Last year in the council decided it's time that we all turn green and soon it'll be time for all of us to start paying for the council's foray into social engineering. You see the council has decided that scientific consensus should translate into the rest of us paying for expensive 90% efficient heaters for our homes when when our current furnaces need to be replaced.
The ordinance (O-07-73) sponsored by Councilors Benton, Cadigan, and former Councilor and Congressional candidate Martin Heinrich, was passed unanimously last September and goes into effect in April.
Replacing that broken furnace is about to get more expensive in Albuquerque.According to the Journal story, the city has mandated that you will have to be paying $400 to $900 more to install a furnace whether it's a new installation or a replacement; that's somewhere between 25% and 35% more than installing an 80% efficient furnace. What's interesting is that Comrade Benton tries to make a market argument (something he knows absolutely nothing about) to appease those of us who understand that we will be paying for his social agenda.
Requirements that go into effect April 1 call for homes to have 90 percent efficient furnaces. The rules apply to new homes or people who replace the furnace in their existing home.
Benton suggested the cost of 90 percent efficient furnaces may come down.What?! What the #$@% is competitive about mandating high end expensive furnaces? Here's a refresher course on market economics, when choices are limited costs go up. When government mandates, costs go up. Councilor Benton is restricting the number and variety of heating units available by mandating a specific efficiency in order to reduce carbon emissions which have not been proven to have anything to do with global warming. The result is predictable - higher costs for consumers.
"The market is going to change," he said. "People will start to get competitive with high-efficiency products as time goes on."
The folks over a Scott Ruch Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical claim that the new heaters will save you money and make your house "more comfortable" and more evenly heated. However the savings according to the federal government, will average about $10 a month. In New Mexico that's probably no more than $30 a year, which means that it will take more than 13 years to pay for the increased efficiency and more likely 20 to 30 years. Your new furnace will probably need to be replaced long before the savings pay for the upgraded unit.
We also have a hard time believing that a new 90% heater heats a home more "evenly" than a new 80% model. Efficiency is a function of transferring heat from the furnace to the heated space rather than losing it through the exhaust. Even heating in a forced air unit would have more to do with air flow than with firebox efficiency.
Now let's take a look at the unintended consequences. Since the cost of replacing a furnace will be higher starting in April, there will be a rush on 80% (or less) furnaces. After April, people who weren't able to make the switch to a new 80% model will simply keep their old inefficient models as long as possible - a course of action that can even be life threatening.
In addition, some people will simply buy a cheaper model from a vendor outside the city limits and either install it themselves or have a contractor who's willing to "bend" the ordinance a bit and install the banned furnace. These are just a couple of the predicable unintended consequences - there are bound to be many more.
It costs a lot to be green and we don't believe that the citizens of Albuquerque should be forced to pay for the council's collective faith that man is at fault for so-called global warming. It's silly, it's foolish and it's an abuse of government power.