Sunday, May 15, 2011

Australian Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs

This weekend just gone I went through some old magazines I have. One was an old G (green living) Magazine from September 2008.

There is a small blurb that states:

The sale of incandescent bulbs will be banned in Australia by the end of 2010. This will reduce our electricity use by 4 terrawatts per year - that's as much electricity as a small coal-fired power station produces.

-Originally sourced from the Federal Department of the Environment

4 terrawatts = 4,000,000,000,000 watts

There are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in an regular year, multiply these together and you have a total of 8760 hours in one year.

To determine the cited savings in the standard unit of kilowatt hour, we first have to turn those watts into kilowatts by dividing by 1,000

So 4,000,000,000 kilowatts - Now we average this use across all the hours of one year (8760 hours).

4,000,000,000 / 8760 = 456,621 kWh (456.6 Megawatt Hours)

...So by just switching light bulbs Australia collectively saves 456.6mWh every hour for an entire year?!?

This seems impressive, divided over 22million residents of Australia it comes out at about a 0.5 kilowatt hour saving...@ 20c per kilowatt hour, Australians are supposedly saving 10c an hour because of this switch - But was the 4 terrawatt figure for savings given in 2008 accurate? I'm not sure :P

What I do know is that if one business provided the whole of Australia with electricity and this happened that it would represent (at a rate of 20c per kWh) a loss of income of $91,324.20 every hour, or $2,191,780.80 per day...a whopping $799,999,992 per year. And people wonder why electricity prices keep rising...

According to

"...950 grams of CO2 is evolved for every KWh of electricity produced"

Making the assumption that all of those 4 terrawatts were sourced from coal fired power plants, this would represent a saving in C02 emissions of 433,790 Kg...every hour, for a year.

Considering Australia is preventing nearly half a megaton of CO2 every hour, why is the Labor Government of Australia introducing a carbon tax?


  1. Jeeze! The Australians ban everything!!

  2. sounds a hassle, prob for the best...

  3. Labor is doing a good job atm, since K Rudd got the boot, I voted for John Howard again lol

  4. To much math for my head to comprehend!!

  5. Great post! Keep up the good work!

  6. I'm American, and I totally hate those twirly light bulbs lol. There's like mercury in them so you exposed to poisons if you clean one up after a break. Also they're florescent type of light... too bright gives you headaches. meh.

  7. This a great post, very clear :)

  8. Hardly such savings from banning simple types of incandescent light bulbs!!

    Less than 1% in overall US (and EU)energy savings, using EU institutional and the US Dept of Energy's own figures
    ( with further arguments against the ban )
    Much greater and more relevant savings of actual “energy waste” comes
    from power plant and grid changes, and from preventing the unnecessary
    usage of products eg night lighting in buildings,
    than from preventing the personal choices of the products that people want to use.

  9. let's see if this turns out to be a good idea...

  10. Sounds like a horrible idea. Aus is always kicking up shit with their own country.

  11. Hmmm... I barely knew that incandescent was that damageable! Thanks!

  12. you ask why a government is putting a new tax in? your so silly to ask. money. they love and can never get enough money. ALSO, no matter how much you (Aus) me (USA) and England save it does not matter. CHINA is the one dooming the world if the whole global warming by to much CO2 is real. I dont think CO2 will doom us, mostly because CO2 is what plants breath, and really a small tick up will only help the rain forests. sooo... yeah. non of it makes sense unless you just call everbody advocating useing less energy and implimenting more taxes money hungry.
    oh BTW: Those MERCURY BOMBS are not going my house

  13. one last thing. Go Green: Go Nuclear.

  14. Ireland did this a few years back, was pretty effective.