Are you still holding out on changing out those incandescent light bulbs for CFL’s? Even though Dominion Power is offering to pay for a hefty portion of 9 of them? The Home Energy Checkup offered by Dominion Power gives rebates (yes, that means cash in the form of a check) for doing things that will save you substantial cash on your energy bills like changing out your old energy guzzlers for the much leaner, greener CFL’s. Even with these great incentives (cash), I don’t see that many people taking advantage of this great opportunity.
If you have already had your Home Energy Checkup, then take a moment and pat yourself on the back for being ahead of the curve, daring, avant garde even. Now I am deputizing you into action. Your country, state, county, and town are in need of your service! Arm yourself with a few CFL’s and hit the road. Check your neighbors front porch lights, yard light, whatever you can reach the easiest and start changing out bulbs. Then the next time they are out in the yard you can just randomly be walking by and comment on how much you like that they are using CFL’s to save energy and how much you like the ones you got during your recent Home Energy Checkup. What is that? They haven’t heard of the new Dominion Program? Well you would love to share with them how you got signed up.
Many people have told me that they are are changing theirs out slowly, one here and there as the old incandescents die out. This may seem like a good plan, however, the longer those old bulbs stay in place, the more energy they waste. There are so many choices out there now (instant on, dimmable, even colors) that save you sooo much money that waiting to install them till the old ones are dead doesn’t make sense. Here’s the math: An incandescent bulb rated at 65 Watts produces 620 Lumens giving it an efficiency rating (lm/w) of 10. A comparable CFL rated at 15 Watts gives off 675 Lumens with an efficiency rating of 45.
Let’s do the math on the savings from a 65 Watt to a 15 Watt. Your 15w CFL bulb (50watt savings) remains on for 1 hour then it would save you .05 kwh (Kilowatts per hour). Multiply .05 kwh by the number of hours per day of usage (.05 * 3hrs=.15kwh per day). That number by the number of days and you get the monthly savings (.15 * 30= 4.5 kwh per month). Translated to dollars you multiply 4.5 kwh * .10(cost of kilowatt hour / month) = .45 cents / month. This then can be translated to amount of time it takes to recover your initial cost or ROI (return on investment). For example a $2.50 CFL will pay for itself in savings in about 5 months assuming you use the bulb for 3 hours per day. After 5 months it is pure savings in your pocket. The ROI is much quicker if you buy bulbs in bulk (reduce cost per bulb) or use them for a longer length of time per day. So as you can see your savings do not start until you are actually using the CFL bulbs. Still wondering if it’s worth it to change out your old energy hog light bulbs even before they die?
So consider yourself deputized. Let’s spread the love, I mean energy efficiency. (If you want to sign up for the Dominion Program or would just like more information, I’d love to help. firstname.lastname@example.org)