Save up to $177 by switching one light fixture from an incandescent to an LED bulb
How We Calculated the Numbers (Issue 3)
Stop Using Incandescents and Save
By Lesley Young
Incandescent light bulbs waste 75 per cent of their energy as heat, not light, and only last up to 1,000 hours. According to Natural Resources Canada, the maximum lifespan of an LED (light-emitting diode) bulb is 50,000 hours. Depending on your choice of energy-efficient bulbs, lighting costs can vary. Below is the example we used in issue 3 of EcoLiving magazine and the article “Pay Less for Lighting.”
Newer bulbs were chosen to have a brightness equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent, which emits 800 lumens of visible light:
- 8-watt LED
- 13-watt compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)
- 43-watt halogen
According to BC Hydro, a CFL has a 10,000-hour life expectancy, and a halogen, roughly 4,000. Using an LED’s 50,000-hour lifespan as a base, it takes five CFLs and 13 halogens to achieve the same lighting hours.
We called a Rona store in Winnipeg for representative pricing:
- 8-watt LED: $30
- 13-watt CFL: $3.50 x 5 = $17.50
- 43-watt halogen: $2.50 x 13 = $32.50
Some bulbs were not available in single packs, so we calculated the price per bulb when buying in multi-packs.
To calculate energy costs, we used the Electricity Usage Calculator from Spectrum Research Inc., which measures lighting costs by the hour.
We set the energy price as $0.10/kWh, the national average, and found the following:
Energy costs: $0.0008 per hour x 50,000 hours = $40
$40 + $30 (cost of bulbs) = $70
Energy costs: $0.0013 per hour x 50,000 hours = $65
$65 + $17.50 (cost of bulbs) = $82.50
Energy costs: $0.0043 per hour x 50,000 hours = $215
$215 + $32.50 (cost of bulbs) = $247.50
NOTE: We noticed a typo in issue 3 of EcoLiving. The calculation shown here is correct.
What Should You Replace First?
By C.M. Mack
Updating your furnace, washing machine and water heater to the most energy-efficient models will immediately slash your energy or water use. Invest in all three and save $482 each year. Here’s how we came up with our numbers.
Update your furnace
Replace an old gas furnace that has a seasonal efficiency rating (AFUE) of 60 per cent with a gas-condensing furnace that has an efficiency rating of 98 per cent.
Invest: $5,000 purchase and installation. We called Arpis in Calgary for pricing.
Rebates: $500 + $375 = $875
Total investment: $5,000 - $875 = $4,125
Energy costs: Using Canada’s Energy Star Simple Savings Calculator (v. 6.0), we set the heating capacity to 60,000 Btu/hour. The cost to run an old gas furnace (60 per cent AFUE) in Calgary costs $557/year. The cost to run a gas-condensing furnace (98 per cent AFUE) costs $334/year.
Calculation: $557 - $334 = $223/year, or $1,115 over five years
Update your washing machine
Replace a 1999 washer with a current Energy Star-certified model using one-tenth the energy and less than one-third the water.
Invest: $1,000 average cost. We noted prices from major hardware stores nationwide.
Energy costs: A standard washing machine purchased in 1999 with an energy consumption of 860 kWh/year costs $65.36/year to run in Alberta (at a rate of $0.076/kWh). An Energy Star–certified model with an energy consumption of 87 kWh/year costs $6.61/year.
Calculation: $65.36 - $6.61 = $58.75/year, or $293.75 over five years
Water costs: The average Canadian household counts 392 washing cycles per year, according to the Energy Star Calculator, with a standard load using 150 L of water per load. That’s 58,800 L/year, which costs $136.42/year in Alberta, where water costs $2.32/1,000 L. An Energy Star–certified model uses 42 L/load, about 16,464 L/year, and costs $38.20/year.
Calculation: $136.42 - $38.20 = $98.22/year, or $491.10 over five years
Annual energy and water savings: $58.75 (energy) + $98.22 (water) = $156.97, or $784.85 over five years
Update your water heater
Replace an old 190-litre (50 gallon) water heater with a high-efficiency condensing gas storage tank at least 94 per cent efficient.
Invest: $1,500 purchase and installation. We called Stevens Plumbing and Heating in North Vancouver for pricing.
Rebates: $300 + $375 = $675
Total investment: $1,500 - $675 = $825
Energy costs: Roughly 35 per cent of water used in a home is heated. That amounts to 115 L per person per day. Multiplied by four people, that’s 460 L/day. We used Canada’s Energy Star Simple Savings Calculator (v. 6.0), to find that an old unit, operating at 59 per cent efficiency, costs $274/year to run. A high-efficiency gas-condensing storage tank model, operating at 94 per cent efficiency, costs $172/year to run.
Calculation: $274 - $172 = $102/year, or $510 over five years
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