Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Friday, 26 March 2010

Free lightbulbs - yours for £45. UPDATED.

Is anyone surprised by this?
Each household has ended up paying £45 for the free energy saving light bulbs that have been sent to them by their electricity supplier, according to a leading watchdog.
I've got a small number of these CFL dolphin friendly eco-lights, none of which I've paid for directly. They were been given away by a major DIY store and I think I was in and out of their shops four or five times while the promo was on (not to get a free light bulb on every visit - I genuinely had to keep coming and going anyway). Were they free? Were they fuck! If it cost the company, say, a million dollars then that cost would have been made up somewhere else by other products being slightly more than they would have been. The cost is spread roughly evenly among all the company's customers so isn't much per person, though obviously people who turn down the free bulbs pay anyway and get nothing. But beyond that it's naive to think we're getting something for nothing. Life, the universe and everything simply don't work that way.

However, while the cost of these 'freebies' was probably fairly low and not far off the unit cost you can always rely on some fuckwitted government edict to show private businesses how it's done and really distort prices. 45 quid? Were they made out of heroin? No, but possibly made because of an idea induced by taking the stuff.
More than 200 million free energy-saving light bulbs have been sent to households over the last two years by energy suppliers. The mass mail-out was caused by gas and electricity suppliers trying to hit Government targets to reduce carbon emissions.
However, Which?, the consumer watchdog has calculated that each household has ended paying £45 each through higher energy bills to fund the scheme, even though many consumers objected to being sent the bulbs.
To put it another way it'd be like your phone company sending you a new handset that you didn't ask for and don't particularly need and loading the price of your bills by several times what the fucking handset would have cost you on the High Street. Where that analogy breaks down is that it implies the handset is better than yours, whereas the eco-bulbs are arguably worse. A couple of mine need a good warm up before they produce any useful light so you need to switch them on three or four minutes before you really want them - no /headdesk because it's dark in here and I missed.
Many complained about having to go to the Post Office to collect what they thought was a parcel, only to find it was a bulb that did not even fit any of their lamps.
Your phone company is now sending you a handset that doesn't have a UK phone plug on it. And making you go and get the fucking thing without first telling you that it'll be as much use to you as an underwater toaster.

And for why?
"Consumers unwittingly paid for them to help energy companies avoid fines," the Which? report said.
The bulbs were sent by all of the big six suppliers: British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish & Southern and Scottish Power. They were sent out because they all had to sign up to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Taget (CERT), set by the Government in an attempt to force companies to improve their green credentials.
Companies had various options of how they hit their targets to reduce carbon emissions, but if they failed to hit their targets they could be fined 10 per cent of their turnover. The companies were, crucially, allowed to pass on the costs of the scheme to customers.
Ofgem, the industry regulator, calcuated that £84 out of the average dual fuel bill of about £1,200 goes on environmental levies, of which £45 goes directly towards funding CERT.
Fucking genius. A government driven by the green religion interfering and creating regulations that naturally make companies do things they would not ordinarily do, and telling them to feel free to bilk the fucking customers. 'Hey, it's okay, we do it all the time. Lots of them won't even notice.' Except that eventually someone would notice and get a pencil out to see how stupid the idea really was. And what happens then?
The Department of Energy and Climate Change admitted last year that the scheme was flawed and resulted in significant wastage, with no proof that the lightbulbs were being used in people's homes.
It ordered that direct mailouts of bulbs would be banned from January 1, 2010.
Look you fucking incompetent pricks, just leave everything the fuck alone. Why can't you learn from past mistakes? Why isn't it getting through that having ordered one thing that backfired the solution is not to order the opposite? Why is it so hard for you government retards to grasp the simple premise that the answer is to stop giving orders at all?

Shut. The. Fuck. Up. And. Leave. Everything. Alone.

I'll spend Dirt Hour fantasising about grinding my eco-bulbs into the Millipede's smug face.

UPDATE - and obviously what goes for eco-bulbs goes for cars as well.


microdave said...

And just for good measure CFL's cause problems with electronic equipment controlled by Infra Red remotes....

Angry Exile said...

Interesting. I've heard about various problems - the mercury, dimmer switches, etc - but the issue with remotes is a new one on me. Just keeps on piling up, doesn't it?

microdave said...

I've got a HDD based media player/recorder, and every time I turn a CFL on in the same room it starts up! Fortunately I have a very early Philips CFL which uses a good old fashioned ballast, and that works fine. When it dies I will have to think of something else. Anthony at WUWT has been trying some LED alternatives with considerable success, however they are still very expensive.

And if you want to know all about CFL's this should be right up your street - literally, as it's an Australian site:

Related Posts with Thumbnails