Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't Turn Off The Lights

One of the lightbulbs in my room went dead this evening.

It was no big deal; the shops were still open, so I just popped around the corner and got myself a box of two lightbulbs for 99 pence (there was no boxes of one screw-on bulb.)

As I was walking home, I wondered why the onus of purchasing light bulbs lies on the energy consumer instead of the energy provider. The energy consumer consumes electricity, and he/she still has to pay for the privilege to consume electricity by proxy of artificial lighting.

To make myself seem more logical/thoughtful/cost-conscious, I did a rather simplistic equation on how much energy a light bulb consumes, and consequently how much an average household customer would pay for it.

Here goes my energy consumption equation:
My 60W light bulb has a lifespan of 1000 hours.
It consumes approximately 60kWh of electricity during its lifespan.
One of the energy providers in London charges 15.74p per kWh of general household use.
This means my light bulb would have consumed around £9.44 of electric energy by the time it expires.

Which means... if an energy company provided a light bulb free of charge for its customer, it effectively spends 49.5p (or even less if it bought its light bulbs in bulk) on so-called 'marketing' costs. This 49.5p spending corresponds to a revenue flow of £9.44 - generated when the above-mentioned 60W, 1000-hour light bulb is used to its expected lifespan.

After all, we paid for cost of household electricity consumption... so why do we still have to pay for the means to consume it as well, when the energy provider benefits from our consumption through use of light bulbs? Give us customers some incentive to consume!
(never mind the energy-efficient initiative - I'm just trying to present a case economist-style, ceteris paribus...)

...ah, this is another one of those random thought moments I have.
Please excuse my indulgence ^__^;

Another bit of random news: I went to the Indonesian Embassy in Mayfair for help/advice, and ended up having lunch over there. Today's menu was tempeh with green vegies and kikil - good for LDL-cranking but delicious nevertheless! :D


Mely said...

Interesting case! Though I think electricity, in this case light, is a necessity not very much negotiable.

Anyway, say a lightbulb costing 50p can generate revenue of 10 pounds (I can't find the sign on my keyboard!) over its 1000 hours lifespan. That cost alone already contributes 5% to the potential revenue over 40 days of its life give or take. Too costly I suppose, not to mention there maybe illegal sale/export of the free bulbs.

Just my 2 cents. :)

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