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798 Awesome

About mako1

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  • Location Haidhausen, Munich
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1968
  1. Notice period to end tenancy

    @Yellowsnow What kind of agreement do you have in writing regarding the deposit? If you don't have any rental or deposit agreement, I don't think it is likely he will sue. But he also won't give you the deposit back unless he is a nice guy.
  2. Only in America

    there were a bunch of heavily armed Texas Rangers and law enforcement types around the Uvalde school shooting who waited for over an hour to confront the shooter. So we have to assume that they aren't the 'good guys with guns' the NRA is always talking about. And if law enforcement isn't the definition of a good guy with a gun, who is? Actually, when you read about it, they come off as a bunch of pussies. These guys make way more than they should for their training/education level and avoid doing anything actually dangerous. Much safer and easier to pepper spray parents, pull over cars driven by minorities and attack protestors than save children.
  3. The War in Ukraine

    There was some weirdness at the beginning of the war where the US was trying to finalize a deal with the Iranians that needed Russian agreement (Germany also might be in that negotiation). Russia probably told the Israelis that they would torpedo the negotiation or not let it move forward if Israel 'did them a favor'. The Israelis are of course dead set against any kind of deal with the Mullahs and Russian diplomats, of course, know no shame.
  4. The War in Ukraine

    At this point, taxpayers in Germany will pay 2 billion a year for the refugees in Germany from Ukraine ~320,000 x 500 a month x 12 months.  I think we should try to shorten the war by cutting the gas imports and simply dealing with the economic effects in Germany and try to do the best for Ukraine (by cutting off funding). Paul Krugman had an article in the nytimes about how the Germans are more than willing to ask others to sacrifice (Greece) but won't do the same at home. The worst case is a ~3% contractions according to economists, more likely 2%. Nothing compared to what Greece had to deal with during their debt crisis.
  5. The War in Ukraine

    The fuel is the issue for the German plants. The end date is based around when the fuel rods are no longer usable. So then normally they would change them out. (and warehouse the old ones for a million years or so). But you don't go go Obi to buy nuclear fuel rods and they did not order new ones based on the democratic wish of voters in Germany, who continually vote against nuclear. (That they want cheap energy is another issue). Will of the people and all that...
  6. The  important metric is if the cost to heat (including installation, usage €/kwh, O&M, environmental damage) is less than other sources. For new houses it is cheaper (and no stinky oil tank in the basement, no russian/US fracking/emirate gas). They don't do it because they have a digging fetish, it is more efficient. The only issue is in denser areas with older houses the cost of retrofitting. It actually is economically easier to swallow (or mandatory) in new buildings but they are often not as densely settled. What someone told Kiplette's neighbor was wrong. Was kostet Fernwärme? Die Fernwärmepreise fallen je nach Anbieter sehr unterschiedlich aus. Betreibt ein Anbieter mehrere Fernwärmenetze, so hat häufig sogar jedes Netzgebiet einen anderen Preis. Das kann sogar innerhalb derselben Stadt zu unterschiedlichen Preisen führen. Fernwärmepreise setzen sich in der Regel aus diesen Bestandteilen zusammen:  dem Arbeitspreis in Cent pro Kilowattstunde dem Grundpreis pro Kilowatt angeschlossener Leistung (auch als „Anschlusswert“ oder „Leistungspreis“ bezeichnet) Über den Arbeitspreis wird der tatsächliche Wärmeverbrauch abgerechnet. Der Grundpreis ist ein Fixpreis pro Jahr und beinhaltet die anteiligen Kosten an Kraftwerk und Netzen. Durchschnittlich macht der Grundpreis einen Anteil an den Gesamtkosten von etwa 25 Prozent aus, der Arbeitspreis ungefähr 75 Prozent. Ein durchschnittlicher Preis für Fernwärme liegt bei etwa 9 Cent pro Kilowattstunde, wobei der Grundpreis hier anteilig enthalten ist. Von diesem Durchschnittspreis gibt es allerdings deutliche Abweichungen nach oben und unten. The trick is to find the sign about the cheetah and determine what the price actually is locally. But the price appears to be significantly less than gas/electro. They will be requiring new houses to hook up if available (sewers also, it is really not that much of a burden). This can significantly improve the climate in cities (I still smell coal smoke in my neighborhood, even though the prices for apartments are obscene). It is unlikely they will force older houses to switch (Germany, do the wrong thing until forced to do otherwise) but they should. This will happen with incentives to get rid of your old system (or let economics and the high cost of gas and/or taxes convince people). One advantage is you are no longer burning anything in your basement or house. Air quality is actually  measurably worse when you cook with gas or have a gas hot water heater in your apartment. Only downside, no longer getting to pinch the chimney sweep for luck.
  7. @kaffeemitmich, just so you know, they charge if you retract your application. I did this in Munich based on my change in income and they wanted 50% of the normal fee. So if the Americans reopen the consulate and provide the necessary info, you probably either renounce (2300) or pay to withdraw your German citizenship application.
  8. You can trust Fraunhofer, they have the correct units. And you do also. You generate based on your area and panel efficiency (kwp) but you use the energy or electricity, it is over time, so you use (kilo) watt-hours or kwh. If you are generating you need  time, area and kwp (simplified). When you are using, you can go over to kwh. As consumers, we mostly deal with kwh. If you compare to the cost of using energy from the grid, you have to use kwh. It just makes things easier to compare.
  9. @kiplette München has the best Primärenergiefaktor for Fernmärme, from the expert (wife/engineer/architekt) and we have the advantage of the terrain which makes geothermal possible (think warmpumpe on a massive scale). Of course this varies in every locale. We are just lucky in that respect. But it is Germany so not as transparent as it could be. We either have Fernwärme 50m from our house or we have to wait until 2028. Apparently SWM (StadtwerkMünchen) will deliver it with one price (to the building, inside is our problem) if everyone in the house uses it as the heat source but has a different price if the old codger in the first floor stays with his Kachelofen. But the wife believes you can use it with your existing radiators. The Munich system was set up for excess heat in local power plants but München wants to be 100% klima neutral so they are using geothermal as much as possible.   I am wondering if what they deliver to your apartment is the Fernwärme or if some exchanger in the basement is needed to distribute. In either case, it means retrofitting pipes to deliver the heat from the basement (or exchanger in the basement) to the apartments. As Murph pointed out, the decision is in the hands of the owners and if anyone wants to see your neighbors at their worst, I can recommend these meetings. And to make it even more difficult, some decisions require a simple majority some consensus and others something in between (a four year debate about windows was the last battle). Hint: never live in a building with lawyers. But as the price of gas goes up, the years it requires to payback the investment (assuming the only concern is the € cost of energy and not the environmental costs) will shorten. I am hoping the younger and more aware new neighbors will see it as a good investment or at least worth a look. The kwh price is significantly less for Fernwärme when compared to the kwh price for gas (they normalize everything to the kwh for ease of comparison).   And regarding the Primärenergiefaktor, it is Germany so there is a DIN or norm and the local energy company probably has it hidden somewhere in their website, or in a locked cabinet that says, beware of the cheetah.
  10. Does anyone in this thread have any experience with the installation costs of Fernwärme? We live in an apartment in Munich and want to make the case to the other owners of the benefits of Fernwärme. But it is kind of hard to get any installation cost information. The rest of the house won't go for it but we are thinking over a longer time frame, and as they get hit with higher gas bills and have to replace systems (and the older more conservative ones shuffle off to the Altersheim) we might plant the seed this year.
  11. There is a DWD weather station in Roth bei Prüm Rheinland-Pfalz which is the nearest I could find to the eifel and you can do a (future) wind energy estimation with the historical data.;jsessionid=13EC83799C1BFE6F1822D167565E7D7C.live21074 You have to dig around to find a local site. You could also use the data for a very accurate solar prediction (solar measurements are also there). Smaller turbines (<100kW) can be almost as aerodynamically efficient as the larger ones (>1MW) but economically not so much. Wind energy, even taking into account the intermittency (predictable) is one of the cheapest energy sources available.
  12. Retiring to Germany as a U.S. citizen

    Bad news, it appears the threshold for a avoiding the WEP penalty starts at 30 years of working in the US and paying social security.   Some exceptions The Windfall Elimination Provision doesn’t apply if: ... • You have 30 or more years of substantial earnings under Social Security.   But later they have some range between 21 and 29 years. Social Security years of substantial earnings If you have 30 or more years of substantial earnings, we don’t reduce the standard 90% factor in our formula. See the first table that lists substantial earnings for each year. The second table shows the percentage used to reduce the 90% factor depending on the number of years of substantial earnings. If you have 21 to 29 years of substantial earnings, we reduce the 90% factor to between 45% and 85%. To see the maximum amount we could reduce your benefit, visit
  13. I'm not retired but I am looking forward to it.   And I thought of the future where my fixed income retirement pension would once again qualify me for the dual citizenship exception (henceforth: DCE).   Why? 1. voting, participating actively in the system (where I have invested heavily with my euro taxes and 15 years of my life) 2. The assumption is a German passport will make it easier to, say, live somewhere in France/Spain etc for a year or two in retirement. My health care, inshallah, will be from the german system since I have been working 90% of the second half of my work career (one of the weirder german rules) in Germany. I assume that is one less pain in the butt to explain to a spaniard that my residency, nationality and health care are all from the same place. 3. to make the stupid bavarian Beamten accept that foreigners are people also and even the bavarians have to follow the prussian/national rules   Nothing is certain but it is good that the SPD is keeping this in the realm of possibility. I don't think the Länder elections can have too much effect on the list of issues the coalition is working on. The 'ergmöglichen' of dual citzenship is not really something they will lose a lot of political capital over, even the FDP has agreed to it. I guess the Union might squeek but that is their role as opposition and if they complain too much they will be making common cause with the AFD which even Merz/Söder are smart enough to avoid.
  14. The War in Ukraine

    Eric7 was telling us that Chernobyl is a tourist destination... Could actually feel sorry for the soldiers digging trenches in and around the ruin.
  15. That is great! thanks for posting that. Political question/joke from Bayern: What is a SPD? Have to gather all the documentation again (they don't give it back and they don't save it, Beamte...). I am happy being third.