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RE: [hreg] Solar info from WISE

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  • Ewert, Mike
    Kevin, I hadn t heard this argument against utility power before, so I asked some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build solar
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 16, 1999
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      Kevin, I hadn't heard this argument against utility power before, so I asked
      some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build
      solar motor controllers and worked on the GM electric car, among other
      things. Here is what one said.

      Personally, I think there are cases when you should remain DC too. I'd like
      to see more DC appliances mass produced so they don't cost twice as much as
      AC counterparts.
      ____________________________________________________________________________
      __________
      This gentleman is talking about two things, PV power and clean power.

      PV power:

      By far, the most cost and energy efficient way to use solar electric energy
      when a grid is available is to have the PV tied to the grid. This
      eliminates batteries (cost, maintenance, inefficiency) and off grid
      inverters (large size, expensive, less efficient). When the PV is tied to
      the customer's side of the meter, they get the benefit of their investment.
      The excess and then sell the rest back to the utility, at night, power is
      bought from the utility. This concept is net metering, where the utility
      buys power from the customer at the same price it sells to the customer
      (this only works if the customer is a net user of energy or breaks even, the
      utility will not allow net surplus of energy under net metering).

      Clean Power

      PV inherently isn't clean by itself, it takes a stable source (batteries)
      and a high quality inverter. The cases that need very clean power (cleaner
      than the grid) are very few. If you have one of these situations, you don't
      need PV, you can go to battery backed, off grid system (UPS) that powers the
      critical loads. The batteries can be charged by the grid and/or PV (or
      other supply, diesel generator). If charging these with PV is desired, then
      undersize the PV and use the grid for the rest of the energy. This will be
      much more cost effective than sizing the PV for worst case which greatly
      under utilizes the PV the rest of the time. Another way to go is to use an
      on/off grid controller that allows the PV to charge the batteries, when they
      are fully charged, then the excess power goes to the grid (in this case the
      array can be oversized). The off grid inverter (vs. on grid) is usually
      less expensive per watt, but you need to size it significantly larger than
      your array power in order to handle the surge loads. This makes it more
      expensive. A 1000W array would need a 1000W grid tied inverter, but would
      need at least a 4kW off grid inverter to handle motor starting loads (pumps,
      washer, dryer).

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Kevin L. Conlin [mailto:kconlin@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 8:57 PM
      To: hreg@egroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE


      Becky and Lisa, your article was interesting, accurate and informative, and
      while DC homes or solar powered homes are not always practical for
      mainstream consumers, we should not overlook specific tasks within the home
      that solar is well suited for. For example, a power system dedicated to the
      home computer and other sensitive electronics that may be damaged by spikes,
      sags, brownouts, etc can be economically justified by avoiding expensive
      crashes or other damage that occurs because of "dirty" utility power. I've
      always thought that just dumping clean solar power back into the grid is a
      waste of a valuable resource. regards, Kevin

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Steve Shepard <sbtdesigns@...>
      To: <hreg@egroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 3:56 PM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE


      > The only problem with a DC home is that it is totally incompatible with
      > 99.9% of the homes on this continent. A DC home also cannot be intertied
      > with the electric utility grid and requires unique hardware that is also
      > incompatible.
      >
      > We don't recommend them.
      >
      > SBT Designs
      > 25840 IH-10 West #1
      > Boerne, Texas 78006
      > 210-698-7109
      > FAX: 210-698-7147
      > http://www.sbtdesigns.com
      > sbtdesigns@...
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Becky Merritt" <bmeritt@...>
      > To: <hreg@egroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 11:26 AM
      > Subject: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
      >
      >
      > > I thought this was particularly interesting, so I'm passing it along.
      > > Becky Merritt
      > >
      > >
      > > One of the ways to reach greater efficiency is to use DC electricity
      where
      > it is most efficient. DC is especially efficient for motors (fans,
      vacuums,
      > blenders, tools...). Laptop computers, and in fact any appliance with one
      of
      > those big fat boxes that plugs into the wall, are DC, and are converting
      > your AC power at the plug. DC also works well for lighting.
      > >
      > > Briefly, our homes and appliances generally use Alternating Current
      (AC).
      > This is because AC travels well over long distances without dropping
      > voltage, and our generating facilities are usually far from our homes. PV
      > panels create Direct Current (DC). You don't get much voltage drop,
      because
      > the panels are right near the point of use. However most solar systems
      have
      > an inverter to convert the DC to AC because our appliances are AC. Remote
      > systems, such as boat or RV, will often use the current as DC without
      > inverting it, because DC appliances are already popular in those markets.
      > >
      > > One of my partners in Emerald Resource Solutions, Cari Spring, lives in
      a
      > super-efficient off-the-grid home powered by sun and wind. The house is
      > adobe and takes advantage of passive solar design. She has four 75-watt
      > solar panels, a wind generator, a batch solar water heater with propane
      > on-demand backup, and a solar heated radiant floor heating system. She
      uses
      > a small propane-powered refrigerator. Despite having only a 1/3 kW system,
      > she and her partner have more electricity in the winter than they can use.
      > (Summertime cooling loads are bigger here in Arizona than winter heating.)
      > >
      > > She has two wiring systems with receptacles. She runs the house mostly
      on
      > DC -- lights, fans and computer. When she wants to watch TV or listen to
      the
      > stereo, she turns on the inverter. This has the added benefit of having
      the
      > house free of electromagnetic fields most of the time. She was told that
      DC
      > lights were not as efficient, but found that the loss of efficiency in
      > inverting DC to AC was equal, and she preferred to leave the inverter off.
      > For more on Cari's house, I will send a PDF article attached to the next
      > e-mail.
      > >
      > > Emerald Resource Solutions also has done a DC retrofit to an in-town,
      > on-grid house. We installed one 120 watt panel on a super-efficient old
      > adobe to assist the owners in moving off grid. Unfortunately, Annie, it
      > wasn't as simple as a panel to a plug. It's a full system of conduit,
      > batteries, monitors, shut-offs, etc., and took a full weekend to install.
      > But the residents have fans, lights, and a car stereo they power with the
      > panel.
      > >
      > > The closest thing I know to "plug and play" right now is the Ascension
      > Technologies "AC panels" that have the inverter built right onto the
      panel,
      > so you don't have a separate component for that. I do know that at the
      > recent brainstorms conducted by the Utility Photovoltaic Group for the
      > Department of Energy, the idea of "plug and play" solar systems was one of
      > the crucial ideas for popularizing solar. I hope the industry is paying
      > attention.
      > >
      > > Lisa
      > >
      > > Lisa Stage
      > > Emerald Resource Solutions
      > > lisa@...
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Chuck Wright
      As he says, Net Metering provides a nearly ideal storage mechanism for a grid-attached PV. Highly efficient and free, other than the additional cost of an
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 17, 2000
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        As he says, Net Metering provides a nearly ideal storage mechanism
        for a grid-attached PV. Highly efficient and free, other than the
        additional cost of an inverter that can handle this. If you have
        extra power, you pump it into the grid and your meter runs backwards.
        Effectively, the utility provides you, for no charge, a place to put your
        surplus, to take it back whenever you want.

        I attended the TREIA meeting yesterday in Austin, where there
        were discussions of the new utility deregulation legislation that
        is in progress.

        John Hoffner spoke about the future of Net Metering. As things
        stand, it looks like Net Metering could go away. The problem is
        that with the new system, the company that controls the lines
        is separate from the company that generates power. So, it is
        unclear who you would be selling power to.

        The utilities mostly dislike net metering, saying they are providing
        free storage for people. They are right. Some utilities favor having
        2 ratcheted meters, one for the electricity coming in, and one for the
        electricity going out. There would doubtless be different rates for
        the two.

        It should be pointed out that the times of PV's peak output
        in the summer correspond to times of peak demand, when the
        value of electricity is actually above average. This effect should
        to some degree offset the "free" storage service that the utility
        provides.

        The worst of all possibilities would be that you would have a single
        meter that would be ratcheted to only run forward. You might
        generate a surplus, but it would just go to onto the grid without
        compensation. At this point, the grid is worthless as a storage device
        (except for altruistic motives).

        John is trying to formulate a TREIA position/strategy on net
        metering. I think that this is a rather critical time. If anyone has
        good ideas or creative ways of looking at the problem, now would
        be a good time to speak up.

        > Message: 1
        > Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 23:25:05 -0600
        > From: "Ewert, Mike" <mike.ewert@...>
        > Subject: RE: Solar info from WISE
        >
        > Kevin, I hadn't heard this argument against utility power before, so I asked
        > some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build
        > solar motor controllers and worked on the GM electric car, among other
        > things. Here is what one said.
        >

        <snip>

        >
        > PV power:
        >
        > By far, the most cost and energy efficient way to use solar electric energy
        > when a grid is available is to have the PV tied to the grid. This
        > eliminates batteries (cost, maintenance, inefficiency) and off grid
        > inverters (large size, expensive, less efficient). When the PV is tied to
        > the customer's side of the meter, they get the benefit of their investment.
        > The excess and then sell the rest back to the utility, at night, power is
        > bought from the utility. This concept is net metering, where the utility
        > buys power from the customer at the same price it sells to the customer
        > (this only works if the customer is a net user of energy or breaks even, the
        > utility will not allow net surplus of energy under net metering).

        --
        Chuck Wright
        http://www.chuck-wright.com
      • Kevin L. Conlin
        Hi Mike, Thanks for your response, the points are accurate, but I don t agree with their position. My point was that if you are running sensitive loads such
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 17, 2000
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Mike, Thanks for your response, the points are accurate, but I don't
          agree with their position. My point was that if you are running sensitive
          loads such as computers, phone systems, etc you will have to invest in
          power conditioning equipment anyway, such as surge protectors and UPS
          modules, which contain batteries and inverters. If you limit the use to
          electronics, you do not need surge capability. And while an AC-UPS system
          will be cheaper if you simply use the grid to charge the batteries, a solar
          charged one will utilize the clean solar power tp provide clean AC power. I
          don't agree that solar in not inherently clean, it is. What makes it dirty
          is sending it through the typically cheap solar voltage regulators which,
          because of poor quality and swithcing frequencies, create electronic noise
          that can disturb sensitive electronics. We have even had problems with the
          better regulators such as Morningstar.

          As for inverter sizing, keep in mind that with a battery charging system,
          the inverter has to be sized to the load, not the PV array, and although
          batteries have their limitations and drawbacks, they are still the best way
          to back-up critical loads. As you know, I don't recommend PV when you have a
          grid connect anyway, but stand by my position that by utilizing solar for
          critical and sensitive loads is just as economic as dumping it back into the
          grid, because you are in effect net metering by using it for a dedicated
          purpose. The difference is somewhat philosophical, but I think solar is
          more cost effective when used in this fashion, and people would be more
          willing to use it for small systems such as UPS rather than trying to power
          their home or offset their utility bills with it. I have one customer who
          has backed up his AC sites for years with a small solar system, and he
          reports that they are the most reliable sites in his network (he has
          thousands). The Solar/AC sites are much more reliable than either AC alone
          of stand alone solar. Thanks for an interesting perspective and dialogue.
          Best regards, Kevin

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Ewert, Mike <mike.ewert@...>
          To: <hreg@egroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 9:25 PM
          Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar info from WISE


          > Kevin, I hadn't heard this argument against utility power before, so I
          asked
          > some colleagues who work for Aerovironment what they thought. They build
          > solar motor controllers and worked on the GM electric car, among other
          > things. Here is what one said.
          >
          > Personally, I think there are cases when you should remain DC too. I'd
          like
          > to see more DC appliances mass produced so they don't cost twice as much
          as
          > AC counterparts.
          >
          ____________________________________________________________________________
          > __________
          > This gentleman is talking about two things, PV power and clean power.
          >
          > PV power:
          >
          > By far, the most cost and energy efficient way to use solar electric
          energy
          > when a grid is available is to have the PV tied to the grid. This
          > eliminates batteries (cost, maintenance, inefficiency) and off grid
          > inverters (large size, expensive, less efficient). When the PV is tied to
          > the customer's side of the meter, they get the benefit of their
          investment.
          > The excess and then sell the rest back to the utility, at night, power is
          > bought from the utility. This concept is net metering, where the utility
          > buys power from the customer at the same price it sells to the customer
          > (this only works if the customer is a net user of energy or breaks even,
          the
          > utility will not allow net surplus of energy under net metering).
          >
          > Clean Power
          >
          > PV inherently isn't clean by itself, it takes a stable source (batteries)
          > and a high quality inverter. The cases that need very clean power
          (cleaner
          > than the grid) are very few. If you have one of these situations, you
          don't
          > need PV, you can go to battery backed, off grid system (UPS) that powers
          the
          > critical loads. The batteries can be charged by the grid and/or PV (or
          > other supply, diesel generator). If charging these with PV is desired,
          then
          > undersize the PV and use the grid for the rest of the energy. This will
          be
          > much more cost effective than sizing the PV for worst case which greatly
          > under utilizes the PV the rest of the time. Another way to go is to use
          an
          > on/off grid controller that allows the PV to charge the batteries, when
          they
          > are fully charged, then the excess power goes to the grid (in this case
          the
          > array can be oversized). The off grid inverter (vs. on grid) is usually
          > less expensive per watt, but you need to size it significantly larger than
          > your array power in order to handle the surge loads. This makes it more
          > expensive. A 1000W array would need a 1000W grid tied inverter, but would
          > need at least a 4kW off grid inverter to handle motor starting loads
          (pumps,
          > washer, dryer).
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Kevin L. Conlin [mailto:kconlin@...]
          > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 8:57 PM
          > To: hreg@egroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
          >
          >
          > Becky and Lisa, your article was interesting, accurate and informative,
          and
          > while DC homes or solar powered homes are not always practical for
          > mainstream consumers, we should not overlook specific tasks within the
          home
          > that solar is well suited for. For example, a power system dedicated to
          the
          > home computer and other sensitive electronics that may be damaged by
          spikes,
          > sags, brownouts, etc can be economically justified by avoiding expensive
          > crashes or other damage that occurs because of "dirty" utility power. I've
          > always thought that just dumping clean solar power back into the grid is
          a
          > waste of a valuable resource. regards, Kevin
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Steve Shepard <sbtdesigns@...>
          > To: <hreg@egroups.com>
          > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 3:56 PM
          > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
          >
          >
          > > The only problem with a DC home is that it is totally incompatible with
          > > 99.9% of the homes on this continent. A DC home also cannot be
          intertied
          > > with the electric utility grid and requires unique hardware that is also
          > > incompatible.
          > >
          > > We don't recommend them.
          > >
          > > SBT Designs
          > > 25840 IH-10 West #1
          > > Boerne, Texas 78006
          > > 210-698-7109
          > > FAX: 210-698-7147
          > > http://www.sbtdesigns.com
          > > sbtdesigns@...
          > > ----- Original Message -----
          > > From: "Becky Merritt" <bmeritt@...>
          > > To: <hreg@egroups.com>
          > > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 11:26 AM
          > > Subject: [hreg] Solar info from WISE
          > >
          > >
          > > > I thought this was particularly interesting, so I'm passing it along.
          > > > Becky Merritt
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > One of the ways to reach greater efficiency is to use DC electricity
          > where
          > > it is most efficient. DC is especially efficient for motors (fans,
          > vacuums,
          > > blenders, tools...). Laptop computers, and in fact any appliance with
          one
          > of
          > > those big fat boxes that plugs into the wall, are DC, and are converting
          > > your AC power at the plug. DC also works well for lighting.
          > > >
          > > > Briefly, our homes and appliances generally use Alternating Current
          > (AC).
          > > This is because AC travels well over long distances without dropping
          > > voltage, and our generating facilities are usually far from our homes.
          PV
          > > panels create Direct Current (DC). You don't get much voltage drop,
          > because
          > > the panels are right near the point of use. However most solar systems
          > have
          > > an inverter to convert the DC to AC because our appliances are AC.
          Remote
          > > systems, such as boat or RV, will often use the current as DC without
          > > inverting it, because DC appliances are already popular in those
          markets.
          > > >
          > > > One of my partners in Emerald Resource Solutions, Cari Spring, lives
          in
          > a
          > > super-efficient off-the-grid home powered by sun and wind. The house is
          > > adobe and takes advantage of passive solar design. She has four 75-watt
          > > solar panels, a wind generator, a batch solar water heater with propane
          > > on-demand backup, and a solar heated radiant floor heating system. She
          > uses
          > > a small propane-powered refrigerator. Despite having only a 1/3 kW
          system,
          > > she and her partner have more electricity in the winter than they can
          use.
          > > (Summertime cooling loads are bigger here in Arizona than winter
          heating.)
          > > >
          > > > She has two wiring systems with receptacles. She runs the house mostly
          > on
          > > DC -- lights, fans and computer. When she wants to watch TV or listen to
          > the
          > > stereo, she turns on the inverter. This has the added benefit of having
          > the
          > > house free of electromagnetic fields most of the time. She was told that
          > DC
          > > lights were not as efficient, but found that the loss of efficiency in
          > > inverting DC to AC was equal, and she preferred to leave the inverter
          off.
          > > For more on Cari's house, I will send a PDF article attached to the next
          > > e-mail.
          > > >
          > > > Emerald Resource Solutions also has done a DC retrofit to an in-town,
          > > on-grid house. We installed one 120 watt panel on a super-efficient old
          > > adobe to assist the owners in moving off grid. Unfortunately, Annie, it
          > > wasn't as simple as a panel to a plug. It's a full system of conduit,
          > > batteries, monitors, shut-offs, etc., and took a full weekend to
          install.
          > > But the residents have fans, lights, and a car stereo they power with
          the
          > > panel.
          > > >
          > > > The closest thing I know to "plug and play" right now is the Ascension
          > > Technologies "AC panels" that have the inverter built right onto the
          > panel,
          > > so you don't have a separate component for that. I do know that at the
          > > recent brainstorms conducted by the Utility Photovoltaic Group for the
          > > Department of Energy, the idea of "plug and play" solar systems was one
          of
          > > the crucial ideas for popularizing solar. I hope the industry is paying
          > > attention.
          > > >
          > > > Lisa
          > > >
          > > > Lisa Stage
          > > > Emerald Resource Solutions
          > > > lisa@...
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Robert Johnston
          Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents? They tend to be expensive up-front, so I d like to buy them as cheaply as possible.
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents?
            They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as cheaply
            as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find online.
            For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W dimmable
            spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also offer free
            shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should go this
            route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you recommend
            as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used inside
            enclosed
            glass fixtures?

            Thanks!

            Robert Johnston
            rjohnsto@...
          • Marjorie N Wood
            I think a bunch of us should get together and get a huge batch of CFs and sell them at cost to ourselves. I heard that Home Depot has them but haven t been
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
            • 0 Attachment
              I think a bunch of us should get together and get a huge batch of CFs and
              sell them at cost to ourselves. I heard that Home Depot has them but
              haven't been lately. In New York, their utility made some sort of deal
              with a couple of mfrs of CFs and sold them to their utility customers for
              $1 and $2. It was part of their promo for energy efficiency.
              Marge Wood

              On Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600 "Robert Johnston"
              <rjohnsto@...> writes:
              > Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact
              > fluorescents?
              > They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as
              > cheaply
              > as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find
              > online.
              > For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W
              > dimmable
              > spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also
              > offer free
              > shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should
              > go this
              > route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you
              > recommend
              > as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used
              > inside
              > enclosed
              > glass fixtures?
              >
              > Thanks!
              >
              > Robert Johnston
              > rjohnsto@...
              >
              >
              >
              > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
              >
              >
              >
            • ChasMauch@aol.com
              Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the power company in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and approach HL&P (aka
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
              • 0 Attachment
                Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the power company
                in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and approach HL&P (aka
                Reliant Energy or Verizon or whatever) and ask them to do the same thing. If
                they can pay $300 million for the naming rights on an arena just for
                publicity (although why a monopoly needs to advertise is beyone me) they
                should be able to do this.

                Also, I heard that the city of Austin will pay to have cars there converted
                to run on natural gas which is a lot cheaper and cleaner than gasoline and
                improves the air quality. This usually costs about $2,000. Also heard that
                you could get it done even if you are from out of town if you have a friend
                who lives in Austin. Can any of our Austin friends tell us if this is true?
                Charlie Mauch
              • Robert Johnston
                It would be nice if HL&P would have a rebate program of some kind. Incidentally, I m still looking for the best place to buy CF s. I just found an even better
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
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                  It would be nice if HL&P would have a rebate program of some kind.
                  Incidentally, I'm still looking for the best place to buy CF's. I
                  just found an even better deal online than the one I mentioned
                  before. Looks like www.energyguide.com has them really cheap. I
                  can get a dimmable CF for half the cost of what RealGoods charges
                  for the same thing. A 23W TechnaBright dimmable SpringLight
                  (1500 lumens or close to a 100W bulb) is only $12.75. A Harmony
                  20W standard CF (non-dimmable) is equivalent to a 75W incandescent
                  and only costs $7.25! If you figure that during its 10,000 hr lifetime
                  you would buy 10 incandescents at $0.25 each, that means the cost is
                  only $4.75. You'll recover that in energy savings at $0.08/kwh in
                  just 1080 hours, or probably in less than one year. The other 9000
                  hours worth of savings will be gravy.

                  At the www.energyguide.com website, they say that several utilities
                  offer 2 for 1 instant rebates when you purchase from them. However,
                  HL&P was not one of them. Perhaps this is something we could interest
                  them in doing, if they don't want to do the same deal as the New York
                  utility? From my calculations above, it is obvious that if they do
                  a 2 for 1 instant rebate, then consumers can buy these bulbs for almost
                  the cost of the equivalent lifetime incandescents. The energy savings
                  will all be pure profit then--for both the consumer and the environment.

                  I like the idea of HREG buying in bulk if there are enough interested
                  members. I don't know if we can do any better than www.energyguide.com.
                  Does anyone know of better deals?

                  If we really wanted to be ambitious, we could import them. I see that
                  they are mostly made in China. I looked at some China websites and see
                  where they sell what looks like the same bulb as I bought labeled
                  SpringLamp. They are sold wholesale in cases of 100. I have no idea
                  what the markup is, but if www.energyguide.com is selling them for half
                  of what RealGoods is, then perhaps we can estimate another 50% reduction
                  possible if we imported? I have no idea what would be involved in
                  importation, but suspect it might be more hassle than it is worth. On
                  the other hand, maybe a useful fundraiser?

                  Anyway, again, I'm still interested in suggestions from others as to the
                  best
                  places (online or offline) to buy CF's cheaply.

                  Robert Johnston


                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: ChasMauch@... [mailto:ChasMauch@...]
                  > Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 11:10 PM
                  > To: hreg@egroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                  >
                  >
                  > Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the
                  > power company
                  > in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and
                  > approach HL&P (aka
                  > Reliant Energy or Verizon or whatever) and ask them to do the
                  > same thing. If
                  > they can pay $300 million for the naming rights on an arena just for
                  > publicity (although why a monopoly needs to advertise is
                  > beyone me) they
                  > should be able to do this.
                  >
                  > Also, I heard that the city of Austin will pay to have cars
                  > there converted
                  > to run on natural gas which is a lot cheaper and cleaner than
                  > gasoline and
                  > improves the air quality. This usually costs about $2,000.
                  > Also heard that
                  > you could get it done even if you are from out of town if you
                  > have a friend
                  > who lives in Austin. Can any of our Austin friends tell us if
                  > this is true?
                  > Charlie Mauch
                  >
                  > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
                  > -------------------------~-~>
                  > eLerts
                  > It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All, it's Free!
                  > http://click.egroups.com/1/9699/0/_/58590/_/974696997/
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                • drocketman@juno.com
                  Robert, I have a house full of compact fluorescents: three types of globes, a bullet, some sticks, spirals and floods. The highest equivalent wattage being a
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 19, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Robert,
                    I have a house full of compact fluorescents: three types of globes, a
                    bullet, some sticks, spirals and floods. The highest equivalent wattage
                    being a spiral wound at 150w equivalent output for 32w expense by Lights
                    of America sold at Walmart. None that I have are dimmable. The bullets
                    are in ceiling fans and some wall mounts and globes are in bathroom
                    lights and hanging lamps for their aesthetic match. The floods are in
                    recessed lighting. The sticks are in shaded lamps and the spirals are
                    the most recent additions in covered ceiling fixtures (being the only
                    ones that fit with a high enough light output for me) garage and closets.
                    I put the 75w equiv bulb in place of 60 watt incandescents. The spirals
                    seem to be the best deal on cost. Walmart has sold all 4 sizes
                    (60/75/100/150watt equiv.) for the same price, $7.96 each. Though I did
                    get a couple of them clearanced inexplicably for $5 each. My
                    conservative count puts the total number of compact fluorescents in my
                    house now in use at 53 bulbs. The initial installation was 28 globes and
                    8 to 10 bullets about 6 to 8 years ago. This only includes the compact
                    fluorescents and does not include u-tubes, circline or regular
                    fluorescents. In the eight years of operation, I have replaced about 6-8
                    globes, 2-3 bullets, 3 sticks, a couple of floods and one spiral. The GE
                    90w equiv. sticks have been the least reliable. I have no experience and
                    so no suggestion on the dimmables other than I see no need to complicate
                    the design of the bulb most probably at the expense of life and
                    reliability, and instead, suggest turning only part of the bulbs on
                    instead of dimming all. I have recently appreciated the spirals because
                    of their low cost and small size, fitting into enclosed glass fixtures
                    and hidden behind standard open glass ceiling fixtures. I still rely on
                    globe types as a drop in for globe type bulbs like in bathrooms and
                    hanging lamps. I especially like them for the bathrooms where I have
                    banks of 6, 8 and 12 globes and the low heat and increased light (60w
                    equiv compared to the 40w incandescent) is really a plus. My favorite
                    globe is the GE brand FLG16/E also sold by Panasonic as the Light Capsule
                    EFG16LE. I don't know how available these are now since I haven't bought
                    any in several years... haven't had to because none have failed. I have
                    two spares still in their boxes and they are my most reliable compact
                    fluorescent. They are very lightweight and compact making them more like
                    the incandescent 40w they replaced. Because of this, they do not stress
                    the bathroom fixture near as much as the other globe types. They are
                    almost instant on, much more silent and longer life than any of the other
                    globes I have used. It was typically $16 a bulb, but in my estimation,
                    worth it over the others. I did get some of them for $5 each clearanced.

                    Dennis

                    On Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600 "Robert Johnston"
                    <rjohnsto@...> writes:
                    > Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact
                    > fluorescents?
                    > They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as
                    > cheaply
                    > as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find
                    > online.
                    > For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W
                    > dimmable
                    > spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also
                    > offer free
                    > shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should
                    > go this
                    > route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you
                    > recommend
                    > as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used
                    > inside
                    > enclosed
                    > glass fixtures?
                    >
                    > Thanks!
                    >
                    > Robert Johnston
                    > rjohnsto@...
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Jim & Kathi Syzdek
                    Robert, In Houston, Home Depot has the Twisters by G.E. for around $9.00ea. They are the cheapest I have seen locally. Jim ...
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 20, 2000
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Robert,
                      In Houston, Home Depot has the Twisters by G.E. for around $9.00ea. They
                      are the cheapest I have seen locally.

                      Jim


                      >From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                      >Reply-To: hreg@egroups.com
                      >To: <hreg@egroups.com>
                      >Subject: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                      >Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600
                      >
                      >Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents?
                      >They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as cheaply
                      >as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find online.
                      >For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W dimmable
                      >spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also offer
                      >free
                      >shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should go
                      >this
                      >route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you recommend
                      >as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used inside
                      >enclosed
                      >glass fixtures?
                      >
                      >Thanks!
                      >
                      >Robert Johnston
                      >rjohnsto@...
                      >
                      >

                      _________________________________________________________________________
                      Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com

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                      http://profiles.msn.com
                    • Steve Stelzer
                      Robert, check out the CF s at IKEA. They may not be exactly apples to apples for the unit you are talking about. IKEA is basically subsidizing CF s because
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 20, 2000
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Robert, check out the CF's at IKEA. They may not be exactly apples to
                        apples for the unit you are talking about. IKEA is basically subsidizing
                        CF's because they are in the $5.00 range.

                        Steve Stelzer

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                        Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 11:41 PM
                        To: hreg@egroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents


                        It would be nice if HL&P would have a rebate program of some kind.
                        Incidentally, I'm still looking for the best place to buy CF's. I
                        just found an even better deal online than the one I mentioned
                        before. Looks like www.energyguide.com has them really cheap. I
                        can get a dimmable CF for half the cost of what RealGoods charges
                        for the same thing. A 23W TechnaBright dimmable SpringLight
                        (1500 lumens or close to a 100W bulb) is only $12.75. A Harmony
                        20W standard CF (non-dimmable) is equivalent to a 75W incandescent
                        and only costs $7.25! If you figure that during its 10,000 hr lifetime
                        you would buy 10 incandescents at $0.25 each, that means the cost is
                        only $4.75. You'll recover that in energy savings at $0.08/kwh in
                        just 1080 hours, or probably in less than one year. The other 9000
                        hours worth of savings will be gravy.

                        At the www.energyguide.com website, they say that several utilities
                        offer 2 for 1 instant rebates when you purchase from them. However,
                        HL&P was not one of them. Perhaps this is something we could interest
                        them in doing, if they don't want to do the same deal as the New York
                        utility? From my calculations above, it is obvious that if they do
                        a 2 for 1 instant rebate, then consumers can buy these bulbs for almost
                        the cost of the equivalent lifetime incandescents. The energy savings
                        will all be pure profit then--for both the consumer and the environment.

                        I like the idea of HREG buying in bulk if there are enough interested
                        members. I don't know if we can do any better than www.energyguide.com.
                        Does anyone know of better deals?

                        If we really wanted to be ambitious, we could import them. I see that
                        they are mostly made in China. I looked at some China websites and see
                        where they sell what looks like the same bulb as I bought labeled
                        SpringLamp. They are sold wholesale in cases of 100. I have no idea
                        what the markup is, but if www.energyguide.com is selling them for half
                        of what RealGoods is, then perhaps we can estimate another 50% reduction
                        possible if we imported? I have no idea what would be involved in
                        importation, but suspect it might be more hassle than it is worth. On
                        the other hand, maybe a useful fundraiser?

                        Anyway, again, I'm still interested in suggestions from others as to the
                        best
                        places (online or offline) to buy CF's cheaply.

                        Robert Johnston


                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: ChasMauch@... [mailto:ChasMauch@...]
                        > Sent: Sunday, November 19, 2000 11:10 PM
                        > To: hreg@egroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                        >
                        >
                        > Great idea, marge! Maybe we should get more details about the
                        > power company
                        > in NY that sold the CFs as an energy-saving promotion and
                        > approach HL&P (aka
                        > Reliant Energy or Verizon or whatever) and ask them to do the
                        > same thing. If
                        > they can pay $300 million for the naming rights on an arena just for
                        > publicity (although why a monopoly needs to advertise is
                        > beyone me) they
                        > should be able to do this.
                        >
                        > Also, I heard that the city of Austin will pay to have cars
                        > there converted
                        > to run on natural gas which is a lot cheaper and cleaner than
                        > gasoline and
                        > improves the air quality. This usually costs about $2,000.
                        > Also heard that
                        > you could get it done even if you are from out of town if you
                        > have a friend
                        > who lives in Austin. Can any of our Austin friends tell us if
                        > this is true?
                        > Charlie Mauch
                        >
                        > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
                        > -------------------------~-~>
                        > eLerts
                        > It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All, it's Free!
                        > http://click.egroups.com/1/9699/0/_/58590/_/974696997/
                        > --------------------------------------------------------------
                        > -------_->
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • paul breaux
                        Please remove me from this email list. Paul ... _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 20, 2000
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Please remove me from this email list.
                          Paul


                          >From: "Jim & Kathi Syzdek" <jksyzdek@...>
                          >Reply-To: hreg@egroups.com
                          >To: hreg@egroups.com
                          >Subject: Re: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                          >Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 09:59:07 CST
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                          >
                          >Robert,
                          > In Houston, Home Depot has the Twisters by G.E. for around $9.00ea.
                          >They
                          >are the cheapest I have seen locally.
                          >
                          >Jim
                          >
                          >
                          > >From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                          > >Reply-To: hreg@egroups.com
                          > >To: <hreg@egroups.com>
                          > >Subject: [hreg] Compact Fluorescents
                          > >Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:19:19 -0600
                          > >
                          > >Anybody have suggestions on the best place to buy compact fluorescents?
                          > >They tend to be expensive up-front, so I'd like to buy them as cheaply
                          > >as possible. Efficienthome.com was the cheapest place I could find
                          >online.
                          > >For example, I can buy a 23W regular spiral lamp for $12 or a 23W
                          >dimmable
                          > >spiral lamp for $21 (www.efficenthome.com/spiral.htm). They also offer
                          > >free
                          > >shipping and 10% discounts on $200 purchases. Do you think I should go
                          > >this
                          > >route, or is there a better outfit to go with? What brand do you
                          >recommend
                          > >as the best for dimmable compact fluorescents, that can be used inside
                          > >enclosed
                          > >glass fixtures?
                          > >
                          > >Thanks!
                          > >
                          > >Robert Johnston
                          > >rjohnsto@...
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
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