Saturday, April 12, 2008

NH working to raise the price of lightbulbs

Concord is mulling over banning incandescent lamps (plain old light bulbs) to save electricity. But why? The compact fluorescent bulb saves enough electricity to pay for itself in 400 hours of burning. That's figured on 10 cent a kilowatt hour electricity and $4 for a new compact fluorescent. Sales of compact fluorescents are strong, clearly people have heard the word and are converting over to the more efficient lamps. No government policy needed, the economics are driving the change over.
Why outlaw the plain old bulbs when the new bulbs are taking over anyhow? There are plenty of bulbs in the world that only light up for brief intervals, and use negligible amounts of electricity. Consider the light inside your refrigerator. It doesn't stay on very long, but let it burn out, and you cannot find the milk, let alone something way in the back. There are a lot of light bulbs like that in out buildings, cellars, attics, and other seldom visited places. If an owner chooses to replace such a bulb with a 75 cent incandescent rather than a $4 compact fluorescent why not? Think of all the decorative fixtures and appliances that require small incandescent lamps. Is it fair to require the owners to to junk these things when the bulb burns out? Will I be able to buy replacement lamps to fit my Christmas light string?
Or is banning incandescent lamps just a way for politicians to make a feel good gesture toward greenness with out spending any state money? Or does it cater to the natural desire to boss people around just for the sake of bossing.

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