An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies and managing lighting well can reduce energy use in your home by 50-75%.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to cut your energy bill is to replace inefficient, conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LEDs. Flourescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last about six to 12 times longer. Even if they might cost a little more upfront, using 10 60-watt CFLs can save you at least $47 per year, or $330 over the life of the bulbs.
- Save-a-Ton partner Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition often distributes free CFLs at presentations and events, and you can participate in their CFL program to provide free bulbs to area Habitat Humanity houses and similar projects.
- Keep in mind: CFLs have a very small amount of mercury in them. If possible, dont throw burned-out CFLs in the trash, but dispose of them at area Household Hazardous Waste Days and other approved locations. Keep up with the Clean Valley Council for hazardous waste events and area businesses that accept old CFLs.
- DID YOU KNOW: Most CFLs and other high-efficiency bulbs have a warranty? When you install a bulb, write the installation date somewhere on the base and hold on to the receipt. If the bulb burns out early, just take it back to the hardware store for a replacement!
- Replace light switches with motion sensors in little-used areas like closets, utility rooms, and hallways so that lights don't accidentally get left on.
- De-lamp multi-bulb fixtures. Some rooms may have fixtures that use two or more bulbs, but you can achieve a similar light level by removing one or more. You'll save money on both energy and replacement costs.
Since lighting has some of your home's highest energy demands, bringing that demand down can make you an excellent candidate for a renewable energy source to cover the rest of your needs.
If you’re interested in solar panels on your roof, solar hot water heating, or a wind turbine on your property, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website on renewable energy.