President Obama is not only having Nobel laureate physicist Steven Chu manage the replacement of bulbs in the White House to more energy efficient models, but has also announced he's shaping a national new efficiency standards for fluorescent and incandescent lighting that will affect both homes and businesses...
As reported by NPR's blog The Two-Way this morning, Obama remarked:
The first step we're taking sets new efficiency standards on fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Now I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses. Between 2012 and 2042, these new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year, conserve enough electricity to power every home in America for 10 months, reduce emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 million cars each year, and eliminate the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants.
Like the water rationing happening here in Southern California, we see mandatory energy efficiency a very likelyhood on a national scale coinciding with the public's desire to wean the US's dependence upon foreign oil (whether actual or perceived, since neighbors Canada and Mexico provide a large amount of our imported crude). The question is whether the public will willingly accept a required change to energy-efficient light bulbs, since there's still open debate about the perceived light quality of CFL bulbs and the affordability of LED lighting. For now, in our own household, our interior lighting is a hybrid of CFL with standard incandescent bulbs, which provide the warmth of light we're used to, so an all-or-nothing solutions isn't yet needed. We always tell friends, "just begin with replacing with one bulb and take it from there". No Nobel laureate needed.
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