I wrote about the House of Representatives attempt to restore sanity to the light bulb debate by restoring our ability to choose which bulb we use in our homes and businesses here. The government has mandated we all use CFLs manufactured in China, rather than the conventional incandescent bulbs we currently use. This is how our local lefty blogger and one of his trusty left wing commenter's view Congress's effort to restore our freedom of choice and remove dangerous mandated CFLs from our homes.
How many far-right Congressmen does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Editor’s note: While the House meets to vote on a GOP bill to overturn a 2007 light-bulb efficiency law — p.r. grandstanding that will not see the “light of day” as signed legislation — here’s some background on how energy efficiency programs, including changing out light bulbs, is working in our region. What has the “new” House done for us?
Steven Frisch comments on the Sierra Foothills Report.
Sierra Business Council’s energy efficiency program has done more than 300 retrofits of commercial, municipal and non-profit facilities in the Sierra Nevada in the last 16 months (we don’t do residential).
The typical business will pay between 15-30% of the cost of equipment and installation, with the rest coming from the already existing public goods charge on their utility bill. The typical business pays back their initial cost in less than 6 months, and saves about 25-40% on their utility bill.
Taking into account the initial capital cost, operating costs, maintenance costs, financing costs, the expected useful life of equipment and future equipment salvage values the life cycle cost of the system shows the average business will save almost 50% of their utility bill.
For many businesses changing out light bulbs is part of the mix, but most also include changing fluorescent fixtures, control mechanisms, refrigeration measures, heating/cooling systems or even some natural gas measures. CFL’s account for less than 30% of the almost 10,000,000 kwh of we have saved since April of 2010.
For most business owners this is a straight economic equation–pay a little up front to realize savings for years–and thoughts of divisive national politics never even cross their minds.
Energy efficiency makes sense. Saving energy by utilizing existing infrastructure is cheaper for ratepayers than building new power plants. In many cases improved lighting can increase employee productivity, showcase products more effectively, reduce maintenance costs, reduce down time in facilities, oh yeah……as a side benefit…..reduce emissions which we all pay for through public health and other costs, otherwise known as externalities.
This is not a political issue. It is not about ‘freedom’. it is not about whether or not one believes in global warming. It is not about the definition of ‘consensus’. It is a hard, cold, honest business calculation.
Saving energy saves money. Period.
If this is such a good business decision, why does it take a government mandate and tax payer funded grant to SBC to make it happen? Regardless of what we think about climate change, the government wants us to believe in global warming, so they an have an excuse for distributing our wealth and manage our behavior.
Why should PG&E charge each private utility user a carbon tax on their utility bill so that Sierra businesses can use that money to reduce their utilities bills? We are paying twice for this mandated government program, once on our utility bill and again to subsidize the Sierra Business Council to enforce the mandate.
I want to thank Congressman McClintock and his peers for restoring our freedom of choice, and I encourage them to stop the EPA and PG&E from stealing our hard earned savings to solve a non-existing problem. There has been no global warming since 1998 and there is no valid science proving that that AGW is has contributed to past warming. A government mandate destroys everyone's FREEDOM!