Welcome to the Energy Blog

  • The Energy Blog is where all topics relating to The Energy Revolution are presented. Increasingly, expensive oil, coal and global warming are causing an energy revolution by requiring fossil fuels to be supplemented by alternative energy sources and by requiring changes in lifestyle. Please contact me with your comments and questions. Further Information about me can be found HERE.



After Gutenberg

Clean Break

The Oil Drum


Blog powered by Typepad

« Spire Announces Turnkey Production Line | Main | Honda, RITE Develop New Cellulosic Ethanol Process »

September 14, 2006



Wal Mart's collaboration with GE to display compact fluorescents prominently and to sell them for about $7.50 for three is a good step. However, if they want to sell "one" to every customer, they should sell the same bulbs individually for $2.50 each. As is stands, individual bulbs start at $5.00 each.

J.C., Sr.

I don't get it. I have been buying these bulbs for at least a year from Wal-Mart for seventy four cents each. Don't you guys see those big sales signs in your faces? I have installed at least a half a dozen in my apartment, but my bill has gone up, not down thanks to the Northeast Utilities and the energy companies ripoffs. Wal-Mart at least has some heart for the consumer.


Thanks for drawing attention to this. I've changed about 100 bulbs to CFLs this summer. So far I'm very happy with the performance. My only complaint, what do I do with all the old incandesent bulbs?


>What do I do with all the old incandesent bulbs?

Build an electric heater!



Coming soon. Walmart's effort to sell one electric car (made in China) to each of it's consumers.

When the newly chinese owned Walmart saves the world from global climate disaster how will US auto companies respond? More layoffs, more job outsourcing. But they will still tell you to buy american!

Compare gas at 3, 4, 5 bucks per gallon to it's mileage equivalent, 75 cents worth of electricity equals the same mileage as one gallon of gas.

Will we the people keep paying the exxonmob and OPEC terror financiers? Or pay Walmart for these cars and the local utility company? Let the free market decide, hehehey.


I like your comment, Matt.
I've been all over the CFL's ever since i first saw them for sale a couple years ago. I've probably replaced a dozen or so high use bulbs between homes and work, and I know my preaching has changed many more in others' homes too. But Matt's comment brings up a topic that I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm from Montreal where the vast majority of my electricity bill is for heating. Now in the summer months, inefficiency in any appliance generally turns into heat which is a bad thing. But in the winter, after replacing my incandescent light bulbs, aren't my baseboard heaters working a little bit harder to make up for the lack of heat coming off my CFLs? So wouldn't my electricity bill stay about the same whenever I'm in the heating months? Maybe even go up a little bit, since a radiating lightbulb is probably a more efficient heater than a baseboard heater....

Like i said, this is only an issue in cold parts of the world. I am a big fan of efficient lighting. Can't wait till we start seeing compact LED clusters in my light sockets.



1. Neither type of electric heater (baseboard vs. CFL) can be more efficient than the other.

2. Technologies such as heat pumping can deliver several units of heat energy for every one unit of electrical energy used (unlike electrical resistance heaters which deliver one unit of heat energy for every one unit of electrical energy used).


Okay, well the wonders of heat pumps don't really have anything to do with what I was saying. I mean I suppose you're right, if you're house is heated by a heat pump, it's best to use the most efficient lighting possible so that most of heating is done by the heat pump. Don't worry, i'm fully aware of the energy characteristics of heat pumps and fridges and all that, and i've invested a lot of time explaining their working principle to other people who are putting together a new home. In fact i've got one successful convert under my belt...

As for what I was talking about with electric heat, baseboard vs. light bulb. I used to agree with you, no matter what kind of heating, as long as its not transporting heat energy from outdoors like a HP, they're all gonna be just as efficient as eachother. I even started to think, hey, so really it doesn't matter if i leave appliances on in the winter, leave the TV on, leave the computer on, cause any energy wasted there just means the heaters will work less. All the wasted energy turns into heat anyways.

But then you gotta think, yeah, in terms of heating energy, its all the same. But do people really care about heating energy? What we care about is comfort level, and that has to do with temperature. If you simplify things, yeah, energy and temperature are proportional. But then you gotta realize that the temperature inside your home is not homogeneous. Some parts of your home are hotter than others. If you leave your TV on, there's a temperature gradient, hottest inside the TV and getting colder as you move away. That's not very beneficial for a person.

In the extreme case, you could think that all a person really wants is to have a warm layer all around their body, leaving the rest of the house relatively cold (ignoring freezing pipes and so forth.. like i said, extreme case). So its pretty obvious to see that just maintaining a comfortable temperature in the small region around a person's body would take a lot less energy than keeping the whole house warm. So that sorta shows you that, yeah sure, in terms of energy conservation, all electrical heating is equivalent, but as for our desired output, human comfort level, some electrical heating can be much more efficient than others. So yeah, heating the inside of a TV is not as efficient as the heat coming from your baseboard heaters.

So that's what got me thinking that maybe radiation heating from an incandescent lightbulb could work more effectively than baseboard heating.

karl  (for this one I'll even spellcheck)

Just kidding.

But seriously, I've already commented hear about Walmarts profit taking scam, so I'll first respond to the still pending question about just what should be done with existing bulbs, and obviously a distribution, manufacturing, and packaging etc. for extremely low cost vacum edisonian and still prefered if halogen etc. units.

They are really pretty if clear and the white ones can be rinsed out. You can put fish in them. YOu can do better then throw them away. you can fish with them as floats.

Seriously the issue is are the CFL's now obsolete as priced at retail in this plan .

And they are.

They really are.

SO why then does walmart threaten to waste so much hard earned money of it's customer victims? Because they are the best victims money can buy. They will keep coming back, only more so for the amount ripped off.

Next to me is clearance model. We paid eight bucks. It's still in the 'package' and is shattered. BUt why was it on clearance? Because the maker would't be shaken down most likely.

CFC's where once a bargain at ten times there current (fair) cost. But now for there current cost, you can get better lighting. Even small halogen for work/desk lamps are better. Compare the wattage.

The fixtures these CFC's go into are so wasteful.... in part because of the need to deal with the heat even cfc's put out, and keep them far away.

IF millions are to be saved from changing the bulbs in fans then one has to ask- is there a shortage of light where these fans are? Of course not. WOld not just havinga fake or simulated lighting unit on the fan same much more, even if expensive? Of course.

The same is true for our homes.

The snake oil sleazards know that they can dance the line saying buy one- it's a good investment. And the blogosphere says buy many- hell replace all in your house. AN dthen instead of using one 100 watt bulb you know what? Your enjoying running half a dozen twenty watt suckers.

ANd you know what? That's not just at least the same watts of invisible heat radiation- but maybe now your sleeping later as staying up is so cheap, and your running your baseboards more because your not under th blanket.

But really, LED man. CURRENT LED's are available and so much more luxuriosu and preferable. If walmart stocked them- you know what? They would have to sell them for little more in in cost, which means muchb less profit- why? Because people would seee them, try them, want them, and then word wold be out, and if not competitive buy them online.

So CFC's have the benefit of being expensive to buy online. Unlike LED's.

SOlid state lighting is ready. The profit is not what it might bein the future- but the fact is that the delay can not be rationally justified even if you ahve to pay much more now. Unlike PV the numbers churn to a different result.

You can't pay too much for LED's. It's that simple.

DO the math yourself.

ANd guess what? You'll start really really resenting the baseboards.

And when yhou see the propane tankless- you'll say, gee, I think my gas line is leaking. An dnot pay dollars a week to keep it there.

And then the meter fee for the electric grid might seem like- well, is it worth it?

I mean, for all the light, I can charge batteries in my car on the way to work. ONcea week. WHy payu so much to have the energy delivered?

I can instead of runnning several horses to move a mat under me while i jog, instead spind a ferris wheel in my backyard made of dirtcrete for a months refrigeration bill, and wala- your living on propane to keep yhou food cool, and inertial energy to run propellers to ventilate and maybe chil your house to, and your not having to buy drugs not edven for bargain prices at walmart to deal with your sedentary lives.

SO walmart is evil- that has not changed. This cfc initiative is consistent with it. It robs us of the incentive to trash those bulbs they now hustle. Save yourself that pain. Don't buy them. They are obsolete.

Even for $2.50 not a bargain. NOt even for a buck.

I mean, who reads from uninternally lit surfaces thee days anyway? WTF do you need any light in your house for besides to get from the fridge to the TV anyways? Get real.

You crave sunshine perhaps. Guess what. It's best gotten during the day. CFC's are very very poor substitutes. Walmart just doesn't make any money from you enjoying mother nature- and buying cfc's from that dirty Uncle threatens mother nature mor then almost anything you can do. It's catedring to cynicsim. It's madness. All who are foolish enough to succumb to it should be ashamed but more importantly learn to consider the source next time.

Find a trustworthy source. Even if that means goign to some Castro site, or Al's.

karl  (EPA is months late releasing draft on LED)

Bush must of wanted to let walmart and KB homes rip off people on obsolete lighting packages that add dollars to every mortgage payement and offer relatively little savings so what was supposed to be out in August is now saying that's when it was supposed to come out as of several months after that fact.

I just spent too much time trying to get tothe bottom of that.

FIrst time I made it to the 'star' site though- wish i would of waited.

A few nights ago I coulnd't beleive the transformers, 900 watts, and there cost, hundreds of bucks, ath e ddepot.

These things run hot all day.

Called "contractor grade" they miht as well say- no end user would be stupid enough to buy 'em now.

FOr that kind of money you can have a developer kit flown from Denmark that runs cold and lasts forever and .....

But to work with industry you have to givei htem warning of months or years that there inventory is OF NEGATIVE VALUE. That it's best hauled off to a landfill like illegal cable tv descramblers.

SO they can push 'em oud da door to the unsuspecting. ANd keep those coal plants profitable- after all, withotu the sales, how can they be made 'clean.'

Permission to publish- yeah right. I think I'm goign to be a industry partner so it's there objection only that will keep my comments on the draft- if they every release it! (already they say no comments will be allowed when and if they do!!!)

If everyone stopped using most of there lighting energy to make heat- utilities, many of them, would go bankrupt- so we give lip service.

Protect national security, coal price protection... etc.

HOw sweet it would be to have walmart caught with a billion dollar inventory of negative value CFC's!!! Let them try to sell them in a 3rd world coutnry with even less consumer protection then here!


Of the waste,. the 95 percent waste on the replace 'bulb', only about 15 out of 95 get turned to light.

Right? (as if i have any doubt- this is well known and acknowledged here... with current led's having past the point of mor light then heat.. and cfc's wasting almost twice as much.


The point I've tried to make is thatheat poison chilled air. Even if it's dumped as opposed to chilled again, it's replaced with unchilled air.

the cfc is then like the 3.5 gallon toilet. It was remarkably more efficient then toilets made till we cared about how much water. now of course with healthclubs bein gwhre we shower and tubs being eyesores ripped out if every installed our subdivisions have not enough water being flushed. NOt just not enough to let the developers play golf for free.

ANd instead of petitioning congress for banning inefficient CFC's it partners, EPA does, with WALMART! TO push them out the door in three packs.

The cost of replacing bulbs has always been the greatest incentive to not leave them on needlessly.

This program makes RJR look like Mother Theresa..


If you have looked into solar energy as a method for heating your home, panels are usually the first things that come up.

There are, however, other unique methods.

The Solar Heating Aspect You Have Never Heard of Before

The power of the sun is immense. The energy in one day of sunlight is more than the world needs. The problem, of course,

is how does one harness this power. Solar panels represent the obvious solution, but they have their downside. First,

they can be expensive depending upon your energy needs. Second, they do not exactly blend in with the rest of your home.

Passive solar heating represents a panel free method of harnessing the inherent energy found in the sun for heating

purposes. If you come out from a store and open the door of your car in the summer, you understand the concept of passive

solar heating. A wide variety of material absorbs sunlight and radiates the energy back into the air in the form of heat.

Passive solar heating for a home works the same way as the process which overheats your car in the parking lot.

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .

Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles