Government Ban in the Name of Energy Efficiency

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Regarding the government intrusion into our purchasing of items based on a goal of energy efficiency:

It's going to be okay.

I know you're troubled by the actions of our government. I know that you are concerned about the encroachment on our freedoms. I know that you don't want to be forced into buying something different because of some new efficiency standards.

I know you love your current refrigerator, range, dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, water heater, furnace, and air conditioner. And when each of these finally stops working, you want one just like it. But due to government regulations, your beloved five or ten year old appliance just isn't available anymore, and you'll be forced to choose a more efficient model. It's going to be tough, but a lot of these appliances look very similar to the ones you'll be replacing, and they do the job as well or better than the ones you have now. Some even have new features you may like.

What? You're not upset by the new appliances? You like the new features, and are looking forward to a more modern piece of equipment?

I apologize. I thought it was these items to which you were referring. Clearly, you're worried more about the computer and television. You really like your old computer and the way it stayed warm enough to attract your cat. And the glow of the cathode ray tube out the back of your television created a soft warm backlight to the image on the screen. Not only that, but that television acted like a table, too - you could put books and lamps on that floor model. I know it's going to be hard to give it up for a laptop with faster processing, more disk space, and lots of battery life. And these new flat TVs are...

Really? It's not the computers and TVs? You think the new ones are a great improvement?

Then what are you worried about losing?


Yes, I can see why you would want to hold on to a technology that hasn't changed in 100 years, since 1913 when Irving Langmuir introduced the coiled tungsten filament and gas-filled - rather than vacuum - globe. I can see why, from every dollar you spend on electricity for the bulb, you would want ninety five cents to pay for the heat generated by the bulb, with a nickle paying for the actual light - even if you have to spend more money on air conditioning to remove that heat during the summer. 

You say the problem is that you hate the compact fluorescent curly bulbs that take so long to warm up, and the LED bulbs are too expensive?

You are aware that they're not your only choices, right?

Have you seen the halogen replacement bulbs? The frosted bulbs are indistinguishable from the old incandescents, and the clear bulbs look very similar unless you get really close to look at the filaments. They use about 28% less electricity to produce the same amount of light, which means that seven cents of your dollar go to light and ninety three cents go to making heat. Oh, and you may become less familiar with your bulbs, because you won't be changing them as often: the halogen gas causes the tungsten that leaves the filament to redeposit back onto the filament, lengthening its life.

Seriously, it's going to be okay. New technology is nothing to be afraid of. 

Now let's look at some huge flat screen TVs.

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