save extra money and maximize their income. A little known secret is the ability to purchase solar electricity at wholesale prices! Want to know how? Check out this cool article that will show you can save thousands of dollars!

What is a Pre-Paid Solar Power Purchase Agreement?

A Pre-Paid Solar Power Purchase Agreement, or Solar PPA for short, is an arrangement with a solar company that allows you to purchase all of the electricity that you need before the energy is produced. Think of it as ordering a guaranteed supply of electricity at wholesale prices.

According to a survey conducted by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory & the Consumer Electronics Association, the average homeowner was able to reduce monthly electric bills from $233.69 to $151.36. Over a 20 year span, this would equate to a savings of nearly 76%! Sounds too good to be true I know. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

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Consumer Alert: CPSC Issues Recall on Outdoor Fireplace Manufactured in China

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently issued a recall on an outdoor fireplace that was manufactured in China. The item in question, the Clay Bowl Outdoor Fireplace, is part of CPSC Recall #14-022. In order to prevent serious harm or dangerous conditions, you can find contact information and suggested remedies if you have purchased one of these recalled fireplaces by reading below.

Product Description

Imported by Nantucket Distributing LLC, the Clay Bowl Outdoor Fireplace was sold in Christmas Tree Shops and And That! stores between July and October of this year. On the original packaging that the fireplace came in, you will be able to find a label with Model #CTFB215 listed on the box. In the case that you have thrown out your box, you can determine if your outdoor fireplace is part of this recall by its description.

Clay Outdoor Fireplace Recall

The Clay Outdoor Fireplace has been recalled due to concerns over burn hazards.

This outdoor unit features a black metal bowl that sits in a clay bowl. The clay bowl is nestled within a steel bowl frame that measures approximately 23 inches in diameter. The Clay Outdoor Fireplace has a domed lid that adds a safety feature to prevent burns and serious accidents. The model number should also be listed within the instruction manual that the product came with.
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