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FYI: A Light Bulb Moment

Choosing the right light bulbs will help you save money on your monthly electric bill.

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Editor's note: The following is a public service announcement from Dakota County. 

Less daylight during the winter months means more dependence on bulbs to light your home. Choosing Energy Star-certified compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) can help you be more energy efficient so you can save money on your electric bill.

The facts:

  • CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb, they last at least six times longer, and they come in a variety of types and sizes that can be used in candelabras and with 3-way fixtures and dimmers.
  • CFLs that have been approved by Energy Star are guaranteed for the lifespan advertised and save about $6 a year in electricity costs per bulb.
  • If the five most frequently used light bulbs in every American home were replaced with Energy Star rated bulbs, close to $9 billion in energy costs would be saved each year and greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 800,000 cars would be prevented.

Do it now:

  • Tally up. Count the number of bulbs in your home and use the light bulb savings calculator to determine how much energy and money you could save if you switched them all to fluorescent.
  • Change five. If changing all of your household bulbs seems too costly, replace the bulbs in the five fixtures that you use most.
  • Recycle. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury and should not be put in the trash. Instead they can be dropped off at The Recycling Zone, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware or Menards for free recycling. The Recycling Zone also accepts other types of fluorescent bulbs like linear tubes.

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