PG&E CFL Giveaway

10.03.07 | 1 Comment

If you live in Pacific Gas & Electric’s service area, you can get a great deal on CFLs. Read the press release and plan to go replace the bulbs that are most appropriate. I wrote an article about this about a month ago (coincidentally, it’s the most popular article I’ve ever written with over 40,000 unique visits to date…)

Steps to take advantage of this offer:

  1. Take an inventory of your lighting, make sure to note:
    1. Wattage of bulbs
    2. Location of the bulbs
    3. Special features: does it need dimmable or three-way capability? Is it an enclosed, recessed, specialty, or outdoor fixture?
    4. How frequently is the light used? Higher use lighting provides higher benefits
    5. Does the light require instant 100% illumination (i.e. closets and refrigerators)
  2. Post inventory, analyze the result to decide how many bulbs and of what wattage it makes sense to replace
  3. Visit the closest PG&E distribution center and pick up your bulbs
  4. Plan a time to simply replace the old bulbs with new in one fell swoop (note: it’s handy to have a ladder, step stool, and a container to hold old bulbs)
  5. Be careful with the CFLs, if they break, make sure to follow clean-up instructions due to mercury content
  6. Recycle your old bulbs in the glass stream
  7. When your CFLs burn out, 6,000+ hours from now…make sure to properly recycle them
  8. Compare your electricity usage with PG&E’s handy online tool, you should see savings vs. the same month last year and the prior month

Good luck, if you do this, please leave a comment and let us know how it went. We’ll modify this process to make it work as generally as possible. The above process is what I used when replacing 83 bulbs in June of this year. I’m now saving around 200kwh/month and $45/month…Not a bad outcome. Using the PG&E promotion, you can really get this effect on the cheap. Go take advantage of it!

If you don’t live in the PG&E service area, check with your utility. Many are doing similar promotions and subsidize energy efficient lighting.

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