Thursday, October 10, 2013

Battle of the Bulb: PUCO offers lighting tips during Energy Awareness Month

Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy
COLUMBUS – Throughout the month of October, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and Ohio Development Services Agency are providing tips on reducing energy costs as well as information on energy assistance programs to increase awareness of energy efficiency during Energy Awareness Month.

During Energy Awareness Month, Ohioans are encouraged to review how they use energy in their homes and offices. Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of the average home’s electric bill. Incandescent light bulbs waste about 90 percent of the electricity used to power them, with only 10 percent of the energy going to produce light, and the rest burning off as heat.

The table below shows how using compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs can be more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs and save consumers money.

Cost Comparison of 75 Watt Light Bulbs

LED                         CFL                         INCANDESCENT
Watts                                          14                           19                                    75*
Lumens                                     1,100                     1,200                              1,055
Average Life (hours/years)**   25,000/22.8         10,000/9.1                       1,000/.91
Cost per Bulb                           $23.00                   $2.50                               $0.62
Annual Energy Cost***             $1.69                   $2.29                               $9.03

* As of January 1, 2013, 75 watt bulbs are no longer being manufactured
** Based on 3 hours/day usage

*** Based on 3 hours/day usage at $0.11/kwh

Other lighting tips: 
  • Hold the base and not the glass to screw in the bulb.
  • Read the packaging to see where each bulb should be used. Not all ENERGY STAR® qualified CFLs are designed to work in every socket.
  • Use ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs where the light will be on for at least 15 minutes at a time. Frequently turning a CFL on and off shortens the bulb’s lifetime.
  • Most photocells, motion sensors, and electronic timers are not designed to work with CFLs. Check with the manufacturer for compatibility.

There’s a small amount of mercury in every CFL (.4 mg to 4mg). By comparison, mercury thermometers contain about 500 mg of mercury. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact (not broken) or in use; if a CFL breaks in your home, follow the clean up recommendations of the US EPA, and properly dispose of them when broken or burned out.

Ohioans needing assistance in managing their energy costs can visit to learn more about programs that are available. More information on energy conservation tips can also be found on the PUCO’s website, or by calling 1-800-686-PUCO (7826).  

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