Thursday, December 1, 2011

Maintenance Cost Savings, Not Energy Cost Savings, Pushing Commercial Switch To LEDs

From The Wall Street Journal, "The Math Changes on Bulbs: Modern LEDs, While Expensive, Save Companies on Labor" by Kate Linebaugh:
Bulbs built around light-emitting diodes—semiconductors that produce bright light when zapped with electricity—last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs, meaning fewer ladders blocking frozen-food aisles or unsightly scaffolds towering in hotel lobbies as workers change blown-out bulbs. With energy savings not yet enough in some cases to cover the higher cost of the new bulbs, it's lower maintenance costs that are getting sales across the finish line.
It also means the switch to lower energy use LEDs would most likely have happened without government involvement in mandating energy efficient light bulbs. Of course, the government will still take the credit.

Since 1995, Wal-Mart has increased the number of skylights in its stores to reduce its energy use and need for light bulbs. Wal-Mart did this without any government incentives or mandates to use more skylights.

Improvements in energy use and efficiency is a natural part of the on-going cost savings process in companies and occurs without government incentives or mandates. The profit motive is the natural process to motivate companies to lower costs, including energy use.


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