Currently I’m putting together a sixty second and a thirty second Public Service Announcement (PSA) for my web video class at Washtenaw Community College. Did you know that in the USA 8.8% of all the electric power usage is for lighting? That is about 101 billion kilowatt hours of energy used per year on lights. That energy for lighting alone costs roughly ten billion dollars per year, $9,958,600,000.00 based on a cost of $0.0986 per kWh (in March 2006).
In a given house the lighting bill (only the lights) might add up to $300 per year. If all the incandescent bulbs in the US were changed to compact fluorescent bulbs there would be a potential savings of $7,800,000,000.00 per year. In that given house this might be $235 per year savings. That’s a nice lunch out!
The light given off by a 60W incandescent bulb is about equivalent to the light given off by a 13W fluorescent bulb, hence the huge energy saving. The fluorescent bulb saves about 78% of the energy of the incandescent bulb. Most of the wasted energy in the incandescent bulb is given off as heat, so those people living in warmer climates can also benefit by changing bulbs because their air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the house down.
Of course not every bulb can be replaced with a fluorescent. Most fluorescent bulbs are not dimmable. However, there is a low energy LED bulb that is dimmable.
The fluorescent bulbs cost more than the incandescent bulbs, however, they last years, not months. This is great because they pay for themselves in the long run, plus you’ll spend less time shopping and replacing them. And, less trips up and down the ladder. This is great for the keeping tottering old folks off ladders and safer.
One more thing about the fluorescent bulbs, they need to be recycled properly. They contain mercury which I know is nasty stuff, so please take those to your waste recyclers for proper disposal.