What is the Federal Energy Deregulation Act?

Incandescent Light Bulb
Take back the power, literally! According to Bill Olderman (here is his LinkedIn profile), an energy expert at Titan Energy and the author of today’s blog post, you have more control than you think over your home or building’s energy supply. Whether you want lower bills, more reliable service, or a better approach to the environment, you need to know your rights…

Since the Federal Energy Deregulation Act passed in 1999, many business and homeowners still haven’t exercised their right to choose their energy supplier. The ability for consumers to lower their energy costs, protect against rising rates, and, if interested, make an environmentally friendly choice, are all benefits of Deregulation. 3rd Parties help accomplish this by strategically purchasing the energy you use, in the same way the utility previously did, in the open market.  Depending on your state and the utility which serves you, the benefits will vary.

Deregulation dictates that your local utility can’t “Profit” on the supply of energy. Therefore, they don’t compete with 3rd parties, and shouldn’t care that you choose a supplier. However, you can still see this happen in states like Ohio (in certain markets), when they choose a supplier for you if you don’t choose yourself. Your local utility still delivers, services, and bills your account, as well as responds to any emergencies. This is where the utilities earn their profits. Read More

Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting In June

Bay lights
Image via NYTimes

What do soccer balls, Mona Lisa, and explosions have in common? They’re all in this month’s roundup! Read on to see what’s been going on in the lighting world…

Lighting news…

In early June, not even three months after its premiere, the artistic light display featured on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge started to malfunction. Some LED lights were stuck on, and others were caught in the off position. After scrambling for a solution, the technicians discovered that harsh weather conditions were causing the problems…Read more.

On June 4, 2013, the Louvre debuted the Mona Lisa‘s brand new LED display lighting. The change was bound to happen sooner or later due to the EU’s ban on incandescent lights, but no one expected how good it would actually look…Read more.

Mona Lisa
Image via BusinessWeek

We hear a lot about LEDs these days, but is there a place in the market for their fancier, pricier cousins, the OLEDs? Organic light emitting diodes have yet to find a niche in the market, but if and when they do, they’ll have to overcome stiff competition…Read more. Read More

CFLs and LEDs Steadily Gain Popularity

Compact Fluorescent Lighting
New research shows that the number of U.S. households using energy-saving LEDs or CFLs is increasing. Around 87% of households use at least one of these energy efficient light bulbs, and 77% use three or more. That’s up from 86% and 75% respectively in 2011.

Why do the numbers keep rising?

The answer is multi-faceted.

In a large-scale energy audit survey of 32,000 homes about energy use and energy efficiency, researchers found consumers were primarily motivated to use CFLs and LEDs to save money on their energy bills. Those who were slightly more environmentally conscious were more likely to use multiple CFLs and LEDs.

This increase in popularity also comes from utilities offering incentives for homeowners to switch to energy-efficient lights, especially CFLs, and the general-service incandescent phaseout that began in early 2012, removing many standard household lamps from the market. Read More

Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting In May

Reading Lights
It’s time for our monthly update on the most exciting happenings in the lighting world!

In Lighting News…

According to e! Science News, the new production of dual-color lasers could lead to cheaper, more efficient LEDs. It’s normally very costly and difficult to physically put together several lasers of different colors in one LED, but researchers at Arizona State University are about to change that. Read more.

On May 15, the US Department of Energy issued new protocols for calculating savings from energy efficient home, commercial, and industrial upgrades. The new protocols are voluntary, but formulated to encourage a common structure to determine energy savings based on average efficiency measures. Read more.

Lighting magazine recently published an article by lighting designer James Bedell about lighting CRI (Color Rendering Index). CRI is defined as the measure of how accurately a light portrays color, but Bedell argues that CRI actually has very little to do with how our eyes see colors. Instead, the CQS (Color Quality Scale) proves to be a more accurate measure. Read more.

A new study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) found a link between energy efficient homes and morgage risks. It seems that owners of ENERGY STAR-certified houses are less likely to default on their home loans. Read more. Read More

Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting in April

Midwest Energy News
Image via Midwest Energy News

A lot has been happening in the lighting world lately. Here are this month’s highlights…

In Lighting News…

Turkeys Love LEDs: A Minnesota turkey farmer is using LED lights to keep his turkeys happy and healthy. Every morning, Mike Langmo uses his dimmable, programmable LED lights to simulate a sunrise for his flock. There’s evidence that this practice is helping regulate their circadian rhythms, possibly contributing to their health and well-being. Read how it works here.

LED Prices Dropping: Two months ago, Cree announced they would be selling an LED light bulb for less than $10 in the US. Now, Osram has revealed that their new LED replacement for the 40W incandescent will retail at €9.95 in Germany. With prices going down this rapidly, LED light bulbs are becoming more attractive to consumers. Read more about this event here.

Most Efficient LED?: Philips has also been stepping up their game this month, claiming to have created the world’s most efficient lamp. It’s an LED tube light replacement prototype that produces 200 lumens of pure white light for every watt it uses. Learn the details here. Read More

Pegasus Lighting Roundup: Lighting In March

Here’s what’s been going on in the lighting world this month…

In Lighting News…

A Wal-Mart store in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin has equipped all its indoor and outdoor facilities with LED lights. The areas now illuminated by LEDs include the sales floor, pharmacy, restrooms, stock rooms, and the parking lot. Wal-Mart expects to save at least 30% of their energy costs, compared to their old fluorescent lighting systems. Click here to learn more.

On March 5th “The Bay Lights,” an LED light sculpture, illuminated San Francisco’s Bay Bridge for the first time with 25,000 LED lights. The project only costs $15.06 per night to operate, and was designed by artist Leo Villareal on a laptop. Check out this video from the grand lighting ceremony:

Read More