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Here's an idea!

Original post made by Walter_E_Wallis, Midtown, on Apr 16, 2010

Here’s a bright idea - I was one of the fortunate few to get the two subsidized LED lamps before they ran out. Now I know that these lamps were subsidized by an overcharge on customers and as such was just a demonstration program. I would suggest that a more productive program, where real progress in energy conservation is possible. Below is what I suggested to the Utility Department. Lest it fall into the bureaucratic quicksand, I toss it out for ideas.

I would like to suggest another program - add the cost of wholesale purchase of the lamps, amortized over the expected life span of the lamp, to the utility bill. With any luck the savings would result in no net increase in the bill. With a deal like that I expect many would, as would I, go 100% LED, even to the extent of replacing fixtures. This might even expand into replacement of water closets, change out of water heaters to high efficiency tank-less, and even window replacement. If the new law requiring energy upgrade of houses before sale is passed, such a program would be very popular among seniors, and the city might even gain revenue by selling these loans on the secondary market, since they are almost loss proof.

Walter E. Wallis, P.E.
Palo Alto

Comments (6)

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Dim bulbs, bulbs are too dim.

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Posted by Tim Buck II
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm

It's a beguiling notion but, as they say, there is no free lunch. The manufacturing cost cannot be amortized over the life of the bulb (unless the Chinese nine-to-fivers who make them would amortize their paychecks, and their creditors would then amortize their rent, utilities, grocery bills, etc., etc.; and the factory's creditors do likewise with the raw materials, etc.) More likely, the PAU might borrow the cost and let you amortize it, with its interest and admin costs tacked on. Your monthly bill might not go up, but your net outlay would be higher.

Somewhere, sometime, somebody has to take the hit. That's usually us end consumers.

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm


At least you did something useful with your subsidized LED light.

As for the rest, you can find them for sale on ebay at slightly less than retail prices.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 6:36 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The subsidization of my LED purchase is a zero sum transaction, where I benefited from someone else's overcharge. My proposal would have me paying for my benefit by continuing to pay as if I made no improvement, yet using less energy.

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Posted by A little light on the subject !
a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 22, 2010 at 1:11 am

Haha! Walter, that bulb looks like some kind of sex toy...(get embarrassed!) Ah, your trying to make a point here, commending a nice try tho!

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2010 at 2:12 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

In comic strips, a light bulb overhead was the traditional sign of a new idea. I'm an old man - the only sex toy I use is memory.

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