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[GreenYes] Re: CFL disposal in MN and other CFL issues


Here's a relevant copy-paste from today's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERI) Network News.  Be sure to check out the referenced report.


Raleigh, North Carolina, Commits to LED Lighting

Photo of a square light fixture featuring an array of glowing white dots, hanging from a concrete ceiling.

An LED light fixture in the City of Raleigh's municipal parking garage is the start of turning Raleigh into "LED City."
Credit: Lighting Science Group Corporation

Raleigh, North Carolina, aims to become an "LED City" through a wide deployment over the next 18 months of lights that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Raleigh first installed LED lighting in one floor of its municipal building's parking garage in December 2006, and has already quantified a 40 percent energy savings and a great improvement in lighting on that floor. The project used LEDs from Cree, Inc. that were incorporated into fixtures by the Lighting Science Group Corporation (LSGC) and installed by Amtech Lighting Services. Based on the results of that project, Raleigh now plans to deploy LED lighting in its garage and parking lot lights, street lights, architectural and accent lighting, portable lighting, and pedestrian and walkway lighting. See the Cree press release and photos of the garage on the LSGC Web site.

Raleigh's "LED City" initiative may provide a preview of the world two decades from now. A new report prepared for DOE by Navigant Consulting Inc. makes projections of the price and performance of LEDs and organic LEDs (OLEDs). The most positive assumptions find that LEDs and OLEDs could save 348 million kilowatt-hours of electricity by 2027. See the report, "Energy Saving Potential of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications" (PDF 340 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

daklute@no.address wrote:
Hi, Doug

LED's are commercially available and used readily in higher-end commercial applications and are begining to appear in very high-end residential homes mostly as under-counter lights. They will most likely fundamentally change the face of lighting, but are a long way from being universally applicable.

Similar to Moore's Law for computers, LED's are regularly reducing the amount of energy used per lumen produced.

Your defense of incandescents is mostly correct, but each justification gets less and less important as time goes on. The light quality of CFL's is changing (for the better) regularly with a number of much "warmer" bulbs now being marketed through main-stream retailers. The biggest drawbacks are down-lighting, oudoor lighting in extreme (MN) cold temps and dimming. Each is being addressed by the industry. BUt, I'm not sure either or the combination justifies a 125 year old, 5% efficient technology like the incandescent.


On 2/21/07, Doug Koplow <koplow@no.address> wrote:
The attached post is from Anne Morse about CFL disposal financing in MN, and may be of interest to some on the list. 
I personally have found the HHW drop-off program in our area inconvenient and time consuming, so I don't favor this as the venue for bulb recovery nationally.  My concern is that participation rates would be very low, as the larger the cost in time or complexity for people to participate in a program, the smaller the percentage of people who actually will.  The MN program in interesting in using utility funding to underwrite proper CFL disposal.  Better than nothing, but the utility has little leverage over bulb manufacture.  Fees directly on the sale of bulbs, linked to mercury content, would send a better signal to manufacturers to come up with alternative formulations.
There was another posting noting a proposal in Australia to ban incandescent bulbs.  Not a great idea in my view.  First of all, conservation of energy resources should be encouraged through the proper pricing of electricity, not through bans of specific products that use electricity.  Lots of products use more electricity than incandescent lighting per unit of energy services delivered (air conditioning, for example).  Are these to be restricted or banned as well?  Second, CFLs are not yet a perfect substitute for incandescents -- even ignoring the mercury issue.  The light quality is improving, but still not as good as incandescent.  The bulbs can't be easily used in certain applications, such as with dimmers, in some outdoor applications, or in small fixtures that require high lumen output. 
I've gotten some e-mails about whether a tax on incandescent bulbs should be used to pay for CFL recovery.  The problem here is that CFLs are not the only game in town.  Cross-subsidizing the problems with CFLs could impede the movement to market of lighting sources that are both efficient and toxics-free.  I believe that LED lighting is one such technology, and would be interested in whether anybody on the list knows how close these are to being able to compete with CFLs.
-Doug Koplo
Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02140
Tel:  617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463
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>>> "Anne Morse" <AMorse@no.address> 02/20/07 10:18AM >>>

Could you please post this to greenyes, if you think it helpful in the discussion.
I have not signed up to be able to post, and so the message bounced back.


-----Original Message-----
From: Anne Morse
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 9:13 AM
To: 'Doug Koplow'; bsteinberg@no.address
Cc: GreenYes@no.address
Subject: Financing CFL disposal in Minnesota

Here's how we finance disposal of household CFL's here in Minnesota:

The state's largest utility, Xcel Energy, is required by the state to spend a significant % of sales on conservation initiatives, termed the Conservation Incentive Program, or CIP.  Xcel opts to use CIP money to fund the disposal of fluorescent bulbs in the state through the counties' Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facilities.  Here's how it works:

Residents can bring up to 10 CFLs or regular fluorescent bulbs to our HHW facility every year, at any time, at no charge. (Ten is obviously ample to cover household-generated bulbs.)  When the county disposes of the fluorescent bulbs through our recycling contractor, Mercury Waste Solutions, Xcel rebates the counties the cost of disposal, and a handling fee to cover our time.

For quantities larger than ten - business quantities - we schedule two collection days per year, when the recycling contractor is on location at our HHW facility.  Businesses bring in their bulbs and are charged the cost of disposal by the contractor:  $.40 for 4' bulbs, $.45 for CFL's, and $.60 for 8' bulbs. 

This procedure has been in place for well over ten years, and everyone appears to be happy with it.  Our HHW facility is open 8 - 4:30 M-F, and Saturday mornings in the spring and summer.

There are some areas of the state that served by other utilities that are not as big as Xcel, and thus are not required to expend CIP funds.  As a result, coverage is not 100%, but it's darn close.

Anne Morse
Winona County, MN

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