Congratulations to all 170 winners of our 10th Annual Energy Efficiency Makeover contest! What’s the result when all of the makeover winners exchange Edison-style incandescent bulbs and CFLs with energy efficient General Electric (GE) LEDs? Well, there are several answers. For instance, each member will reduce the energy requirements for lighting their home, which lowers their electric bill. Furthermore, the combined energy savings, if every winner swaps out incandescent bulbs, could reach nearly 633 kilowatts. This reduction of energy is a win-win because stewardship of consumption helps manage and lower the operating costs for energy production that is shared by all co-op members. Using less energy means fewer fuel resources are required to run power plants. Also, implementing energy efficiency helps defer construction of additional power plants.
Furthermore, LEDs emit less unwanted heat into the home and help reduce summer air conditioning costs. LEDs last longer than conventional bulbs and are perfect for high ceilings and hard-to-reach places. The color temperature, or Kelvin (K on retail boxes), perfectly matches an incandescent for those who prefer a warm color temperature. LEDs are pretty tough. Since they do not have a filament and do not have glass bodies, most will continue to function if bumped or dropped.
When it comes to energy usage, most average-sized, single-family homes require approximately 10 to 15 kilowatts of energy to power regular energy needs. The energy savings potential of our makeover winners could provide enough energy to supply the total electricity needs of approximately 42 homes. Imagine the savings impact if every Arkansan switched to LEDs. Now imagine if 323 million Americans switched to LEDs. The energy savings would be staggering. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that by the year 2027, the savings potential for using LEDs could reach the equivalent energy output of nearly 44 power plants and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices. Everybody wins when we use LEDs!
A project of the magnitude of our makeover contest could not be accomplished without relationships with those who embrace energy efficiency. Longtime makeover partner GE has been in lockstep with us since our second makeover project. We are appreciative of their contribution of the LEDs for this year’s project. Over the past eight makeovers, GE has supplied Energy Star appliances and thousands of LEDs, and we thank them for their commitment to energy efficiency education and awareness.
LEDs are quickly becoming ubiquitous. Their applications are not just for the home. LEDs are used in outdoor landscape fixtures, holiday and ornamental lighting, vehicles, aviation, news studios, entertainment and many more applications. Soon, the incandescent bulb will go by the wayside like floppy disks, movie store rentals and pay phones. LEDs are here to stay until the next bright lighting idea is invented.
Many thanks to the over 13,000 electric co-op members who entered the contest. For those who didn’t win, LEDs remain an easy and affordable way to incorporate energy efficiency into your home. Various styles of LEDs are abundant at retail and home supply box stores. A complete list of winners is listed in this publication and on our website. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any energy efficiency questions. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook at www. facebook.com/smartenergytips.org, as well as listen to our podcasts.
Bret Curry is the residential energy marketing manager for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), which supplies wholesale electricity to the state’s 17 electric distribution co-ops.