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n:vision 23W (100W equivalent) compact fluorescent
New bill would mandate that light bulbs produce 120 lumens per watt by 2020

It looks as though energy efficiency is still a big priority for municipalities and countries across the globe. We've already detailed energy-efficient LED lighting efforts put forth by Raleigh, NC. We've also discussed how Australia and the European Union (EU) plan to get rid of incandescent light bulbs by 2009. The United States is also moving towards ushering out inefficient lighting with H.R. 1547, which was published on March 15, 2007.

The bill (PDF), which was submitted by California representative Jane Harman, indicates that light bulbs which have an overall luminous efficacy of 60 lumens per watt (lm/W) will be prohibited by January 1, 2012. The energy requirements get progressively steeper every four years. On January 1, 2016, the requirement will grow to 90 lm/W and will reach 120 lm/W by 2020.

A traditional 100W tungsten incandescent light has an overall luminous efficacy of 17.5 lm/W. A 23W compact fluorescent (100W equivalent) has an overall luminous efficacy of 60 lm/W.

Exemptions could be made by the Secretary of Energy for certain applications where it wouldn't be feasible to use energy-efficient lighting. These include applications related to military, medical or matters of public safety.

If an exception is made by the Secretary of Energy, that still doesn't give entitle the recipient to a free pass to continue using outdated technology. The exemption will only be in effect for two years after which the current enacted requirement will have to be adhered to.

The bill also notes that consumers and businesses will be given incentives to encourage the use of energy efficient light bulbs.

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RE: Great!
By Hoser McMoose on 3/23/2007 2:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
8x most cost for 75% power savings? hmm

For a 100W incandescent vs. 25W CFL, assuming 4 hours of lighting per day, 300 days per year, we get the following:

75W * 4 hours/day * 300 days/year = 90kWh/year * $0.10/kWh = $9/year

In fact, to merely break even you only need about 250 hours of lighting, or well under 1 hour per day.

The above does, of course, assuming that you CFL bulbs will last at least a year, which is a very safe assumption for damn near every CFL I've ever encountered. The one CFL light I use most (by my home computer) was purchased about 3 years ago, and I'm quite certain that it sees more then the 1200 hours/year of use I mentioned above. Add in the fact that I pay more then $0.15/kWh in my neck of the woods, and this bulb has paid for itself several times over.

That being said, I think this law is a dumb idea. The real solution is to increase the price of electricity. Even at $0.15/kWh I'm paying a slightly subsidized rate. We *SHOULD* be paying full cost, including a ~$0.05/kWh tax electricity generated from coal or oil (and slightly less for natural gas and dam-based hydro-electric) to help offset the added health and environmental costs they generate. Right now nuclear power is the only source of electricity where the cost of waste by-products is included, coal, oil and gas get a free ride with their pollution.

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