Are residential time-of-use prices only effective for middle class households, or do low-income customers benefit too—as authors Lisa Wood and Ahmad Faruqui asserted in their October 2010 article...
Letters to the Editor
that compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide through avoided heating costs, perhaps shows how tenuous and assumption-based his analysis is (“Squeezing BTUs From Light Bulbs ,” August 2006).
I decided to investigate how much the extra heat of incandescent light bulbs over CFLs might cost a customer in air-conditioning cooling costs.
I ran across a slightly dated (1994) EIA report on home heating and cooling costs (see http://tonto. eia.doe.gov/FTPROOT/service/emeu9401.pdf#search= ). In particular, Table C2 in Appendix C of the report (okay, I have too much time on my hands) provided a key data point: 1 million Btu of cooling costs $10, assuming a [seasonal energy efficiency ratio] (SEER) of 8.3 and 8.3 cents/kWh electricity costs. Also 1 W = 3.414 Btu/hr. I further assume that air conditioning is needed 6 months a year (4,380 hours).
A 100 W incandescent bulb will produce 250 Btu/hr more heat than a 100 W equivalent CFL (approximately 25 W). If the incandescent bulb is run 24/7 for the 6 months that air conditioning is used, this adds up to more than 1 million Btu of extra heat (compared with the CFL), or an extra $10 per year in cooling costs.
If you run the light only 6 hours a day, this still adds up to $2.50/yr difference in cooling costs, which is the price of a 25W compact fluorescent at Home Depot.
I hope your readers in the air-conditioning culture take note.
Daniel Simon, firstname.lastname@example.org