Philippine Oil Deregulation – A Policy Research Analysis

I. INTRODUCTION

The Policy As An Output

Embodied in the Republic Act No. 8479, otherwise known as the “Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998,” is the policy of the state that deregulates the oil industry to “foster a truly competitive market which can better achieve the social policy objectives of fair prices and adequate, continuous supply of environmentally-clean and high quality petroleum products” (Congress 1998).

With deregulation, government allows market competition. That means government does not interfere with the pricing, exportation, and importation of oil products, even the establishment of retail outlets, storage depots, ocean-receiving facilities, and refineries.

It has been a decade ago since lawmakers made a proposition that deregulation would secure the Philippines from the vulnerability of oil price shocks due to its heavily dependent on imported oil. But it is now increasingly apparent that many are calling to scrap the law as six out of ten Filipinos favor the repeal of RA 8479 (Somosierra 2008).

The Policy As A Process

When President Fidel Ramos started his administration in 1992, the country had already started feeling the effects of power supply deficiencies, with major areas already experiencing power interruptions. The power crisis caused a slowdown in the national economy for nearly three years and prodded the government to initiate major reforms in order to rehabilitate the energy sector (Viray 1998, p.461-90). In response to a power supply crisis, Ramos revived the plans to liberalize the oil industry that were cut short during the Aquino administration due to Gulf crisis.

The government’s efforts to enact an oil deregulation law were also intensified in 1995 when the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF ) started to threaten the fiscal stability of the economy. Deregulation was thus seen as the solution to the recurring deficit.

The problem of the OPSF deficit was in part related to the highly political nature of oil prices, which encouraged government to defer price increases as much as possible in order to avoid public protest even at the expense of incurring a fiscal deficit. However, government mismanagement of the fund also included using it for non-oil purposes such as financing other government projects or the public sector deficit when it was in surplus (Pilapil 1996, p.12).

At the height of a strong lobbying effort for deregulation by oil companies and despite the loud opposition of militant groups, the industry was eventually deregulated in 1996 with the enactment of RA 8180 (the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1996) in Congress.

However, Supreme Court declared in 1997 the unconstitutionality of RA 8180. The Court decision stemmed from three provisions in the law that were deemed to inhibit free competition and therefore, violated the anti-trust mandate of the 1987 Constitution (Supreme Court 1997). But administration Congressmen quickly re-filed the oil deregulation bill leading to the new oil deregulation law. RA 8479 was then enacted to pave the way for the full deregulation of the oil industry. Since then, government has no longer control over the industry. What it can do is only monitoring.

Applicable Models

The policy model that best describes the policy process is Vig and Kraft 1984 model where policy stages/phases are characterized by five elements: 1) agenda setting, 2) policy formulation, 3) policy adoption, 4) policy implementation, and 5) policy monitoring.

On the other hand, the model that best describes the policy approach is Mixed Scanning because the Ramos administration resorted to rational planning process and incrementalized on liberalization plan of the Aquino government.

II. THE POLICY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE POLICY SYSTEM

The Policy Environment

Identified policy environment includes the regime characteristics of Ramos Administration, socio-economic structure in 1990’s, and the prevailing international financial influence on the country’s economy and politics.

The Policy Stakeholders

Identified as stakeholders in this policy are the Filipino people, the President, Legislators, Supreme Court, DOE, DOJ, DTI, NEDA, the oil companies, NGO/advocacy groups, and media.

The Interrelationships Between Policy Environment And Stakeholders

Despite a strong opposition coming directly from ordinary people, transport groups, and NGOs, the oil deregulation policy was still pushed through. It was formulated and instituted under the regime of President Ramos who, in his flagship program called the Philippines 2000, envisioned to make the country globally competitive by pursuing the thrusts of deregulation, market liberalization, and privatization. The media then exposed the fact that the biggest factor that influenced the formulation of the policy was the perceived eventual bankruptcy of the Oil Price Stabilization Fund, which had been originally established by President Ferdinand Marcos for the purpose of minimizing frequent price changes brought about by exchange adjustments and/or an increase in world market prices of crude oil and imported petroleum products.

Influenced by the International Monetary Fund, Ramos administration argued that there was a need to deregulate the industry because under a regulated environment, prices are not allowed to rise and fall with market levels. This means that when prices went up, government had to shell out money to subsidize the difference between the old and the new price.

According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), had the government opted not to deregulate, OPSF obligation would have ballooned to at least P8.3 billion in 1998. The P8.3 billion is equivalent to the construction of more than 4,500 kilometers of provincial roads, 51,000 deep wells of potable water, 25,000 school houses, or free rice for 20% of the poorest Filipinos (Bernales 1998)

The Supreme Court in 1998 ruled in favor of the constitutionality of the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998. Since then, it has been the policy of the subsequent administrations to deregulate the industry. DOE, DTI, DENR, DOST are agencies mandated to serve as the monitoring-arm of the government.

Is The Policy Working?

The answer is obviously “No.” IBON Foundation reported that the Oil Deregulation Law has further strengthened the monopoly of the big oil companies as automatic oil price hikes are allowed. Consequently, other oil companies took advantage of the policy, hiking pump prices of all petroleum products by around 535% since the Oil Deregulation Law was first implemented in April 1996 (Bicol Today 2007). The policy is also unable to solve or, at least, mitigate the effects of global oil crisis.

III. THINKING ALOUD

A. Repeating The Process

a.1 Problem Definition/Structuring

It has been recognized that the problem with oil is far from over as deregulation policy fails to meet its goal to foster a truly competitive market and reasonable oil prices. The current president herself, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, acknowledges the fact that the oil crisis is threatening to erode the very fiber of the Philippine society.

Unlike in 1998, the crisis today seems to be more irreparable as the United States is facing what many economists describe as the worst economic crisis in its history, triggering unstoppable skyrocketing of oil prices and prices of foodstuffs around the world. As already stated, the oil crisis is a global one and has to be addressed not only at the national level, but at the international level as well.

But why is the oil crisis a global crisis? Is it really beyond the government control?

The Philippines, like many other nations, buys the oil at the spot market. By “spot” is meant, that one buys the oil at a market only 24 to 48 hours before one takes physical (spot) delivery, as opposed to buying it 12 or more months in advance. In effect, the spot market inserted a financial middleman into the oil patch income stream.

Today, the oil price is largely set in the two futures markets: London-based International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Here, traders or investors buy or sell certain commodities like oil at a certain date in the future, at a specified price. Basically, traders invest in the futures market by buying futures contracts called “paper oil” or simply paper claim against oil. The very purpose of buying oil is not to wait for the actual delivery of the physical oil in the future, but to sell the paper oil to another trader at a higher price. That’s how investors engage in widespread speculation; and it is becoming a viscous cycle. Almost all countries, including the Philippines, buy the oil at the spot market where the price is already at its peak.

In a year 2000 study, Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) showed that for every 570 “paper barrels of oil”-that is futures contracts covering 570 barrels-traded each year, there was only one underlying physical barrel of oil. The 570 paper oil contracts pull the price of the underlying barrel of oil, manipulating the oil price. If the speculators bet long-that the price will rise-the mountain of bets pulls up the underlying price (Valdes 2005).

This only disproves the popular assumption that oil price hike has something to do with the “law of supply and demand.” In fact, as much as 60% of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds. It has nothing to do with the convenient myths of Peak Oil. It has to do with control of oil and its price (Engdahl 2008).

In its recent statement, IBON Foundation cited a study conducted by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which revealed that 30 percent or more of the prevailing crude oil cost is driven only by speculation. IBON further cited that speculation adds about $35 to a barrel of crude oil (Martinez 2008).

a.2 Developing Alternative

In the face of the alarming oil price hike that threatens the survival of ordinary Filipino people, a number of stakeholders call for alternative solutions: 1) amendment of the Oil Deregulation Law, 2) scrap/repeal the law, 3) removal of 12% vat on oil, 4) seek alternative sources of energy, and 5) engage in country-to-country oil agreement.

a.3 Options Analysis

1. Amendment of the Deregulation Law

As the public continues to hurt from surging oil prices, many policy makers call to re-examine the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998. One of whom, is Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson who has sought several amendments in the said law to ensure transparency in the pricing of oil products and encourage greater competition in the retail industry, which has been under the influence of giant oil companies. He cited the need to amend Sections 14 and 15 of RA 8479 to strengthen the powers of the Department of Energy (DOE) so it can effectively carry out its mandate to inform and protect the public from illicit practices in the oil industry and to provide more financial assistance for the establishment and operation of gasoline stations, which will encourage investment and fair competition (Malacanang 2005).

2. Scrap/Repeal the Oil Deregulation Law

To many, amending the law is not enough to rectify the skyrocketing prices of oil and oil-based products; they demand for the repeal, instead. A lawmaker from the Lower House, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed House Bill 4262 aiming to repeal Republic Act No. 8479, arguing that instead of fostering a competitive market, the law has only strengthened the oil cartel in the country and brought the oil prices up. The bill also seeks to re-establish the Oil Price Stabilization Fund. He articulated that dominant oil companies still dictate the price because even new oil industry players get their supply from the giants (Sisante 2008).

Militant groups and other non-government organizations have staged rallies and strikes all over the country in opposition of the deregulation policy. Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), one of the country’s prominent labor groups, contested that cartelization still exists amidst deregulation. In its recent statement, KMU articulated that with recent Dubai oil prices pegged at $97 per barrel (as of 3rd week of September), local price of diesel is at P49/liter; while when Dubai crude was at $97/liter on Nov. 6, 2007, diesel in the Philippines was sold only at P37.95/liter, or P11.05/liter lower than the present rates (GMANews.TV 2008).

3. Removal of 12% VAT on oil

Senator Mar Roxas said that government must heed calls to remove the 12% value-added tax (VAT) on oil and oil products as prices continue to go up despite the lowering of oil prices in the world market. Roxas had filed Senate Bill No. 1962. However, in her eighth State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Arroyo, stated that it will be the poor who will suffer the most from the removal of VAT on oil and electricity as this will mean the loss of P80 billion in programs being funded by her tax reform (Arroyo 2008).

4. Alternative sources of energy.

While many have engaged themselves in the long-running debate about amendment vs. repeal of the law, a number of stakeholders argue that Philippine government must, instead, focus on alternative sources of energy to rectify the heavy dependence on imported oil. Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, now considered “Father of the Philippine Biofuels Bill,” has hyped biofuel as the miracle product which can lower oil prices. But more and more scientists are worried that focusing on biofuels could jeopardize food production.

The Philippine LaRouche Society, an increasingly emerging think tank organization in the country, says that biofuel advocacy is a losing proposition as it competes with food production for human consumption. The organization calls, instead, for the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) as soon as possible to provide the population with a cheap, reliable, and continuous source of power to subsequently free the people from dependence on oil. The organization further articulates that since that will require huge financial requirements, the Philippine government must, therefore, declare a moratorium on foreign debt payments-since much of which are onerous and merely product of “bankers arithmetic” (Billington 2005).

5. Country-to-country oil agreement

The Philippine LaRouche Society has long been proposing to the government to initiate immediate steps to establish bilateral contract agreements with oil-producing countries of not less than 12 months’ government scheduled deliveries at reasonable, fixed prices. Government can also enter into commodity-swap agreements with oil-producing countries.

As a member of the United Nations and other intergovernmental associations like APEC and WTO, the Philippine government should join the growing worldwide call for a fair and honest oil trading by de-listing oil as a commodity traded in the futures market.

a.4 Deciding the Best and Most Feasible Option

It must be known to all the Filipino people that oil deregulation, as a policy, has failed to foster a truly competitive market towards fair prices and adequate, continuous supply of environmentally-clean and high quality petroleum products. Proposed solution # 2 (scrap/repeal the Oil Deregulation Law) is therefore a better option. But repealing the Deregulation Law is not the ultimate answer to the rise in oil prices. Even if the law is repealed, the Philippines will still be subjected to the same factors-a rise in oil prices in the global market.

Proposed solution # 5 (country-to-country oil agreement) can address the issue of the oil crisis at the international level. How about the efforts to solve the crisis at the national level?

The Philippine government must revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to provide the population with a cheap, reliable, and continuous source of power to subsequently free the people from dependence on oil. As proposed, government must direct enough funds, instead for debt servicing, towards the revival and upgrade of BNPP. Removal of the entire E-VAT, not only on oil, must also be taken into consideration to ease the pain of the Filipino people. By moratorium, government doesn’t have to extract a pound of flesh out of every Filipino to have the means to fund its programs.

B. Why seemingly “better” options are not adopted? The Peculiarities of the Philippine Policy System

From the standpoint of the present administration, amending RA 8479 seems to be difficult to adopt because re-regulating the oil industry would mean subsidizing oil prices-something like OPSF. To many, this does not work in an era of rising crude prices because it would entail government resources. This is where debt moratorium comes in as an effective fiscal strategy. But moratorium, to many skeptics, is unwise because they fear the blackmail or retaliation of the multinational creditors. Our leaders must learn how then President Nestor Kirchner of Argentina defied the predatory financial institutions, averring that “There’s life after the IMF.”

On the other hand, many leaders deem country-to-country oil agreement impossible to implement as the giant oil companies have still strong influence on the policy-making process in the country. On the part of the oil companies, it will be a huge loss if government will assert its power to have a bilateral agreement with any of the oil-producing country. Also, many leaders consider the Philippines as a small nation with no voice in the international assembly. But it is a matter of having “big balls,” to put it in a figurative language. After all, they are the leaders and are mandated by the Constitution to protect and promote the general welfare.

Another peculiarity of the Philippine policy system is the negative perception towards nuclear energy. BNPP has been stigmatized as being environmentally dangerous and as being associated with “corruption.” The fact of the matter is, the technology has already evolved and been modernized. The Philippine government spent $2.3 billion to build BNPP without generating a kilowatt of electricity. It is high time to revisit the old strategy to finally free the country from dependence on imported oil.

It is worth mentioning that the International Atomic Energy Agency inspected the power plant in Bataan early this year and reported that this could be rehabilitated, in full compliance with high international safety environment standards, in at least five years at a cost of $800 million (Burgonio 2008). The Philippine LaRouche Society emphasizes the importance of declaring debt moratorium as a fiscal strategy to start the rehabilitation. The organization argues that the Philippines is servicing the debt over US $10 billion per year, which is more than enough to start the full operation of BNPP (PLS 2008).

IV. INTEGRATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS: TOWARDS A BETTER PUBLIC POLICY SYSTEM

With the recognition that oil crisis is a global oil crisis, affecting the lives of all inhabitants of our planet, it is incumbent, therefore, upon the leadership of the Philippines to immediately take the following steps:

A) To immediately repeal the oil deregulation law, for the government to assert its sovereign power to have control over the oil industry and economy as a whole.

B) To propose at any international summit or assembly that oil, being a commodity, critical to the continuation of human life, be de-listed as a commodity traded in the futures market, thereby escaping the clutches of unscrupulous people and speculative financial institutions.

C) To initiate immediate steps to establish bilateral contract agreements with petroleum-producing countries of not less than 12 months’ government scheduled deliveries at reasonable, fixed prices.

D) To design a comprehensive energy development program, such as nuclear power plant being the most cost-efficient source of energy to date, for the purpose of freeing our country from complete dependence on imported energy sources. To this end, moratorium on foreign debt must be taken into account as a paramount fiscal strategy.

The crisis, which we now face as a nation, requires understanding of the problems through diligent study and concomitant courage to do what is right for the benefit of the present and future Filipino generations.



Source by Marlou Mumar

Brief History of the Electrician

With the late nineteenth century seeing developments in using electricity for residential and industrial use, along with this came the electrician for installation and maintenance. There was a rapid expansion in the use of electrical technology from this period due to the versatility of using electricity as an energy source. Electricity became a foundation and still is for modern society to advance as a civilisation. Electrical lighting was one of the first uses for domestic and commercial appliances using the flexible form of energy electricity allowed. The electrician trade was born with experts in this field taught how to install, maintain and repair the electrical infrastructure that enabled the use of lighting and other emerging electrical appliances.

Into the twentieth century electrical engineering broke into many fields in research and technology like electrical engineering or electronic engineering. The first being associated with large scale electrical systems like electrical networks power systems and the latter associated with smaller scale electronic systems like computers and small circuits. This lead to different areas of expertise for the electrician in installation, maintenance and repair including electricians specifically trained for certain appliances like TV repair. Towards the end of the twentieth century the electrician could be split into three different sections. These were divided into domestic, commercial and industrial electricians with each one having to learn particular skills to install, maintain, repair and test electrical equipment for safety. Safety became an important part of the electrician’s trade due to the risk involved not only for the electrician but for everyone involved with electrical appliances. Portable appliance testing was introduced.

The future of electricians looks to be in high demand as it’s estimated that the shortage of trained and qualified electricians stands at about 36,900 in the UK. Ways of using electric as an energy source is still diversifying with solar energy systems being installed which convert to electricity and new types of devices like electric cars being worked on. The electrician will need to break into many more fields to be able to learn his trade and use it in an efficient and safe manner.



Source by Barry Walker

Integrated Control Options for Root Knot Nematodes Part 2

Following on from Part 1 of this article where we talked about what root knot nematode (RKN) is, the symptoms and some soft options for control, in this article, we look at the rest of the tools that can be used in an integrated control strategy.

Crop Rotation with Tolerant Crops

Rotate susceptible crops, or crops which have become badly infected, with crops of brassicas such as cauliflower and cabbage or other crops such as strawberries.

Recent research has also shown that the addition of forage brassicas (a type of mustard) to the soil not only adds extra organic matter – thus helping to improve soil structure – but also helps to control nematodes and helps to prevent weed seed from germinating. The reason for this is that all brassicas produce a chemical which breaks down in wet soil to produce a cyanide-like gas. This reduces soil borne diseases (unfortunately, some good microbes too) and also helps to reduce nematodes (but does not seem to affect earthworms). There is a specific brassica known as ‘Nemcon Fumigation Brassica’ which produces higher concentrations of gas than the other brassicas.

Forage brassicas should be planted in autumn and dug in just before flowering whilst keeping the soil moist. They can be also slashed and left on the surface – although this is not quite as effective – where it is impractical to dig it in (because of pipes etc).

A wide range of other plants, produce chemicals that are antagonistic to nematodes. These include: castor bean, chrysanthemum, crotalaria, indigo, jackbean, partridge pea, sesame, sorghum-sudan and velvet bean. All of these crops can be used in rotations or mix-cropped with vegetables. Sun hemp, a tropical legume, and sorghum-sudan, a prolific grass crop plant are popular cover crops that can be grown for their nematode-suppressive properties between vegetable crops.

Soil Solarisation

Soil solarization as described by Wikipedia is “an environmentally friendly method of using solar power for controlling disease agents in the soil by mulching the soil and covering it with tarp, usually with a transparent polyethylene cover, to trap solar energy. It may also describe methods of decontaminating soil using sunlight or solar power”.

Essentially, this is a method of heating the soil so as to kill insect pests, diseases and nematodes. It is simple, cheap and effective.

Rotation and Inter-planting With Marigolds

Most varieties of marigold (Tagetes species) are resistant to RKN because their roots secrete nematicidal chemicals. Research shows that tomatoes planted 2 weeks after African marigolds were dug in showed a 99% reduction root lesion nematode (different from RKN, but a damaging nematode nonetheless). This makes marigolds an ideal rotation crop or inter-planting crop to be planted within or around your vegetable crop. Petite Harmony and Petite Yellow are known to be particularly effective.

If you want to treat a previously infected area of your veggie garden, plant your marigolds in strips or blocks within this area. You can treat a section of your veggie patch at a time. To do this, plant seed or seedlings about 15 cm (6 inches) apart and keep weeds out until the marigold plants have canopied. After flowering, remove the seed heads and keep some seed for the next crop. Removing heads will also reduce volunteers in your subsequent veggie crop. After removing the heads, incorporate the marigolds into the soil with a fork. (A fork is better than a spade, especially if you have nice populations of earthworms in your garden). You can also inter-plant your crops with marigolds which will act as a deterrent to RKN.

Destruction of Infected Roots

Where a crop has become infected, it is imperative to dig up roots and destroy them immediately after your crop is harvested. This will remove a large proportion of the nematodes which would otherwise carry over to infect the next season’s crop.

Reducing Crop Stress

Any crop which is stressed will more easily succumb to infections, not only from pests and diseases, but also from nematodes. Use mulch, water regularly and fertilise.

Finally:

Use of Kelpak, to Generate Root Growth

Kelpak is a natural seaweed extract available in many countries around the world. It generates new root growth. This seaweed product can be used where an infestation has or is occurring in a crop. It does not control the nematode, but rather, it induces new root growth to compensate for loss of root mass caused by RKN. In some areas, where resistance is occurring to hardline nematacides, use of products like Kelpak, help a crop effectively overcome nematode damage and reduces yield losses.

Silica

Use of products that contain silica, such as diatomaceous earth, also help to control nematode and RKN damage. Diatomaceous earth would need to be incorporated before planting, but there are liquid silica products available that can be watered into a crop where the known risk for nematode damage is high eg tomatoes in sandy soil. If used on a regular basis throughout the crop life, such silica products will deter nematode infestation and damage and enable you to harvest a good crop.

I hope all these pointers have been a help.

Good luck!

Lucia Grimmer



Source by Lucia Grimmer

Static Dissipators and Grounding Towers For Lightning Protection

While the incidence of lightning strikes varies, virtually all populated regions have some lightning exposure hazard. Taken over the lifetime of typical tower and antenna systems, there is meaningful risk worldwide, and it makes sense to at least minimally protect facilities outside of “lightning belts”. In areas of intense lightning risk, extreme protection measures are mandatory!

The largest classes of technical structures needing lightning protection in the world today are wireless communications and broadcast towers and their antennas.

In less than 20 years, cellular mobile towers have proliferated on every continent, and are perfect lightning targets! To a lesser extent, AM, FM, and TV towers have also sprouted, sometimes sharing with cell systems. Not only are the towers at lightning risk, but also the cellular, broadcast, and communications antennas mounted on them. At risk too, are the attached cell site equipment, radio transmitters, coaxial cables, and tower light systems.

There are a wide variety of lightning air terminals in the form of lightning dissipators. Sometimes called a dissipator, or static dissipation array, this relatively new and advanced air terminal replaces conventional lightning rods in most applications. It functions as a streamer retarding air terminal.

Static dissipation array generically describes a system using point discharge phenomenon to protect towers and antennas and the area around them from a lightning strike. These function, as the name implies, by dissipating static electrical charge. Among design factors, the radius of the dissipator electrode cross-section is critical because the process which enables dissi­pation of static ground charge to the atmosphere is related to electric field intensity (and flux density) surrounding the lightning dissipator. Static dissipation arrays provide, in effect, a “low resistance” route for static ground charge to reach the atmosphere, thus preventing a build up of the ground charge to the value necessary to trigger a strike on the protected object.

Since a dissipation system must provide a low resistance path to the atmosphere, it seems logical to provide as many discharge points as reasonably possible. By using a large number of air terminal points one can compensate for any loss of efficiency from a theoretical maximum, and spread the dissipator elements over more of the cross-section area of the tower or antenna structure.

All objects have natural dissipation points. On a tower structure, charge tends to gather at, and dissipate from the tower top, antennas and antenna mounts, and from corners. The most effective way to mount a dissipator in terms of structure, weight, wind loading, cost and aesthetics is to enhance this natural dissipation by supporting the unit from the structure itself at these natural dissipation points. Since most antenna and tower structures are steel, direct attachment provides excellent conductivity. As a practical matter, the array configuration should be tailored to the structure, not vice versa.



Source by Patrick Stox

Importance of Grey Water Treatment

We all know that the water once used in bathroom sinks, laundry or shower heads are considered grey water and it contains organic material that is good for plants.

The use of this water has gained its importance due to two main factors:

1. Reducing the need of freshwater when the activity doesn’t demand it: We all know that the fresh water is scarce and is a topic of consideration in the world. The minimal use of the same can help step together in controlling the situation.

2. Eliminate waste: This water if not reused, will be passed through drains which when comes in contact with filth, garbage and trash becomes unusable and lead to the wastage of water. Grey water management can help to eliminate this wastage.How to treat this water:

The water is collected in a septic tank that is first treated for further use. Usually, the following steps are carried out in the process:

Removal of solid waste: The first step is to remove the solid waste like hair, food particles, lint, etc.

Removal of chemicals: The chemicals of soap, pathogens and other microbes is removed from the water before it is used further.

Uses of grey water:

Once treated can be used in following ways:

Big garden:

The most common and best use of grey water is to water the big garden where we need a good quantity of water. This can be done by connecting a diverter directly from the source to the garden. This is best in case of ornamental plants or trees.

For edible plants: Once treated thoroughly, it can be used to water the fruit and vegetable plants

Drought regions: In drought prone areas the grey water management served as a boom. The water is used at the maximum to eliminate the wastage and save for the need.

No garden: This type of water can be used for flushing or for Hydroponics after treatment, where kitchen vegetables could be grown.

Safety rules:

There are certain rules to be followed for using this water safely:

1: Untreated water should not be used on fruit or vegetable plants.

2: Such water when passed in the garden, should not cross the boundary to reach others premises.

3. It should not be kept untreated for long as the microbes and pathogens will multiply to dangerous levels.

4. If you are using bleach or hard chemicals in the laundry, then do not this water.

5. Keep the pipes or drains underground to keep the animals and children away from coming in contact with it.

6: Do not use grey water if you are suffering from Stomach infection.

7: Keep the pipes and taps of grey water labelled to avoid misuse.



Source by Nikhil S Jain

The Overlooked Overloaded Chakra

Chakras are believed to be energy centers in the body that both indicate and influence an individual’s physical and emotional wellbeing. One misconception that I come across quite often is that chakras are either “blocked” or “healthy.” In my experience as an energy healer, that is not true. I have encountered many instances in my practice where a chakra seems to have an excess of energy. That chakra is often neighbored by a weaker or “blocked” chakra. It is as if the person has an energetic dam in their system that is holding energy in certain chakras and not allowing it to flow adequately to others.

One solution for this that I learned from a Qi Gong Master is to run a hand over the body in the area of the two chakras in a circular motion. For instance, I often see a block between the solar plexus chakra and the heart chakra so one could rub a circle from their breastbone to their upper abdomen. This will help stimulate the energy to flow into the blocked or weakened chakra.

So how do you know if your chakra is overloaded? Well, the chakra indicates the wellbeing of the person so you can do the reverse and determine the state of your chakra by examining your wellbeing. Here are a few that focus on the psychological issues that can be related to an overloaded chakra:

  • Overloaded Root Chakra – Obsession with money, security, and possessions, difficulty with being generous, fear of change and strong dependence on routines, workaholism, hoarding, and having strict personal boundaries that interfere with being open to others.
  • Overloaded Sacral Chakra – Extreme mood swings, being overly sensitive and overreacting, addictions, emotional eating, codependency, being ruled by your feelings.
  • Overloaded Solar Plexus Chakra – Anger issues, control issues, difficulty with compromise, obsession with winning, obsession with power and status, arrogance, lack of sensitivity.
  • Overloaded Heart Chakra – Constantly putting other people’s needs before your own, codependency and clinginess in relationships, jealousy, self-neglect, feeling burnt out from all that you give.
  • Overloaded Throat Chakra – Excessive talking, talking loudly, interrupting, difficulty listening to others, speaking without thinking, speaking too bluntly
  • Overloaded Brow Chakra – Having a hard time distinguishing dreams from real life, daydreaming, feeling disconnected from reality, being too much in your head, difficulty focusing on the present.
  • Overloaded Crown Chakra – Obsession with spiritual or intellectual practices, getting caught up in thoughts, a tendency to over-intellectualize, losing track of time, feeling disconnected to the body and ungrounded.

If you are experiencing any of those issues, you likely have an overloaded chakra. Remember, life causes the chakras to go out of balance; it is not the fault of the chakra. Reiki is a very effective technique for balancing the chakras and all energy systems of the body. Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, affirmations, and toning the chakras are also helpful tools.

Generally, for overloaded chakras, a great remedy is aerobic exercise to get the energy moving where it needs to go and to assist the body to release any unneeded energy. Just make sure that you drink plenty of water!



Source by Molly M Johnson

Why You Will Never See Magnetic Generators For Sale

You have probably already heard about the incredible new alternative energy that is magnetic electric generation. You can forget about solar power as an answer to your home power needs. A magnetic generator can completely eradicate your electricity bill not just heat your hot water! This alone is the reason why you will never see magnetic generators for sale anywhere.

Just think about that moment. Suppose there were magnetic electric generators for sale in every country around the world. You could go into any DIY store and there was a generator ready for you to take home and supply all the electricity you needed.

One of the biggest industries in the world is the supply of electricity. If everybody had the ability to produce their own electricity the world economy may very well collapse!

It sounds like a conspiracy theory but if you think about it for a moment it makes sense.

There is no way the big electricity companies would ever let that happen.

When the Australian inventors of the most well-known magnetic energy generator first unveiled it to the public, they hoped there would be magnetic generators for sale every where on the planet.

It never happened as they came up against too many obstacles. Instead they decided to sell their plans on the Internet so that anyone can build their own magnetic generator at home and there’s nothing the big electric companies can do about it!

They may be able to stop them from being sold but they can’t stop you from building your own!



Source by Joe Bleachings

The Benefits of LED Lighting

LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is different from traditional lighting, as the bulbs produce light by using semi-conductors. In a nutshell, it’s digital light.

They’re not a new phenomenon; LEDs have been used in Christmas fairy lights, remote controls and digital devices for a long time. More recently they have begun to be more widely available for lighting in the home, and have quickly become a hugely popular, energy efficient lighting solution. Here are some of the main benefits of using LED lighting:

  • LED lights are much longer lasting than other types of light bulb, and the expected life of each bulb is around 100,000 hours. If your light was on for eight hours each day, the bulb would last somewhere in the region of 20 years. As a result, the maintenance required to replace the bulbs is far less too, which can be particularly beneficial in a commercial or office environment.
  • LEDs convert approximately 80-90% of the energy they use into light making them among the most energy efficient bulbs you can buy. Traditional bulbs, on the other hand, can convert as little as 10-20% of the energy they use into light, which means the remaining 80-90% is lost as heat. This means when you choose LED bulbs you’re actually paying to light your home, rather than for the lost energy when using other, less energy efficient types of light bulb.
  • Unlike many energy saving light bulbs, with LED there’s no need to wait for the bulbs to light up fully. They emit their full light straight away. Over time, the light they give off becomes slightly less bright, but they don’t usually burn out in the same way that traditional bulbs can.
  • LED lighting only requires a low-voltage power supply, so it can easily be used in conjunction with solar energy.
  • They’re more durable and hard-wearing too, and are weather and shock resistant. They can also withstand extreme high and low temperatures far more efficiently than other bulbs, which makes them a fantastic choice for outdoor lighting.
  • LED bulbs are also more ecologically friendly than other types of bulb, as they don’t contain toxic chemicals such as mercury (which many other bulbs can) and are completely recyclable.
  • LED lights produce next to no UV emissions and very little infrared light. This makes them the ideal option for those with heightened sensitivity to UV rays or in areas containing materials where UV exposure must be minimised, such as art exhibitions and museums, for example.
  • Thanks to rapidly developing technology, LEDs are becoming much cheaper than they used to be. They’re still more expensive than other types of light bulb, but in many ways their other benefits outweigh the cost factor.



Source by Timothy Tavender

Infrared Heaters Reviews – Sun Cloud Solar Comfort KD8000 Portable Infrared Heater

Sun Cloud Solar Comfort Heaters boast having the most proven technology of providing the most reliable and safe heat on the market.

The KD8000 model comes complete with 204 improved VenturisAir ™ tubes as part of their heating process with a combination of four 375 watt infrared lamps. This technology ensures even and consistent heating from wall to ceiling.

Through testing, the Solar Comfort heater uses up to 35% less energy than a conventional furnace/baseboard system. With the costs of other sources of heat, the KD8000 provides users with the most savings.

This heater does not emit any gasses or fumes and is perfectly safe heat. Air heated by Solar Comfort does not suspend solid particles. Most of the dust and/or smoke will dissipate. It helps maintain, while not adding, humidity into the environment.

The Solar Comfort is so safe, that hazardous materials may be stored next to it without any problem. It is perfectly safe for children and pets, as well.

The heater’s efficiency is based on the distribution of energized air and water molecules. It does not depend on undependable high-speed airflow with a fan.

The infrared heater is virtually maintenance-free. Combined with the lifetime filter, the three year warranty, and the industrial infrared bulbs that are replaced with inexpensive ease, users will enjoy the Solar Comfort infrared heater in their homes for years to come.

Sun Cloud Solar Comfort KD8000 Portable Infrared Heater Features

  • Provides energy efficient, quiet operation
  • Heats up to 8x more area than other 1500W heaters
  • Offers clean heat that doesn’t remove oxygen or humidity
  • Lifetime filter
  • Heats up to 800 square feet at 1500watts
  • Nice, sturdy design that fits along beautifully with other furniture

Sun Cloud Solar Comfort KD8000 Portable Infrared Heaters Consumer Reports

Mostly, reviews for the Sun Cloud Solar Comfort Infrared heater are either positive or negative. There are not a lot of individuals who appeared feeling neutral about this product.

The positive comments included that it worked just fine, probably as other models of its kind would. Some users said that it really did save them money after several months of using it. They enjoyed the warmth it brought to the room.

The negative comments mentioned that there is no need for the thermostat dial, as the unit really just runs all the time or none of the time. They feel as though the Sun Cloud unit does not keep any room consistently warm. Customers felt that it made the room dry and that it is actually more expensive to run.

The only thing that customers agree on is that customer service leaves a lot to be desired in friendly and prompt customer service standards. There were two different users who specified that they had to return their unit in the 60 day period and that the period had run out by the time the next unit had failed them.

The users who enjoyed their ‘Sun Cloud’ experience liked most everything about the unit and is completely satisfied. With everything else, consumers must research the product they are hoping to buy to ensure that all of their needs will be met.

If the Sun Cloud Solar Comfort KD8000 is what you’re after, we recommend you buy from Amazon, as they offer free shipping on this item.



Source by Rob Tierney

The Five Elements of Green Design

Successful sustainable construction begins with a design that addresses each of the following five central elements of green building design. 

  • Sustainable Site Design
  • Water Conservation and Quality
  • Energy and Environment
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Conservation of Materials and Resources 

To assure the integrity of the design and the eventual sustainable outcome, integration of green technology within each of those core design elements is critical. For example, the interrelationship between the site orientation, the water conservancy program, the use of natural energy sources, the quality of natural sunlight inside the building all affect the building’s need for materials and energy sources. In fact, the ideal design brings all the elements together over and over again.  

Integrating the design elements requires recognition of several principles of sustainability and the application of these principles to the site analysis: 

  • Reduce urban sprawl and destruction of land
  • Promote higher density urban development
  • Pursue brownfield development to save exiting green space
  • Minimize site disturbance and restore natural habitat 

Below are hints for consideration with each element. 

Sustainable Site Design 

  • Only select a new site when necessary
  • When a new site is necessary, do not chose a site that is critical to the local eco-system
  • Orient the building to on the site to utilize natural resources like solar energy
  • Select a site that allows access to mass transit
  • Minimize the building’s footprint by using existing surfaces, lightening roof color and using natural shading 

Water Conservation and Quality 

  • Realize that orientation of the proposed building that allows for natural drainage is often the least expensive way to improve the location
  • Be certain that the site assessment captures the natural hydrological attributes
  • Allow for the use of low-impact storm water retention
  • Set a water budget and implement features that help achieve the budget
  • Improve water conservation and quality by utilizing indigenous trees, plants and turf that do not require irrigation, fertilizers or pesticides 

Energy and Environment 

  • Maximize passive solar orientation
  • Reduce the need for artificial lighting by planning to use natural sunlight whenever possible
  • Use exterior insulation to maximize the performance of the exterior envelope
  • Use natural ventilation
  • Use Energy Star energy efficient appliances
  • Use new-age lighting products and settings
  • Research all the new energy technologies 

Indoor Environmental Quality 

  • Protect the building’s interior during the construction process
  • Make the building smoke-free
  • Maximize the used of daylight sunlight
  • Make sure that all interior finishes are environmentally friendly and safe
  • Design a healthy heating, cooling and ventilating system 

Materials and Resources 

  • Use engineer designed high stress materials whose strength reduces the quantity of used materials
  • Use recycled materials whenever possible
  • Use materials that can be recycled when their functional life has elapsed
  • Support the local economy and reduce the transportation of materials by using local providers of local products 

The five major elements, from sustainable sites to materials and resources are also considered in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED building certification. Whether considering that certification or just interested in green building, the above points to consider can make a huge difference in returns, cost and the environment.



Source by Rick L. Walker