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Saving power: Progress Energy, Home Depot to offer discounted energy-saving bulbs

Posted September 19, 2007
Updated April 30, 2008

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— Looking to save some money on your power bill?

Progress Energy and Home Depot are teaming up to offer a $1 discount on compact fluorescent light bulbs as part of a plan to reduce energy consumption.

The plan has been approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, and the discounts will start October 1 and last through December 30 or as long as supplies last.

The so-called CFL bulbs must meet “Energy Star” ratings.

Progress Energy expects as many as 200,000 bulbs will be sold.

The discounts are part of a plan by Progress Energy to help consumers and businesses reduce energy consumption/

"We're committed to energy efficiency and want to make it easy and cost- effective for our customers to use energy wisely," said Lloyd Yates, president and CEO - Progress Energy Carolinas. "This project will allow us to increase awareness and use of CFLs among our customers in the Carolinas."

CFLs use some 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and also can last up to 10 times longer.

Bulbs in 40-watt, 60-watt and 100-watt equivalents will be available.

Home Depots in Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Knightdale, and on Strickland Road and Capital Boulevard in Raleigh will offer the discounted bulbs in the Triangle.

7 Comments

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  • ohmygosh Sep 20, 2007

    According to a spreadsheet printout from Progress Energy,
    lighting + other uncategorized uses are 5% of the electric bill.
    If you succeed in saving 50% of this by CFL use, you'll probably never see it in your bill. It will get lost in the noise.

    However a 2.5% reduction is really important to Progress Energy and is quite significant.

    The big ticket items are cooling, heating, water heating, and refrigerators.

    Steve Crisp, if you don't believe they generate radio noise, stick your portable AM radio next to one. Now multiply that noise source by 100 million or so. Spectrum pollution is a real issue. Also stick one next to your laptop AC power adapter. These switching supplies are also bad actors.

  • pack-man Sep 20, 2007

    they will help save a little on your power bill, but the true culprit is the ac/dc converters that accompany most computers and electronic gadgets. unplug all these for a month, you will see a difference.

  • Steve Crisp Sep 20, 2007

    I have a different experience than you, ohmygosh and travised.

    I use them just fine with UPS units. There are three of them in the fixutures out front of my house and they stay on all the time; never had an issue with cold. In fact, the three that are out there now were replaced at Christmas 2005 and are still going strong.

    I never noticed any RF interference, but I have all electronic items, especially audio, on power conditioners. We replaced two regular bulbs over the stove with two of them and I had to remove one. It was just way too bright.

    The ones in my attic have never been replaced, though they don't stay on all the time. Seven years now. Same with the ones in the crawl space.

    And as a kid, we used to play with mercury all the time. Never affected us. Mecury is a naturally occuring element that is present everywhere. The only time it really causes problems is in conjunction with certain mercury compounds that are ingested or inhaled. Elemental mercury is pretty safe.

  • Harrison Bergeron Sep 20, 2007

    I remember reading about the loony California legislature kicking around the idea of banning the incandescent bulb.

    I wonder if incandescent bulbs contribute to global warming?

  • SteamTrain Sep 20, 2007

    The mercury issue, though "small", is one that won't go away.

    I've seen previous articles that said that Raleigh will have a special dropoff site for these....but 99% of users aren't about to travel 20mi RT to drop off a bulb or two. I've had a blown one sitting on the shelf for more than a year now...when I get tired of it, it'll probably go....in regular trash. I'd prefer to do the right thing though.

    The alternatives:

    1. Special small curbside pickup boxes for all residents (unlikely)

    2. Require all stores that sell them to have drop-off boxes. When you blow one, you bring it in when you buy a new one. (workable, though you need insure that the stores do the right thing with the discards).

    3. Retailers voluntarily offer droppoff boxes. Those that do will get all the business. (Free Market)

    It'll be interesting to see where Raleigh/Wake goes with this

  • ohmygosh Sep 20, 2007

    CFL's contain mercury. The environmentalists have chosen to look the other way on this mercury issue. They say it is a tiny amount but chase parts per billion "mercury contaminations" elsewhere. They shouldn't be tossed in the garbage when dead.

    CFL's have a circuit in them that generates the high voltage needed for flourescent lamps. All but a few of those manufactured (some Phillips) generate huge amounts of radio inteference.

    They don't like the cold.

    The spectrum of emitted light is generally harsh. One needs a color temperature of over 3000 degrees to approach the warmth of incadescent lamps. While some have this, good luck in finding them.

    They are bulky and ugly. Hardly for use in most locations where the bulbs are visible.

    They don't last like advertised. It is unlikely that they will be cost effective.

  • Travised Sep 19, 2007

    It's a coin toss going to CFL's. I've noted the frequency difference (in light band) compared to Type A bulbs. A lot of the time they appear to emmit less light. In theory you shouldn't use them in "moist" rooms such as the bathroms. Even after installing them in my 3 way in the bedrooom and the 2 way in another room I have seen no drop in the power consuption.

    I can't use them with my UPS for battery backup power lighting.

    Big suggestions for saving power I found are unplugging your transformers when not in use. That saves you a good amount of watts the transformers otherwise would be burning off in heat converting AC to DC just being plugged in.