LED bulbs

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

The wEEkly Update

For Local Governments and their partners

March 12, 2018

9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum

The 9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum will be opening a Call for Proposals this week!

The 2018 Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum is an opportunity to showcase:
  • Best Practices
  • Local Projects
  • Innovated Strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Innovative Tools and Technologies
  • and more!
Click here to learn more!


Credit: Energy Manager Today

Credit: NASA

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Resources and Opportunities 

UpLift Resource Finder

Better Together: Linking and Leveraging Energy Programs for Low-Income Households

Report: The Role of Energy Efficiency in a Distributed Energy Future

REopt Lite Tool for Commercial Building Managers

Study: Valuing the Resilience Provided by Solar and Battery Energy Storage Systems

Better Buildings Social Media Toolkit

Evaluate and Learn As You Go to Strengthen Performance Toolkit

ISO monthly renewable report

ISO offers training on the electric grid and markets

ISO’s new webpage tracks emissions
Find more resources and opportunities

Job Announcements

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Copyright © 2018 Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator, All rights reserved.
The wEEkly update for Local Governments and their partners.

Our mailing address is:
Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
980 9th St., Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95814

The Power Of Energy Efficiency

Our nonprofit sits in the sun-drenched San Joaquin Valley. It's not the hottest part of California, but it is close. It gets warm here, as in my hands-burn-when-I-touch-the-steering wheel warm.

Thus, power bills are high. My June bill topped $400, and was the second-highest monthly expense behind my mortgage. Most of it is my own fault: The air conditioner is 18 years old. We haven't added extra insulation or taken many efficiency measures. And my family likes the house cool. My daughter is home from college (Go Ducks!) for the summer and unemployed, so the a/c runs much of the time. It is an argument I can't win.

But, I still believe in energy efficiency. EnergySavvy claims 1.6 million homes could receive energy upgrades and 220,000 jobs could be created for half the cost of one nuke plant. The savings are remarkable, and they really aren't that costly to obtain. Take lighting for instance. Many people have told me that lighting retrofits aren't worth it. That's not true.

In this Clean Technica post, the Earth Policy Institute notes that lighting is responsible for 19 percent of the world's energy demand, and that its carbon emissions equal 70 percent of those released by vehicles globally. A concerted effort on that front could be powerful.

LED lights are taking center stage, and assuming a larger presence. Their prices are dropping, and places with lots of lights are seeing significant savings. The Clean Technica story notes that New York City cut its yearly maintenance and power bill some $6 million just by replacing traffic lights with LEDs.

By the way, our organization is working with cities through the San Joaquin Valley, helping them reduce costs by, among other things, retrofitting lights. Many of these communities have slashed staff and cut budgets in this horrible recession. Maybe they can preserve a few positions or reopen a library with money saved from lower power bills.

Efficiency is the easiest and most cost effective part of the clean energy movement, and the government supports it. Just today, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency listed a variety of products that are among the most energy efficient. More on that here.

Efficiency really is, as DOE chief Steven Chu says, more than low-hanging fruit: "It is fruit on the ground."

And ready to be picked.

LED? Low wattage comes with a price

Lowe's this week announced it would begin hawking a light-emitting diode, or LED, bulb.

It's the perfect substitute for the good-old 60-watt incandescent standby. However, the price is a bit off-putting at $39.98. But new technology comes with a cost. A really cool flat-screen TV can run up to $3,600 at Costco.

Of course, I still have an old tube TV and still burn some low wattage incandescents.
Lowe's version is from Osram Sylvania. Home Depot sells a similar unit for about the same price from Phillips.

Cool? Sure. Will I use one?

I thought about that. I live in a somewhat respectable area in Clovis, Calif. But it's a place where if you put anything at all valuable on the curb, it disappears. I've actually timed this practice. I put an old washing machine out, and it lasted 15 minutes.

Even scrap metal disappears relatively quickly.

So I imagined how quickly my outside lights would disappear should I plug in LEDs. Three outdoor LEDs could fetch one of my friendly roving recyclers a good return.

I tried going with compact fluorescents. But even with stores' increased eco light selection, I can't seem to find any that don't blow out with photo-cell lighting.

Photo-cell friendly compact fluorescents do exist, but I couldn't find them on the shelf. I ended up buying 38-watt incandescents. They work fine but stay on all night.

The key for greater usage is versatility, or, in my case, conformability. I may have to break down and buy some new fixtures.

Many have said the incandescent is on the way out and in fact may be banned by energy efficiency seeking regulation. But the price differential for that efficiency remains high.

Martin LaMonica of Green Tech on cnet.com said change may be coming. "Some lighting company executives forecast that within two years, LED bulbs in the 800 lumen category will cost less than $10," he wrote.