The electric power system has been getting smarter for decades, as new technologies allow better analysis and greater control. But most utilities have implemented these technologies in a piecemeal...
Squeezing BTUs From Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs create a cogeneration benefit by warming the indoor spaces they illuminate.
fluorescent bulb used half time, this present value analysis extends just over nine years.
11. For example, some off-brand compact fluorescent bulbs of 25-27 W are available for $5-$8 plus applicable tax and shipping through Internet sales. Bulbs.com 2005, 1000bulbs.com 2005.
12. Dow Jones 2005, 2006a. The firm, off-peak price (California-Oregon and Nevada Oregon borders) for Oct. 12, 2005, was $80.72/MWh; for Jan. 18, 2006, it was $40.43/MWh. We use off-peak prices as representative of evening hours when light bulbs are more likely to be used.
13. As the resulting $5.59 change in present value would still leave a benefit to bulb switching in Table 6, under that scenario, for each heating fuel.
14. Dow Jones 2006b. The reported Henry Hub natural gas price was $8.84 for Jan. 18, 2006.
15. For example, at a two cents per kilowatt hour marginal electricity generation cost, incandescent bulbs are more efficient if even a sixth of the bulb’s heat output replaces natural gas heating—the most economical of the three fossil fuel options. This assumes a flow-based scenario for hydro generation where the water cannot be stored for use at higher-cost times.
16. State of California 2003.
17. Direct use of natural gas in a home furnace is more efficient, per delivered BTU, than is using gas to generate electricity to deliver to the same home for resistance heating. Note that a $13.50 natural-gas price, as used above for heating costs, would imply about a 13.5 cents/kWh electricity marginal generating cost.