Energy Use Can Be Cut by Efficiency, Survey Says:

To take advantage of the energy-saving opportunities, some product standards would have to be tightened and some policy incentives changed. Current regulations and fuel subsidies, for example, often favor consumption over efficiency. But many steps are not taken, the report said, because energy users lack information or do not value efficiency enough to change their buying habits.

?The opportunities are huge and yet they are being left on the table,? said Diana Farrell, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, a research arm of the McKinsey consulting firm. ?Standard economics would say that energy prices would work their way through everything. But that?s not really the case, particularly in the consumer market.?

If you haven’t made the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, now would be a good time.


  1. #1 Ahcuah
    November 30, 2006

    I’ve started the switch.

    Two comments. First, I’m afraid that I am tending to buy the brighter bulbs. That is, I’m replacing a 60 W bulb with the fluorescent 100W equivalent (actually 26 W). As I am getting older (over 50), I find I just need brighter lights to feel I am seeing things properly. So, while I am getting savings in energy usage, it might not be as much as hoped.

    Second, some of the bulbs I have bought have an annoying tendency to turn on dim, and only reach full brightness after a minute or so. It only seems to be some of the bulbs I’ve bought (and I cannot see any relevant difference in them), but it is still rather annoying.

  2. #2 James Taylor
    November 30, 2006

    I have the same warm up time problem with mine. The 60W equivalent I am using sure seems to put more light out than a conventional 60W bulb. The 100W equivalent seems more like a 120-160W. Once I accepted the warm up time nuisance, I have found that the CFLs are pretty good and virtually impossible to distinguish from conventional bulbs. The 100W equivalent CFL starts at maybe a 60W comparative but after about a minute it is at full strength. The 60W is much less extreme but the warm up difference is still noticable. The only problem is that the CFL wont fit fixtures that clamp the shade to the bulb. Other than that and the warm up time, I am glad to be saving some money and reducing emissions.

    When the LED light bulbs get perfected, we should be able to save a lot of carbon emissions if people willingly adopt them. The biggest problem will be convincing consumers who are set in their ways to accept change. But that is always the challenge.

  3. #3 Monado
    November 30, 2006

    I’ve been buying the small, screw-in fluorescents for our lamps. The packages say that they last 5,000 hours. But in my experience, they burn out much more quickly than incandescent bulbs in the same lamps. In fact, they often last only about six weeks.

  4. #4 Kickaha
    November 30, 2006

    Last year, I added a foot of insulation to our attic. I also bagged our fall leaves and placed the bags on the north and west sides of our house. In the spring, the leaves went into the compost pile.

    Our gas usage went down 60% compared to the year before! Of course, with last year’s prices, we still paid about the same on our bill.

    I don’t mind the short warm-up period with the CFLs. The ones I bought two years ago are still going strong. Does anybody know if they make any that will work with a dimmer switch?

  5. #5 Daprez
    December 1, 2006

    When you talk about CFLs please also include information about the mercury that is contained in them. Don’t just toss a dead CFL in the trash.


  6. #6 Jayhawker
    December 1, 2006

    I think I’ve seen CFLs at Home Depot that say they are dimmable on the packaging, but haven’t ever tried them. (The dimmable ones that is. I’ve got numerous standard CFLs.)

  7. #7 James Taylor
    December 1, 2006

    In RE Daprez

    All fluorescent bulbs have mercury in them as well as all neon lights. It is common knowledge not to break them; however, people do so intentionally and accidentally all of the time.

    I do look at CFL’s only as a stop gap until solid state LED lights are perfected to the point of comparison with a 100W bulb.

  8. #8 Josh
    December 1, 2006

    Daprez, I’d also point out that the back of the package of CFLs I have in my cupboard (GE energy smart Ė which don’t seem to turn on dim) lists http://www.lamprecycle.com and 1-800-435-4448 as resources for preventing that mercury from polluting anything.

  9. #9 Paul Decelles
    December 3, 2006

    LED lights are beginning to come online. We have been slowly adding LED lights for Christmas lighting and are very pleased with them. They come in yellow green red and blue and white and seem to last much longer than incandescents. There are several sizes and styles available and the color is very intense.

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