Tuesday, May 10, 2011

South Carolina to produce an alternative to ObamaBulbs?

Fed up with the federal government’s ban of the traditional incandescent light bulb, state representatives in South Carolina are pushing for the state to produce and use incandescents solely for its state.

The Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act, which unanimously passed South Carolina’s Senate panel, would allow South Carolina manufacturers to continue to sell incandescent bulbs so long as they have “Made in South Carolina” on them and are sold only within the state. Other states have floated the idea, and last year Arizona passed a bill that would have done the same thing, but Governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the legislation.

This would be a great idea, and a great example of some long-overdue States Rights civil disobedience if it weren't for the ridiculous "Made In South Carolina" provision. 
But why are people getting so worked up and irritated over these stupid ObamaBulbs? 

When it set up its bulb program in 2006, PG&E Corp. thought its customers would buy 53 million compact fluorescent bulbs by 2008. It allotted $92 million for rebates, the most of any utility in the state. Researchers hired by the California Public Utilities Commission concluded earlier this year that fewer bulbs were sold, fewer were screwed in, and they saved less energy than PG&E anticipated.

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.

One hitch was the compact-fluorescent burnout rate. When PG&E began its 2006-2008 program, it figured the useful life of each bulb would be 9.4 years. Now, with experience, it has cut the estimate to 6.3 years, which limits the energy savings. Field tests show higher burnout rates in certain locations, such as bathrooms and in recessed lighting. Turning them on and off a lot also appears to impair longevity.

But but but....don't the legislators (many of whom actually helped General Electric write this mandate that we use their new product !!!), don't the legislators (who actually proof-read the bill that G.E. wrote, in some cases), don't the legislators know best?  Aren't they the ones who can best tell us how we should conform to Jeffrey Imelt's desires???  You know, the Jeffrey Immelt who is now Obama's business advisor??

Well, no.  The regulators don't know shit.  Here's David Kreutzer, from the same link, explaining why different government/G.E. divisions have mandates to "save" energy by different methods.  Helping in one area sometimes hurts in another. 

My 1993 Maytag dishwasher used nine gallons of hot water and took 84 minutes to clean a normal load of dishes. The current model Maytag dishwasher uses seven gallons of hot water and takes 120 minutes to clean a normal load of dishes. This increase to a two- to three-hour cycle is typical and is the result of efficiency mandates that are met by using fewer gallons of water with much longer cycle times.

The cost of two gallons of hot water is less than a dime. For many people, the additional cycle time of an energy-efficient dishwasher will be an inconvenience greatly exceeding the 10-cent savings. Some people would alter their behavior (sometimes washing their dishes by hand, for example), which could entirely offset these gains. However, the regulator’s calculation of savings ignores these costs. Markets, on the other hand, do not.

Remember this the next time you're forced to buy an ObamaBulb.  They're dim.  They're convoluted.  They're hard to get rid of. 


Rob said...

Why are people calling these stupid things "ObamaBulbs" when the mandate was established under that other dimwit, Bush?

Lighthouse said...

Haha nice image!

Good to see the South Carolina action
Also notice now the Canadian Government's recent 2 year delay proposal, to 2014!

How manufacturers and other vested interests have pushed for a ban on
the popular but unprofitable simple regular light bulbs, and lobbied for favors:
with documentation and copies of official communications

The Whited Sepulchre said...

It's because Obama is "dim, convoluted, and hard to get rid of".
Duh !