ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - If every American home replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR® light bulb, we could save about $600 million in annual energy costs, enough to light 3 million homes for a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, suggests customers consider making the switch to CFL bulbs because the bulbs last up to 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs while providing the same amount of light. On average, one CFL bulb will pay for itself in about six months and will save around $40 or more over the lifetime of the bulb.
"Not only are CFLs now available in a variety of sizes, light colors and styles, they have also come down in price, making them an even more effective way to save on energy costs," said Kim Berghoefer, a Progress Energy Florida energy-efficiency expert. "For the biggest payback, be sure to use CFLs in the light fixtures you leave on the longest. Replacing just eight frequently used bulbs with CFLs can save you up to $140 per year."
Lower wattage CFLs use far less electricity to provide the same light output, or lumens, as higher wattage incandescent light bulbs. For example a 13-watt CFL provides the same light as a 60-watt standard bulb, without generating the heat put off by the traditional bulb.
CFL bulbs come in a variety of shapes and styles from the easily recognizable spiral to tube and candle bulbs. Most can also be used in outdoor covered light fixtures.
Some CFL bulbs now resemble a more traditional light bulb by using a plastic or glass cover over the coil or spiral, making them a great option for certain light fixtures such as pendant lighting or ceiling fan lights where the bulb is visible. The trade-off is that covered A-shaped or globe CFL bulbs generally cost a little more, may take a bit longer to reach full brightness and may have a slight reduction in the amount of light produced. Indoor reflector bulbs used for recessed can or track lighting, and outdoor reflector bulbs used for flood lights are other types of lighting where covered CFLs are used.
Selecting the right light color or tone of CFLs can also make a difference throughout your home. Warm white or soft white CFLs are more similar in color to standard incandescent bulbs, giving off a yellowish light. Cool white or neutral white CFLs appear whiter and are a good option for kitchens and work spaces. Natural or daylight CFLs are good for reading as their bluer tones emulate a blue sky at noon.
Dimmers are an option to soften the light in a home while saving on electricity. More and more CFLs are now available that work with dimmers and "3-way" switches. Progress Energy Florida recommends reading package labels carefully when selecting bulbs. You can also visit www.energystar.gov to learn more about CFLs and to download a "CFL Purchasing Guide" that offers guidance on how to choose the right ENERGY STAR-qualified bulb.
Even if you have energy-efficient CFLs in every light fixture in your home, be sure not to forget one of the most basic energy savings tips -- always turn off the lights that aren't in use and you will see the difference on your energy bill each month.
For more bright ideas on how to save on energy costs, contact Progress Energy Florida for a no-hassle, no-cost Home Energy Check. Through the Progress Energy service -- which can be performed online, over the phone or in person -- a highly trained Energy Advisor will do all the work for you and provide customized, energy-saving advice and determine your eligibility for company rebates toward energy-efficient home improvements. A Home Energy Check is a prerequisite for all Progress Energy rebates for energy-efficient home improvements.
To sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Check or to learn more than 100 energy-saving tips, visit progress-energy.com/save or call 1.877.364.9003.
Information about Progress Energy Florida can be found at www.progress-energy.com.
Progress Energy Florida
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.