Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Compact flourescents promote national security, save money

    Friends and neighbors, if you aren't using the energy efficient Compact Flourescent (CFL) light bulbs, you ought to be.
    Anyone who knows me knows that I have little use for the global warming fanatics. I believe this whole global warming thing to be a giant hoax.
    With that said, some of the things the Gore-ites want are good public policy whether global warming is sound science or not. As a society, we ought to try to waste as little energy as possible. Money not wasted on energy can be spent elsewhere, and energy not wasted today will be available for future generations. Energy independence is a national security issue.
    My daughter, Lucy, is in the Energy Club at Della Davidson here in Oxford. The purpose of the club is to educate students about conserving energy, and to get them to help find ways for the school to conserve energy.
    Della recently held an Energy Fair. My daughter and two other students had a project featuring a wattage meter that measured the energy usage of both incandescent and CFL bulbs. With CFL bulbs, you get the same amount of light for about one-fifth the energy usage of an incandescent bulb. (I didn't want to spoil it for my daughter by pointing out that this was on the side of the package!).
    My favorite thing about CFL bulbs is that you don't have to change them very often. Even if they didn't save money I would buy them just so I wouldn't have to spend so much time on ladders.
    Sometimes I'll talk to people who say they hate CFL bulbs because of the odd color they throw off. Well, the early bulbs did have a blue tint to them, but I really don't notice any difference in the newer bulbs. The only downside is that they do take a few minutes to brighten up completely, so I usually leave them burning instead of flipping them off every time I go out of a room for a few minutes.
    Starting Jan. 1, 2012, the federal government is banning 100 watt and higher incandescent light bulbs. Eventually all incandescent will be banned except for a few special purpose bulbs. I don't approve. It would be far more effective to simply tax incandescent to discourage their use. That way those who really want them can have them, while most people will be given an incentive to switch to the CFL's.
    Although an outright ban on incandescent is wrong, switching to CFL's is the right thing to do. We've been using them for years and have been mostly happy with them.
    One never knows whether or not to believe these statistics, but one factoid floating around out there is that if every home in America changed just one bulb to CFL, it would save the nation $600 million in energy costs annually. Since the average home has at least 30 active bulbs, we're talking about a national savings of $18 billion per year. That's a lot of money to just be throwing away!
    So switch to Compact Fluorescents today. You'll spend less time atop ladders. Your air conditioning bill will go down. Your electric bill will go down. And you'll have helped make America a more energy-independent nation.

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