Are we saving?

CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
:confused:An article in today's Vancouver Sun suggests that CFL's aren't so good! In typical media fashion, however, it starts with a sensational headline and before the article is through it contradicts itself. Here is the text:

Energy- efficient bulbs increase greenhouse gases: BC Hydro 1
Because they burn cooler, they cause home heating costs to rise, utility reports Compact fluorescent lights are a darling of the environmental movement, but they’re also likely to cause a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a BC Hydro document.

Over the past five years, Hydro’s promotion of compact fluorescents, or CFLs, has been so effective that British Columbia is now a North American leader in using the energy saving bulbs.

However, in a recent filing to the B. C. Utilities Commission, Hydro states that widespread adoption of CFLs will have unintended consequences for the environment.

That’s because conventional incandescent light bulbs throw off a significant amount of heat, in addition to lighting a room, because they are inefficient users of electricity.

Switch to cool-burning fluorescents and you use less power — but your house is bit colder so you turn up the thermostat to compensate.

If you live in a house with a gas furnace, you’re going to burn more fuel — and cause more greenhouse gas ( GHG) to be emitted into the atmosphere....

Environmental groups were quick to dismiss Hydro's analysis -- and even the Crown corporation itself said its comments don't fully reflect the environmental benefit of cutting down electricity use.

Greenhouse-gas emissions associated with a lighting switch would represent 0.07 per cent of total GHG emissions in B.C., said Simi Heer, spokeswoman for Hydro's Power Smart program.

At present, fluorescents have 85-per-cent market penetration among residential customers in B.C., and the average is eight bulbs per household.

"The energy savings outweigh the amount of heating you are adding to your heating load," Heer said.

Nicholas Heap, a campaigner for the David Suzuki Foundation, said "a lot" of the heat produced by incandescent bulbs is useless because home lighting is typically off the ground and the heat stays on the ceiling....
Perhaps this should be under "Green Skeptics"? I thought it might be interesting to discuss.

[Please try to avoid copying entire articles, and please post link(s) when available. -Bill B. mod]

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,235 admin
    Re: Are we saving?

    I like this from the article:
    Greenhouse-gas emissions associated with a lighting switch would represent 0.07 per cent of total GHG emissions in B.C., said Simi Heer, spokeswoman for Hydro's Power Smart program.

    Say what? They are going to outlaw filament bulbs and send the green police to my home to save an unmeasurable amount of GHG emissions?

    -Bill "I'm from California--the 'Help me' state" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,466 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    On the flip side, in the summer, you run the Chiller less !!
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    Sorry! Didn't mean to flood the board with words but the article is 'subscription only' so a link wouldn't be viewable. Just thought it was interesting the way the data can be looked at more ways than one.
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    I am one step ahead, 90% LED's with just 2 CFL used daily. Guess that is why I used 400 gal of LPG this winter.

    Now summertime with AC running, this would be the opposite.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,235 admin
    Re: Are we saving?

    Cariboocoot,

    It is OK... Less worried about the volume of bits and more worried about the digital police.

    By the way, I did add a link to the article in your first post... Many times, if you search for a phrase from the article, you can find a open source or sometimes with the google header, a link that does not require a login.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    If I wanted to heat my house with electricity, I don't think I would use lightbulbs!

    BC Hydro is, in spite of protestations to the contrary,, in the business of selling electricity!

    I have heard all the arguments about CFL's for years and NONE of them wash,,, unless you throw the old ones in the land fill. In that case there is a point. On the other hand proper disposal methods exist everywhere,,, even in the bush. Take 'em to town, and the land fill site has a box to drop them in! Even Home depot takes them back.

    Tony
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    " If I wanted to heat my house with electricity, I don't think I would use lightbulbs!"

    i agree that is a lame way of heating one's home. just think of the number of lumens you'd need to do it and that would translate into more wattage than you'd see from standard electric heat. extra costs in sunglasses too. light switches are really reaching for straws and what do they think we'll turn on all of those lights with? speaking along those lines, i can imagine what their turbines are doing too.
    i hear tell that some folks way up north heat things up well when rubbing noses.:blush::p i can't say much more on any of this without having to ban myself.:D
  • LBergmanLBergman Solar Expert Posts: 42
    Re: Are we saving?

    Speaking of heating with light bulbs...

    I remember way back in the late 70's, I once received as a Christmas gift a popcorn popper that used a 100 watt light bulb as it's heat source (no oil needed). And it worked! So, I guess incandescent light bulbs have multiple uses... :D
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?
    LBergman wrote: »
    Speaking of heating with light bulbs...

    I remember way back in the late 70's, I once received as a Christmas gift a popcorn popper that used a 100 watt light bulb as it's heat source (no oil needed). And it worked! So, I guess incandescent light bulbs have multiple uses... :D

    Those children's ovens do the same thing - just show that incandescents are wasteful!

    As for heating a house - back in the '70's during a different energy crisis the "zero heat concept" home was touted; no furnace. Heated entirely by heat from lightbulbs, 'frige, et cetera. Unfortunately it cost so much to build that super-insulated design that you could pay to heat a conventional home for a very, very long time. With today's energy efficiencies and extra building costs it probably wouldn't even work.

    BTW - BC Hydro's latest release is the massive amount of money they've lost. Amazing, eh?

    Thanks to BB for adding the link - you're much more clever than I!:D
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,235 admin
    Re: Are we saving?

    No, probably just more time on my hands. :roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EcnerwalEcnerwal Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?
    As for heating a house - back in the '70's during a different energy crisis the "zero heat concept" home was touted; no furnace. Heated entirely by heat from lightbulbs, 'frige, et cetera. Unfortunately it cost so much to build that super-insulated design that you could pay to heat a conventional home for a very, very long time. With today's energy efficiencies and extra building costs it probably wouldn't even work.

    Well, now, some things have gotten better. Superinsulation the 70's way was double walls and lots of fiberglass or vermiculite (or urea-formaldehyde if you got really, ummmm, lucky :p ). Lots of extra work and material.

    My 2000 square foot shop, if it performs to spec, despite a considerable number of large windows, will heat on 58K BTU/hour in -20F weather. 37Kbtu of that is factoring in 1 air change per hour, and not having a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) designed in as yet. Given that leaves only 21K btu for radiative losses, an HRV is probably in my future - I don't like unventilated tight buildings. Tight is good, but tight and ventilated is better. I don't really want to run 17KW of lightbulbs (etc), but that would only be on the coldest day we typically experience here, and without an HRV. 4.4KW would do an "average" day of 47F. So my heating system should be pretty minimal - quite possibly just one of the tankless heaters that have been getting traffic in the pumping section lately. Definitely some solar thermal panels, definitely a generator heat exchanger tie-in as well. But on some days the lights will probably do it, particularly with an HRV. If I do get grid after-all, I'm going to have to look carefully at a water-source heat pump.

    The truly neat part is that the Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) my shop is built from made the walls go up VERY fast, and resulted in a net reduction in cost of the building, with improved strength and insulation over "typical" construction. Per advice of the panel folks (I asked about best bang for the buck, and holding up roof panels gets expensive), I have a normal truss roof. I went with a truss that is "deep" at the eaves for maximum insulation (loose cellulose) up there.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    If you are going to heat with electricity,, then only way to go is with a heat pump system,, earth, ground water or surface water.

    Resistance electric heat,, except in special circumstances, is crazy.

    Ecnerwal,,, where are you located??

    Tony
  • EcnerwalEcnerwal Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    Vermont, SW corner. 43N

    Electricity is ONLY on the menu for heat with a water-to-water heat pump. But with a water-to-water heat pump, and if (it's presently under re-investigation) the grid can actually get connected the lousy 700 feet without costing the $25-30K I was quoted a few years back (it ought to be, but then, I thought that before I ever got the outrageous quote) it comes in considerably cheaper than oil on a yearly basis - a moderate surprise.

    Solar thermal will cut that more, but it would also cut oil. It won't remove the need for either in this location, where long cloudy stretches are normal in winter.

    Mind you, getting real prices on those dang things is an annoyance, and at least one has been revealed to be absurd (yes, it has a higher COP than some of the others - and its initial cost is more than twice as high, yet its COP is not twice as good). I'll still need the generator as it's a minor line with lots of trees to fall on it and only a few houses beyond (multi-day outages are not common, but happen), but a generator is needed to make oil heat work, too. Unfortunately most of the ground source heat pumps are water to air, but I need hot water for my slab heat...
  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 223 ✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    Ecnerwal,
    Econar makes a water to water HP. As with all Geo equipment the prices are steep, I have seen the product and it seems to be of excellent quality, the water flow requirements for open systems are lower than other manufacturers for the same capacity system.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 958 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    I think this is the proper thread for introducing a chuckle. The item will sell like hotcakes!

    https://www.heatball.de/en/index.php

    :p

    Ralph
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    Yeah, it's efficiency is unprecedented? Contrary to their implication, that just means no precedent has been set for such a device (because no one has ever made one before). It does not mean it's more efficient than anything else. Resistive heating is resistive heating.

    This has to be one of the worst ideas anyone has ever come up with! I can see people setting lampshades on fire now ...

    And then it deteriorates into mindless political diatribe. I guess they feel everyone has a fundamental right to be stupid and waste energy/money. :confused:

    Oy! There's some "right ones" out there! :p
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    gee, an infrared light bulb. like they don't already exist? restaurants come to mind here. now that won't be good to read by and still uses electricity to a resistive heater and is normally a bad way to create heat. also saving on natural gas is not what going to that bulb will do if your utility has nat gas fired generators and those generators would need to run regardless if you and everybody else is using this so called heatball.
    only point of agreement from me is that the incandescent bulb should not be banned.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?
    niel wrote: »
    only point of agreement from me is that the incandescent bulb should not be banned.

    Yes!
    Now tell that to the bloody Canadian Government. :roll:
    (We assume they're not going to ban all of them. But a quick trip to the store with the van is in order.)
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    I think you're missing the point. It IS just a normal incandescent light bulb. They've called it a heatball because there is already a ban on incandescent lights in the EU - but not electric heaters. It's more a protest than an actual product:
    Heatball is a campaign. Heatball is an opposition against regulations being passed that bluntly ignore the most basic democratic principles as well as bypassing parliamentary procedures, effectively muzzling the common law man.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?
    stephendv wrote: »
    I think you're missing the point. It IS just a normal incandescent light bulb. They've called it a heatball because there is already a ban on incandescent lights in the EU - but not electric heaters. It's more a protest than an actual product:

    Me dim! :blush:
    In that case it's clever. :roll:

    At my age jumping to conclusions saves time. :p
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?
    I think you're missing the point.
    I got it, it is satirical humor.
  • zeuspaulzeuspaul Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?
    If I wanted to heat my house with electricity, I don't think I would use lightbulbs!

    That depends on where you live. I heat my house with lightbulbs. I don't turn on any extra ones. I just use ones that I normally use. The incandescent ones are better heaters than my LEDs. I also use the heat from the TV and the computer. A really cold day is a good time to roast a turkey.

    About a dozen days per year I fire up an electric resistance heater. It costs a lot less than my propane furnace because I can better target the heat.

    I have two zones on the central propane heating system. However heating one zone with the central heater uses more energy than a small electric room heater.

    Sometimes it does get a bit chilly. However the house rarely drops below the low sixties even when the outdoor night time temp drops into the thirties.

    Zeuspaul
  • MisterBMisterB Solar Expert Posts: 156 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?

    Interesting. I don't like the quality of light from CFs and would never use them. My lighting is all 12 volt and I use a combination of LED and Halogen lights. The LED lights are super efficient--as low as 1/4 watt per light. I love their spotlight characteristics for lighting up a narrow spot while the surrounding areas are left in darkness.

    The halogens are like little suns in comparision and I turn them on when I've got work to do. They give off a lot of heat even at 10 watts and they give a lot more light per watt than incandescents. My 10 watt halogen lights put out something like the light I'd get at 50-60 watts with incandescent bulbs. I read recently that halogen lights won't be allowed in parts of the EU which I find just a little too fanatic because they aren't nearly as inefficient as indancescent lighting and give a spectra and quality of light that you can't get from either CF or LED lights. Plus they come in lots of different bulbs and wattages at 12 volts and 12 volt incandescent bulbs are harder to find and cost more.

    4 or 5 or more halogen lights will certainly raise the ambeint temperature of a well insulated room a few degrees.
  • jagecjagec Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭
    Re: Are we saving?
    MisterB wrote: »
    The halogens are like little suns in comparision and I turn them on when I've got work to do. They give off a lot of heat even at 10 watts and they give a lot more light per watt than incandescents. My 10 watt halogen lights put out something like the light I'd get at 50-60 watts with incandescent bulbs. I read recently that halogen lights won't be allowed in parts of the EU which I find just a little too fanatic because they aren't nearly as inefficient as indancescent lighting and give a spectra and quality of light that you can't get from either CF or LED lights. Plus they come in lots of different bulbs and wattages at 12 volts and 12 volt incandescent bulbs are harder to find and cost more.

    4 or 5 or more halogen lights will certainly raise the ambeint temperature of a well insulated room a few degrees.

    Yeah, I've warmed my hands in front of many a halogen work lamp while wrenching in an unheated carport in the winter. Great light from those bad boys.
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