Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Electricity Cost on Package

Better Packaging to help people save money.
  (+1, -4)
(+1, -4)
  [vote for,

Suppose there were a law that required that all packages of light bulbs show how much money the bulbs within will cost to use, over their lifespan, based on the national cost of electricity at the time of the package printing.

For a 4 pack of 60 watt bulbs, lasting 1000 hours per bulb, and at an electicity cost of approx $0.12 / kwh, the package would have to say "Costs $28.8 to use, over their lifespan."

For a singly packed CFL, using 15 watts, and lasting 10,000 hours, it would say "Costs $18 to use, over its lifespan." Naturally, it could still say, "Replaces ten 60 watt incandescents, which would cost $57 over their lifespans"

I believe that this would encourage people to use CFLs, even more than the current type of packaging.

goldbb, Feb 02 2009

EnergyGuide Label http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/08/elabel.jpg
Required for many new appliances in the US. [Spacecoyote, Feb 07 2009]


       I think they should have warnings "when the electric company dinks the voltage the lifespan of these things goes right down the crapper"
FlyingToaster, Feb 02 2009

       (-) I don't like that it's a law, and the published measurement confusingly mixes the effects of long life (good) and high energy consumption (bad). I'd also wish that it would take the complete ecological footprint of bulb-production or -disposal into account, not just the actual use time.
jutta, Feb 02 2009

       So I guess you are against LEDs as thir lifetime cost will be astronomical.   

       This is partially baked in appliances in US in a useful way showing yearly electric and water usage. Expanding that to all electric items would be good as long as a agreed upon usage pattern was used.
MisterQED, Feb 02 2009

       Enough with laws, already. I'd be interested to know the carbon footprint per year, but I'm pretty sure that all carbon footprints are arbitrary, and can be made to show whatever you like. As for cost over lifetime, screw that. Let the consumer actually use several neurons simultaneously or pay the penalty.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 02 2009

       Incidentally (and since I'm in rantish mood), do the figures for CFLs and LEDs take into account the additional heating you need if you haven't got a couple of hundred watts of "waste" heat coming out of your lighting, and don't live in a warm climate?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 02 2009

       I was tickled I found a 5W CFL bulb... I just hope it lasts long enough for me to forget it cost $4
FlyingToaster, Feb 02 2009

       CFL mood lighting. Nice.
Texticle, Feb 03 2009

       [MB] That 100 watts is only a wash if you have electric heat, it's still a benefit if you have any other type, as the others are more efficient.   

       A total life cycle cost/lumen hour would be a useful figure, but very difficult to calculate, and any time you require a label, the manufacturer is going t set up their test in the way that gives them the greatest advantage, it's not a very good approach.
MechE, Feb 03 2009

       I suppose whale oil lamps would win by these metrics. [-]
ed, Feb 03 2009

       With certain appliances in the US, stating the electricity cost on the packaging is mandatory. It's not required for light bulbs, but that doesn't stop the manufacturers from bragging about it, and they do. So I say, baked.
Spacecoyote, Feb 03 2009

       //lasting 10,000 hours//   

       Is there mandatory shelf labeling, too? It must say "the CFL on this shelf lasts half as long as stated on the package, is much dimmer than the 'comparable wattage' shown, flickers, and smells like it's on fire."
Amos Kito, Feb 03 2009

       //Incandescent bulbs have been banned in this country//
Even for headlights? Wow, that's harsh.
coprocephalous, Feb 03 2009

       [UB] Assuming a largely coal power generation system, the mercury in a CFL is less than that released by the coal burned to power the equivalent incandescent.
MechE, Feb 03 2009

       / [MB] That 100 watts is only a wash if you have electric heat, it's still a benefit if you have any other type, as the others are more efficient. /   

       Cheaper, perhaps, but not more efficient. Electric heat is 100% efficient.
Texticle, Feb 03 2009

       Nothing is 100% efficient, that red glow the heating filament makes costs something.
Spacecoyote, Feb 03 2009

       I stand by my comment and politely ask the respondent to give it more thought.
Texticle, Feb 03 2009

       Texticle, electric heating is only 100% efficient if you don't count the losses between when the original energy source is created and the time it enters your house.   

       Let's say you use electricity from coal. Coal is first dug from the ground (at the cost of some energy in the form of petrol), then shipped to the power plant (more energy used), then burnt to create heat for a steam engine (a very far cry from 100% efficiency, at least if cogeneration isn't used), converted to electricity with a generator (also much lower than 100% efficiency), then sent over wires to your home (more energy loss), then, in your home, it's converted to heat, at 100% efficiency (but only this final step is 100% efficient).   

       If, on the other hand, you left out the power plant, burnt the coal yourself to run your own steam engine and your own generator, sold the electricity made back to the power company (or used it yourself), and used the "waste" heat to heat your home, you would have more heat in your home per pound of coal burnt than from an electric heater, *plus* you'd have the money from selling the electricity you made back to the power company.
goldbb, Feb 03 2009

       [goldbb], I'm aware of your arguments, but I could just as easily propose a hypothetical situation where self-use of the coal for electricity generation is far more lossy than centralised used and distribution.
Texticle, Feb 04 2009

       [Texticle] If your primary goal is heat production, there is no situation in which burning the fuel directly at home in an even moderately efficient appliance is less effecient than using electricity produced by fuel burned elsewhere.
If your primary goal is electricity generation, then yes, central generation is more efficient. If you mix the two goals, then it is a tossup depending on the mixture and plants involved.
MechE, Feb 06 2009

       [MechE] dunno... Hydrogen fuel-cell co-generation sounds pretty yummy. What's the loss-rate for a large-scale generation plant to your appliance, including step up and down transformers and line-loss ?
FlyingToaster, Feb 06 2009

       I believe the best thermodynamic powerplants in existence are only about 60% efficient. I'm not certain about line and transmission losses, but I believe most home delivery is about 40-50%. I know fireplaces can be (well) below this, but almost all other direct burning heaters are better.
I will exclude heat pumps, espcially ground loop heat pumps from this, because they may do significantly better. They were omitted originally because the compariosn was to a resistive heater (100 watt bulb).


       As for hydrogen anything, tell me where you're getting the hydrogen, and I'll tell you whether it's better.
MechE, Feb 06 2009

       destructive decomposition of CH4 into 2H2 and C
FlyingToaster, Feb 06 2009

       I've bunned this; only because showing wattage on a devices does not mean a lot to most people in terms of cost of running it. Not only is it hard to convert to money, it is also the peak or maximum power which is quoted - e.g. a coffee machine guzzles a lot of power during brew (5 mins) and a lot less during keep-warm (3 hours+) and calculating it all at brew rates is a large overestimation. Showing money however makes much more sense - cost of typical use of the device (e.g. coffee machines at one brew a day (beverage demand driven) or typical longevity of device (e.g. chinese-made electrical equipment at about three hours (lifespan of product).
vincevincevince, Feb 07 2009

       Now baked!   

       New packages of light bulbs made for sale in America now are required to state how much their contents cost per year, assuming 3 hours of use per day and 11 cents per kilowatt hour.
goldbb, Jul 18 2012

       11 cents per kwH? Shit, that's cheap! I'm paying 23.7 cents at the moment.   

       My last power bill was $1826.06, for 90 days. Seriously.
UnaBubba, Jul 18 2012


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