We recommend using natural gas over electricity wherever it makes sense. One million BTU’s of energy equates to 970 cubic feet of natural gas or 293 kWh of electricity. For example, if your average electric cost is about 10¢ per kWh, the burner-tip price of natural gas would have to exceed $29 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) to become as expensive as electricity. Current natural gas prices are much lower than that. For Dominion East Ohio commercial and residential customers, the standard price will be $3.68 per Mcf starting in mid-February. This is down 10% from the current price of $4.08 with took effect in mid-January. You may read more about this in John Funk’s article in the Plain Dealer.
In this article in today’s Plain Dealer, John Funk describes how Mike Brakey cut the electric consumption in his Shaker Heights home dramatically through various measures, including replacing all the light bulbs in the house with LED’s. Here is more detailed information on what LEDs were used.
We installed 88 LEDs at a total cost of $2,400 over a three-year period. The combined load of the LEDs is 709 watts compared to approximately 7,000 watts for equivalent incandescent bulbs. $330 was also spent on 11 Lutron LED dimmer switches for individual rooms. If a power outage occurred, a back-up generator could operate every LED light in the home with as little electrical draw as 100 watts.
Details on the fixtures we used are shown in the table below:
|Fixture||Cost per fixture||Kelvin Rating||
|Cree RL6 650
The Kelvin rating relates to both the color of the light and the temperature. 3,000 K is a warm white light, with a tinge of yellow. 5,000 K is a cool white light, with a tinge of blue; it is better for reading. All of these fixtures are rated for a minimum of 50,000 hours of life, with less than 10% degradation.
Presently, residential electric rates across FirstEnergy territories in Ohio average approximately 12 cents per kilowatt hour. For 50,000 hours of light, this translates into $42,558 for equivalent incandescent bulbs as opposed to $4,255 for LED’s we installed. Thus, the savings would be about $38,300 over 50,000 hours of usage.
The payback period is sensitive to family living habits.
- In the extreme, if you are part of a large family that never turns lights off and they are run round the clock, 365 days a year, 50,000 hours would be 5.7 years. The simple payback period would be 4.3 months.
- If a family has each LED turned on for 6 hours per day, 50,000 hours would translate to 23 years. The payback period would be closer to 17 months.
Another benefit is that, for the next twenty or more years, I won’t hear my wife ask me to change a burned out light bulb! These payback periods might become shorter for future LED users because for the following reasons:
- LED pricing continues to fall as sales grows;
- LED technology advances are continually providing more lumens per watt; and
- Residential electric prices are likely to climb much higher over the coming years.
With financial savings of $38,300 over 50,000 hours, we have additional green benefits of:
- 742 less metric tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide)
- 4.72 less metric tons of SOX (sulfur dioxide)
- 1.25 less metric tons of NOX (nitrogen oxide)
We wanted to let you know about an upcoming educational forum, sponsored by the Geauga Growth Partnership and FirstEnergy, for energy intensive businesses in Geauga County. The topics include:
- Power quality
- Distribution system energy efficiency
- Distribution automation
- Volt/var control
- Distributed generation
Power Quality in Geauga County Wednesday, February 8th 7:30 to 9:30 A.M. (Breakfast served at 7:30; program begins at 8:00.) Punderson State Park Manor Lodge 11755 Kinsman Road Newbury, Ohio 44065 To make your reservations, call 440-564-1060 or email email@example.com.
The NYMEX settlement price at the end of December was $3.084 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), down 8% from $3.364 at the end of November. For Dominion East Ohio commercial and residential customers under Choice, the price to beat is NYMEX plus $1, or $4.084 per Mcf beginning in mid-January. For more information, you may read John Funk’s article from the January 4th Plain Dealer: Dominion, Columbia rates lowest in decade