Here’s a thought: How much should your electricity bill go up because of people employed to save stupid people money?
Respected energy economist Severin Borenstein is advising readers to Trash those incandescent bulbs today!
A standard LED bulb now costs only about $3, less if you buy in bulk or live in an area where they are subsidized by the local utility. And the LED uses 8.5 watts to produce the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent. The Department of Energy generally calculates costs based on assuming a light bulb is used 3 hours per day, but let’s be super conservative and assume it’s only used one hour a day. And let’s assume you pay the average residential retail rate for electricity in the U.S., 12.73 cents per kilowatt-hour. If that’s the case, then in the first year you would save $2.39, 80% of the purchase cost.
Better if you live in Ontario (Canada that is) – because the IESO and its couponing:
So the IESO will assure you get a full return on your LED lightbulb – don’t worry if you’ve got specialty bulbs that cost a little more, because the IESO gives you a little more for those.
Except, in the IESO’s world, you’ll likely end up down on the deal anyway.
Replacing all of the incandescents in your house is likely to save you $50 per year or more.
That may be true in California (where he is located), but in Ontario it isn’t enough to guarantee saving you anything.
Because Ontario has committed to purchase far more power than it consumes, there is no collective saving in conservation. What there can be is cost transfers.
Revising Borenstein’s statement above:
Replacing all of the incandescents in your house, and installing them in your neighbour’s house, is likely to save you…
It seems impossible to convince most people that the IESO’s wasting $400 million a year on conservation can only increase the total charged to consumers by $400 million because of today’s surplus.
Anybody know how to get that light bulb to go off?