I just attended a party for some relatives. The event was held at one of the new lodges at the town park. It is a nice place with seating for 200 people, new furniture. full kitchen - very efficient setup. To be "green" the town has fitted it with the latest and greatest energy saving devices: energy star appliances, motion sensing lights, CFL bulbs, low flush toilets, etc.
After drinking a full can of Sprite, I needed to use the bathroom. As most of you know, I have a sling and it takes me 2.5-3 minutes to pee and empty my plumbing. Rather than do it in front of a urinal where others can see, I usually go into a stall, and drop my pants so I don't dribble on my front. The privacy of a stall also makes it easy for me to take all the time I need without feeling self conscious.
I walked intot he bathroom about
8:30 PM and the lights automatically turned on the instant I
opened the door. I went into the stall, closed the door behind me, and began to take care of the business at hand.
half way through, the lights suddenly turned off, leaving me in total darkness, facing the toilet with my pants around my ankles, dribbling pee into an unseen toilet. Not a photon was available for sighting purposes. I couldn't
open the stall door to turn the light on. I couldn't move enough to activate the sensor. I just finished up and hoped I didn't deposit anything in my pants. (I did fine by the way.)
Now let's figure out how much did those two minutes of lost lighting saved? 6 CFL bulbs, 6 x 16 watts x 12 cents/kWhr x 2 minutes/ 60 minute/hr = 0.04 cents!
So, if they leave 25 guys standing in the dark for 2 minutes every day of the year, the town saves a total of $3.65 per year. How much did that motion sensing switch cost with installation? $60? $100? What a waste!
In the words of Kermit the Frog: "It's Not Easy Being Green"