Affecting End User Behavior to Achieve Efficiency

This is one of a series of 11 videos in the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center's "Roots of Energy Efficiency" series of forums exploring California's rich past - and promising future - as a global innovator of energy-efficient technologies and policies. Examine how consumer behavior is changing in response to new products and services enabled by smart technologies and what additional measures are needed.

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Comment by Dennis McCarthy on June 2, 2012 at 9:03am

Josephs -

 You got everything right except the spelling of CREE -irrespective of lighting tech

air infiltration is the biggest energy counsumtion problem - we fixed our air gaps.

Your point about air infiltration is on target also - ventilated "cans" designed for the

needs of incandescent lighting are indeed an area where there is alot of energy

waste .As a SSL professional I can tell you that eventurally OLED lighting will

make the current type troffers and can fixtures as relevant as typewriters.

Comment by Bob Blanchette on June 2, 2012 at 8:42am

Joseph you mention heat gain for lamps and A/C required to remove heat. Unless the heat sink for the LED fixture is in unconditioned space (such as with the can light retrofit) I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how it produces less waste heat than a CFL with the same lumen per watt rating. If a lamp uses 15W it's going to produce about 50 BTU of heat either directly or indirectly. Doesn't matter if it's a CFL, LED, or even and old Edison, all will put 50 BTU into the room. Some of the choices however will produce more LIGHT than others...

Comment by Bob Blanchette on June 2, 2012 at 8:34am

OK, we've all established Edison bulbs have had their 100 year run but it's time for them to go. As far as LED's, I do like them but can't justify buying them strictly from an energy savings perspective when compared to CFL's. I'm willing to pay twice for LED's over what a CFL costs to get the instant full brightness and better color, and just the plain cool factor of having LED's for light in my home. I would like to see more "daylight" LED bulbs offered locally, it seems almost all that are sold at the big box stores are 2700k or 3000k.

I think you are on to something when it comes to the recessed can LED retrofit kits. You get an LED lamp that's designed for the fixture AND get the good seal with the ceiling, all for about $30 each. No long warmup delay as typical encapsulated CFL reflector replacements.

Dennis, you stated that you started "years ago" when you kids were in HS. Do you have adult children at home and/or raising grandkids, or is it just 2 of you now? If you have little ones who tend to leave doors wide open (ask me how I know) you really are doing good with a 245KWH power bill :)  Only one bill over $60 in 6years is crazy cheap, how much do you pay per KWH and how much does you power company charge in misc fees/charges per month? When you get your use that low, power company fees play a significant part of your overall bill...

Comment by Joseph Lamy on June 2, 2012 at 8:24am

The peak savings from LEDs arrive on a summer evening when everybody's A/C is cranking and the lights come on. In the Edison-lit house the quarter ton of A/C keeps the meter spinning as recessed bulbs launch indoor conditioned air out through the leaky fixtures and that quantity of air is replaced by hot moist air. We have a problem Houston!


The CFL house suffers from a similar, though not so dramatic leakage rate because of similar leakiness of receessed light fixtures, but less of a pressure due to cooler bulbs. The CFLs also provide some heating to be addressed by the A/C eqpt.


The LED house has a sealed ceiling because no heat build-up in fixtures enables sealing and insulating fixtures. They can burn every light in the place - not likely- but still if they did the place wouldn't heat up, the A/C unit is quiet and the mean rdiant temp is room temp, not spiked by Edsons or even CFLs. LED house has minor peak load additions in the evenings of hot days reducing need for more power plants or expensive imported juice.


The mercury has not been mentioned nor the undimmability of many CFLs. In my book, CFLs are just a phase we are going through, and quickly. When on Earth Day this year, Philips announced their 60 watt equivalent LED for lumens (10 watt) bulb price reduction from $60 to $25, it sent a shudder through the competition. Expect rapid drops from KREE and all the other big mfrs. Kree's sales technigueincludes the A/C savings but as whole-house perspectivists, you and I and most of our readers are going to appreciate the sealbilty and insulabity that the cool LEDs provide us. It makes the LED makeover a value added item in conjunction with attic insulation and air-sealing. Any worthwhile attention to that critical surface - the ceiling - really ought to go to best possible treatment. LEDs offer what nobody else has, imho.

Comment by Dennis McCarthy on June 2, 2012 at 8:06am



  Hi for the energy use thing as a whole I went "bright green" years back and the kids then high school aged

we're half heartedly on board but over the last 6 yrs  the family use was judicious but whether it was 4 or

just 2 people having only had a single  bill in 6 years over $60 IS IMPRESSIVE- It supports the

contention that LED s ARE in fact THE BEST ROUTE for residential lighting !

And yes I would NOT diminish the role of duct work and gap - air sealings role - its another piece

of the "logical energy use scheme"


 As for photometric and radiometric comparision of ANY outdated gas and glass lamp with a quality

SSL product - you're welcome to your opinion but with an analytical eye on the facts I have LED

luminiares!!  And  the best so far that I  own put out 130 lumens per a watt - with Great CRI - and longevity


 I don't want to be a frothing at the mouth type LED supporter- I want to prove that they ARE the

way to light a space here in the 21st century- by showing real world results -like whats accomplished by

speaking of it in forums like this, if my  kW use helps to establish that fact - I get an A for

day in SSL Advocacy - then try and be more persuasive and eloquent in my next days effort.

Comment by Joseph Lamy on June 2, 2012 at 8:04am

One HUGE advantage of the LED bulb over the CFL and especially the Edison is the low temperature. Recessed LED lighting can be sealed and covered with insulation but not so anything else. Also when one adds up the Air conditioing savings, the cool light from LEDs is a big A/C saver. For example ten bulbs of 100 watts each add a QUARTER TON of A/c, CFLs about i/6 of that and LEDs zero. In addition to the overall savings, the mean radiant temp near one of those Edisons is so much greater that folks will crank the A/C unit on so that the whole house gets the treatment and only the slightly cooler air in one spot really matters, the face near the hot bulb.

So add up the savings for LEDs over Edisons as a lighting savings in usage, in bulb replacements, in A/C savings by not heating with lights and cooling w/ A/C, in less maintenance and longer life of A/C eqpt  plus remarkably reduced leakage by sealing recessed lights in the most critical surface in the home, the ceiling. Just the restored integrity in the ceiling is worth a pile of dough, winter and summer, but toss in the lighting, cooling and saved items and LEDs lead to a way better thing at the end ofnthe tunnel, so to speak.


Sorry for beating you up this way, Mr. Blanchettre, but asked for it.  :)

Comment by Bob Blanchette on June 2, 2012 at 7:31am

Energy companies exist in synthetic markets, they need incentive and reward to cut use GREATER than incentive and reward to sell more.

Energy companies are concerned about PEAK use, not so much TOTAL use. PEAK use is what costs energy companies money, creating the need for infrastructure upgrades, power plant builds etc. Reducing PEAK use through Time of Use and Variable Peak Pricing plans is what will benefit the energy companies the most. Smartmeters are a  logical choice for implementing variable pricing plans since mechanical power meters do not have the ability to bill different prices during peak vs. off peak times.

Consumers have become too accustomed to having their energy price "averaged" regardless of what it costs the utility to actually produce the power. Times are changing, customers are now being rewarded for acknowledging that power does NOT cost the same to produce at different times of day. OGE: SmartHours

Comment by Bob Blanchette on June 2, 2012 at 7:08am

I'm still not sold on LED lighting. Sure it's new and it's cool. However it's no more energy efficient than plain old CFL lights that cost 1/4 what LED's do. LED packaging will always use 100 year old Edison bulbs to compare with when showing how much energy they save. Never will you see them compare to a modern CFL, because the payback time is simply too long, if it's even there at all. At least most manufactures are posting LUMEN output on packaging for both CFL and LED (sometimes even Edison), making it easier to compare bulbs...

Comment by Bob Blanchette on June 2, 2012 at 7:02am

Dennis, 245KWH for a month is impressive for 4 people. How old are your kids and how did you get them on board? Families are the real challenge. I can reduce MY use to insane low amounts, but getting the rest of the family on board is the issue. For now we've compromised, from 2-7 weekdays we are on "energy alert" while the rest of the time I relax on the usage. After all energy COST is the number we are trying to reduce, not just KWH. On a VPP plan the 2 are not always the same...

Comment by Dennis McCarthy on June 1, 2012 at 10:40pm

Mr Lamy's comment speaks volumes about problem resolution, the problem is illogical energy use.

We have halved our kW use it was 245 kW last month ( THats for 4 people) if the masses would

just stop wasting so much, the metering would be unnecessary - although I agree with empowering

folks to keep track - the meter isn't needed - I know that we use about 9 to 11 kWs each day !

 Anyone can  fix air leakage - air infiltration - switch to LED lighting and get the results ( logical - minimal

energy use) then look at your electric meter each week and adjust your use as decided - it's sooo simple !

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