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High-quality compact fluorescent lamps carry the
Energy Star logo.
Over its five- to 10-year lifetime, an Energy Star CFL can save
about $30 in energy costs, making it a much better deal than using
an incandescent bulb that has an average lifetime of just one year and
uses a fair amount of electricity.
Here’s an easy step to help the environment: Visit energystar
.gov/ index.cfm?fuseaction=cal.showPledge (or tinyurl.com/3lgfmn)
and join the “Change a Light Campaign” challenge. Just pledge to
change at least one light in your home to a CFL that has earned the
Energy Star designation. EPA calculates that if every U.S. household
replaced just one bulb with a CFL, it would prevent greenhouse gas
emissions that are equivalent to those produced by more than 800,000
cars on our nation’s roads. It would also save more than $600 million
in energy costs every year. And just figure the impact if you changed
a bunch of bulbs in your house rather than just one!
By the way, that website also has some great details on CFLs and
even information on manufacturers making the bulbs.
As these bulbs have grown more popular, they’re becoming available in all kinds of stores, from warehouse clubs to hardware stores
and in many specialty outlets. Over the years, I’ve seen their prices
drop from $15 to $20 or more for just one bulb to as low as $1.50
today. That’s still more than a 49-cent incandescent, but the payback
is the tremendous energy savings over the bulb’s lifetime, the reduced
heat from the energy-efficient bulbs, and the reduced frequency of
replacing bulbs in hard-to-reach lamps. CFLs are an incredible investment — one of the best you can make today. ●
Got questions about home energy usage and renewable
energy? Send them to email@example.com. Ken has been working in
renewable energy for 25 years and knows where to find the answers
to your questions. Not all questions can be answered personally, but
watch for yours in this column and his syndicated column, “Home
Energy Source,” appearing in hundreds of newspapers nationwide. Or
access his archived Q&As at askken.org.