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Re: Mixing means and extremes (Score: 1)
by mlmitton on Friday, November 14, 2003 @ 10:00:24 EST
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It's funny you would say I'm not an economist. Phillip Cagan once wrote me saying much the same thing, but he didn't need to make a bunch of math errors to drive his point home.

That's funny. Neither did I.

Let me see if I correctly understand your thinking. You think the only raw data on the page is that the device costs $112.50 per kwh of daily capacity. So a 26.6 kwh device would cost about $3,000. Then you say, here's what GWE does with that $3,000: 3000, divided by 20 years, divided by 10 months per year, equal $15 per month. $15 per month, divided by 30 days per month, divided by 26.6 kwh per day equals 1.9 cents per kwh. Is that right?

John, if I've understood correctly, that is totally ridiculous, and makes absolutely no sense as an interpretation of the GWE page.

Can't you at least see that there are *two* separate costs on the page. One is the cost of purchasing the device. They talk about this under the heading "Calculating Suggested Edison System Retail Prices", and they give an example where it costs $3,000 to bring the device home.

Then they have another section called "Operational Costs" that begins "Once an Edison System is purchased, the only costs associated with the system's operation involves the cost of water the system uses as its source of fuel, and the cost of periodically replacing water filters." John, how much was the Edison System purchased for? Do you think, just maybe, we should look under the section that says "Edison System Retail Prices"? And just maybe, we should conclude that, if you went to a store and bought this device, it would cost $3,000.

And then, what about that line "the only costs associated with the system's operation involves the cost of water...[which is negligibile] and the cost of periodically replacing water filters". These are apparently costs that are incurred "Once an Edison System is purchased". Don't you think that these costs are *separate* from the cost of purchasing the device? Don't you think that, just maybe, these are Operational costs? Wait, omigod, there's a whole section on Operational costs!

Do you think that the cost of replacing the filters is included in the Suggested Retail price? That is, does purchasing the device come with a 20 year supply of filters? Do you think that, once I've paid my $3000, I will *never* have another expense again?

Which do you think is a more reasoable interpretation of the GWE page. 1) There are two separate costs--cost of purchase and cost of operation. or 2) There is only one cost, and there are only ten months in the year.

Doesn't the entire page speak to two separate costs?!! Purchase and operation.

And yes, one can phrase the cost of water filters per kwh if one says: A filter can filter X gallons of water before it is finished, X gallons can produce Y kwh. So expending Z dollars on a filter will (allow you to) generate Y kwh. Divide Z by Y, and you get the filter cost per kwh.

I would have been all over them if their calculations were as messed up as yours.

Be my guest. I haven't said my calculations make sense in any absolutle way--I've only said that they are the only reasonable way to interpret the GWE page.

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