Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Those little lightbulbs can make a big difference

You may remember a few years ago when it became impossible to buy incandescent light bulbs in the U.S.  Panic spread in some quarters, with folks hoarding the old light bulbs the way my family hoarded classic coke during the new coke debacle.
New Coke

Now we're about 3 years into the new lighting -- has it achieved the goal of energy conservation?  According to articles in Bloomberg news, Forbes magazine, and Lucas Davis at UC Berkeley, the answer is a resounding "yes!"Energy-efficient lighting now accounts for nearly 80% of all lighting sales in the U.S. LED lights use 85% less energy than those old incandescent bulbs.  As you'll see from the articles linked above, the decrease in energy use is significant -- significant enough that utilities are noticing a sizeable drop in energy demand.

What does this drop in demand mean for the future?  The jury is still out.  Some folks predict a bounce back effect -- we'll feel so good about saving energy, we'll just waste it somewhere else.  Some folks see an opportunity for utilities to encourage the use of electric vehicles, since we now have unused electrical capacity.  Your thoughts?

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