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Protecting the environment and self interest
Posted by simonw on Mon 23 Oct 2006 at 21:50
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My electricity supplier sent me a review document. In it they flagged a number of changes that could reduce my energy usage. Of these changes only one claimed to payback within 20 years. That change was to install compact fluorescent bulbs.

This article explains the benefits;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

My electricity supplier thinks it will cost 100 GBP to switch my house to compact fluorescent bulbs, Wikipedia thinks �1.46 ($2.75) per bulb, the current shop price is �0.98 ($1.80) for an 11W bulb (to replace a 60W).

Wikipedia reckons $0.10 per KW hour, my electricity provider bills closer to $0.25. As a result the payback time is around 150 hours (not 500 hours). At three hours use a day that is a mere 7 weeks. At that price it is worth retiring the old bulbs (you can always use them in any lights with a dimmer switch, as the cheap compact fluorescent bulbs aren't suitable for dimmer switches). Also worth checking the form factor, as some of our light fitting don't have room for the cheapest of the compact fluorescents, but I'll look around next time I'm in B&Q.

I'm not naive enough to think changing lightbulbs will stop global warming. However it is a change backed by peoples own short term financial interests, where as many of the changes we are likely to have to make in the future may have much less immediate paybacks, and may rely much more on International co-ordination, and we know how easy that is to achieve.

Switching energy suppliers in the UK is now also dead easy, so perhaps I should have started this with "My former electricity supplier...".

http://www.uswitch.com/

 

Comments on this Entry

Re: Protecting the environment and self interest
Posted by Anonymous (213.164.xx.xx) on Tue 24 Oct 2006 at 11:58
I don't agree with replacing things before they need replacing, because the original items required resources to manufacture.

Unless.. the energy that the inefficient bulbs use before replacement is more than the energy used to create the bulb originally. Not many studies reference that.

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Re: Protecting the environment and self interest
Posted by simonw (212.24.xx.xx) on Tue 24 Oct 2006 at 13:10
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In the absence of better data; cost is the best indicator I have to compare the resources consumed in producing/supplying an item to me. So if it is a major cost saving (including the capital outlay) then it is probably environmentally sound to replace, there will be exceptions of course. In my case I now have a lifelong supply of regular lightbulbs for the lamps that can't use the compact fluorescent tubes.

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Re: Protecting the environment and self interest
Posted by Arthur (66.28.xx.xx) on Mon 30 Oct 2006 at 22:19
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We've only one Earth and no chance of ever reaching another hospitable planet no matter what the sci-fi fanboys might wish to believe, so it's in everyone's best interest to protect our little wet rock.

Kudos to you for doing the right thing!

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Re: Protecting the environment and self interest
Posted by simonw (84.45.xx.xx) on Tue 31 Oct 2006 at 05:59
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No kudos deserved, this change is in my own short term financial interests.

If people are serious about preventing dramatic climate change we will have to make changes to how we live, such as giving up air travel, and possibily giving up car travel, if we are to preserve such luxuries as central heating, air conditioning, electricity supply, and modern consumer goods.

I personally doubt that people are prepared to make such sacrifices.

Alternatively we need to power such systems with energy supplies that don't emit greenhouse gases, but neither fusion research, or fission power station building (not that I'm a fan), are happening on the appropriate scale.

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Re: Protecting the environment and self interest
Posted by Arthur (66.28.xx.xx) on Tue 31 Oct 2006 at 09:32
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You get the kudos anyway. Doing the right thing is doing the right thing, even if it's for selfish reasons. :-)

I had more to say, typed it all out, but some misfire of the profanity detector prevented me from posting it despite the absence of any offensive words or ideas.

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Re: Protecting the environment and self interest
Posted by ajt (81.6.xx.xx) on Sat 4 Nov 2006 at 11:02
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Yesterday we had a talk by Dr Mike Sparrow of Southampton University, Department of Oceanography, about global warming at my local biodiversity society meeting. It was very scary. It's not about "is there global warming?" it's about "how much and how soon?"...

We had a three boxes of Philips 18 watt (1100 lumens) compact fluorecent (cf) light bulbs to give away. Compared with the modern Osram's we have at home they are faster to reach maximum output, and both are significantly better in colour and light output to older cf designs. When you are given a bulb you have no excuse to not use them!

--
"It's Not Magic, It's Work"
Adam

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