Default Title Energy efficiency question: The ‘magic oil change’ analogy

Energy efficiency question: The ‘magic oil change’ analogy

What if you only had to change the oil in your car once every 5 years? Would you be willing to pay more for this one magical oil change?

On the surface, it may seem like an offer you could pass up. After all, wouldn’t it be better just to deal with the oil changes incrementally rather than pay more money up-front to skip them completely?

But really think about all the steps involved in an oil change:
1. You have to call and schedule an appointment with your mechanic or dealership.
2. You have to take time off work or go on a night/weekend to the appointment.
3. You then need to drive to the location.
4. You have to sit and wait while they change the oil.
5. You may have to wait in line to pay when your car is ready.
6. Then, you have to drive it home.

Sure, it’s not hard to get an oil change. But it’s annoying — especially if you need to repeat the process multiple times during this year and in the years to come. Suddenly, the deal for the magic one-time oil change seems appealing.

Light replacements: The energy efficiency equivalent of the oil change

The same argument can be made for replacing lights in your commercial building.

Sure, it may seem tempting to ignore the energy efficiency analysis that tells you it’s worth it to pay more up-front for LED lights. After all, how annoying is it to simply change a light bulb when it goes out?

Just like the oil change, there’s more than just one step. You have to find the correct bulb and color type, order it online, and call someone from maintenance to schedule a time to replace it. Then that person needs to pick up the bulb, climb up on a ladder, replace it, and then dispose of the old bulb.

Wouldn’t it be better to pay slightly more up front and never have to deal with that hassle?