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View Diary: The great Lightbulb War goes on, funded by energy companies (224 comments)

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  •  Agh, Vimes Boots! (1+ / 0-)
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    And I do think about poor people. I know that if it goes right it saves a lot over the life of the bulb but the initial outlay can be tough. Paying 99 cents for a 4 pack is a lot more doable than a 5 or $10 outlay  for fewer.

    Apparently you don't think all that much about poor people, if you think $5 now is always more expensive than 99 cents now.

    Let's do The Math. I happen to have a cheap 99-cent 4-pack of 60 watt bulbs and a $5 4-pack of 13 watt (60 watts of light) CFLs in my house right now, so I can read off the packaging.

    Incandescent 60 watt bulb, 99 cents in a 4-pack so 25 cents a bulb, 800 lumens, 750 hours life per bulb.

    CFL 13 watt bulb, $5 in a 4-pack so $1.25 per bulb, 950 lumens, 12,000 hours life per bulb. Since 12,000 divided by 750 is 16, this CFL replaces 16 - 60w incandescent bulbs.

    Assuming the national electricity cost of 10 cents a kilowatt-hour (kWh):

    CFL Cost:  
    13w x 12,000 = 156 kWh.
    156 kWh x $0.10 = $15.60 over the lifetime of the bulb.
    $15.60 + $5 = $20.60 total cost of CFL purchase.

    Incandescent Cost:
    60w x 750 = 45 kWh
    45 kWh x $0.10 = $4.50 over the lifetime of the bulb.
    $4.50 x 16 = $72 in incandescent bulbs over the lifetime of one CFL

    $72 + $3.96 = $75.96 total cost of incandescent purchase.

    If poor people really look at 99 cents a box for incandescent 60w bulbs and then at $5 a box for the same number of fluorescent bulbs, and then say "the 99 cent box is cheaper", then the public schools need a lot more funding, especially in the math department, and poor people need to be convinced they have a future in which saving $55.36 is a good thing.

    As for the "Vimes Boots" comment?

    Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

    At the time of Men at Arms, Samuel Vimes earnt thirty-eight dollars a month as a Captain of the Watch, plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he, Vimes, could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he, Vimes, would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars.

    Therefore over a period of ten years, he, Vimes, might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before.

    And he would still have wet feet.

    Or in the case of the poor person and the light bulbs, he would still have less light: the CFL produces 950 lumens, the incandescent only 800.

    Vimes boots doesn't work quite as well on the small scale of 99 cents vs. $5, since one $5 purchase saves so much in a relatively short period of time that people would have to be stupid not to spend $5 now to save $55 over the course of just one year. And have to spend less time changing light bulbs.

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