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2007 November » Our Sustainable Home
Archive for: November, 2007

More progress for LEDs

November 28th, 2007

A press release from LED Lighting Fixtures today announced they had received confirmation from NIST that their prototype “PAR 38 self-ballasted lamp” produces as much light as standard 65-watt incandescent bulb (658 lumens) while consuming just 5.8 watts of power.

As pricing is still unavailable it’s hard to say if this is finally the bulb that will make LEDs practical for the general public.

I continue to be quite confident LEDs are the future of lighting and dearly wish we had just skipped development of mercury-laden compact-fluorescent bulbs and had put that effort behind LED technology.

Since we hope/plan to have solar panels one day (which produce DC voltage) and since LEDs operate most efficiently on DC power, we’re hoping to run DC wiring to our outlets and ceiling fixture in anticipation of one day making the switch to more DC powered fixtures and appliances.

Posted by Colin
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Cost of energy drops

November 3rd, 2007

In a previous post about using Bullfrog instead of buying Solar Panels, I used 5% as the amount by which energy costs would increase each year. I also noted that it was probably unfair to apply this rate to Bullfrog since the costs of wind power and especially solar power would likely decline over time.

Oddly enough, energy prices seem to have dropped for both Toronto Hydro AND Bullfrog Power. I didn’t make careful note of the energy cost breakdown last time, so here it is for future comparison:

30-day Breakdown
(Cents / kWh)
Toronto Hydro
(<600 kWh)
Toronto Hydro
(>600 kWh)
Bullfrog Power
(untiered)
Usage 5.3 6.2 8.9
Transmission 1.02 1.02 1.02
Distribution 1.87 1.87 1.87
Wholesale Mkt Ops 0.62 0.62 0.62
Debt Retirement 0.70 0.70 0.70
Sub-total 9.51 10.41 13.11
GST 0.57 0.62 0.79
TOTAL 10.1 11.0 13.9

Other than the rate for power from Bullfrog, the energy pricing information comes from Toronto Hydro’s web site. In addition to the above amounts there is a flat ‘customer charge’ of $12.68 ($13.44 with GST) per 30 days.

So the standing question is whether you can afford a small markup to your electricity bill to know that your power usage is coming from low-impact hydro, wind and solar sources, instead of nuclear, high-impact hydro, and coal? It seems like a ridiculously small price to pay, to me.

Posted by Colin
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