Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Last Laugh: CFL Bulbs don't last as long as predicted

Compact Florescent Light bulbs (CFL) don't last as long as originally expected. When they first came out they were supposed to last 9.4 years and now studies have shown that is closer to 6.3 years...more than a 33% difference, nice.

Well at least CA didn't jump the gun and force people to use something that isn't as good as we first believed it to be;
California's utilities are spending $548 million over seven years to subsidize consumer purchases of compact fluorescent lamps. But the benefits are turning out to be less than expected.

One reason is that bulbs have gotten so cheap that Californians buy more than they need and sock them away for future use. Another reason is that the bulbs are burning out faster than expected.
hmmm...that sounds like my dad. He has so many freakin CFL bulbs it's actually quiet funny. And he looks for them when they are on sale for $1 and buys about $20 worth.

Well at least we are saving money...
As a result of these and other adjustments, energy savings attributed to PG&E were pegged at 451.6 million kilowatt hours by regulators, or 73% less than the 1.7 billion kilowatt hours projected by PG&E for the 2006-2008 program.

For the 2006-2008 program, utilities said they achieved energy savings from all their energy efficiency programs that were 151% of the goal set by regulators. But the commission's staff, armed with exhaustive studies, said utilities saved only 62% of the goal amount, hurt by the bulbs.

Nevertheless, anxious to move on to the current 2010-2012 program, the commission last month gave the utilities $68 million of rewards, on top of $143.7 million of incentive pay previously awarded. PG&E pocketed $104 million total.
So let me get this straight, even though PG&E hit only 62% of its goal, they still received $104 million? No wonder CA is broke.


Electrical Continuing Education said...

I've been reading a lot of issues about CFLs and the danger it may bring. I don't know if I already need to change my bulbs at home. All of my bulbs are CFLs. My contractor who took his Electrical Continuing Education said that LED is much better to use.

Ian Bruggemann said...

Before installing a new CFL I write the date on the bayonet. Most last just under or slightly over 12 months but cost 10x more than an incandescent.
I believe we have been hoodwinked. What you may save in power consumption is eroded by replacement cost. I will resort to gas lights.

Ian Bruggemann said...

To reduce power consumption I have disconnected the electric stove & oven. Banned the use of dishwasher, Air-conditioner and any form of heater including electric blankets.
disconnected all hot water taps to taps other than shower.
After installing a water reducing washer in the shower head (reducing the flow to 6lt/min) my hot water bill reduced by 33%.
No light can be turned on unless there is a person in the room.
All appliances are turned off and unplugged at night.
Removed all lights from the fridge and since then the fridge compressor does not kick in as often.
If I wasn't renting I would replace shower hot water with instant gas using bottled gas. Heated as needed.All cooking is done outside on bottled LPG. Costs me 30c a day

Mr. W said...

Ian, that's pretty hard core there.

I would say I agree with the hoodwinking on how great the CFLs were supposed to be. I use them still, but in some rooms I have halogens instead.