For a typical Clark County home with electric heat, we estimate that about 6 percent of the electric bill is for lighting. While that may not sound like much, this is a really easy place to reduce energy use and save a few dollars.
How to get more for your lighting dollar
Follow three steps when reading the label:
- Choose lighting based on brightness which is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
- Determine which product has the lowest estimated energy cost per year. These will save you the most money.
- Finally, choose the other features you prefer, such as lifetime and light appearance. Look for the ENERGY STAR® logo on the label for CFLs and LEDs that meet minimum efficiency, lifetime and quality standards
Is the 100-watt incandescent being phased out?
No. You will still be able to buy incandescent bulbs that look and operate like the ones you are used to - they will just use less energy.
Part of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) that was signed into law in 2007 set lighting efficiency standards that were scheduled to begin in 2012, and required that all lighting be 30% more efficient than today's incandescent bulbs by 2014. While enforcement of the standards has been delayed, manufacturers are still moving towards meeting these targets.
The law also requires new labels to help you choose the most efficient lighting, like LEDs and CFLs.
The Energy Star program, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, says that if the five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs in each American home were changed to compact fluorescent bulbs, energy costs would drop by at least $6.5 billion a year. That's a savings of about $60 per household. In addition, the energy savings would prevent greenhouse gases equal to the emissions from more than 800 thousand cars.
That's why Clark Public Utilities is participating in the regional Simple Steps, Smart Savings program - to provide every customer with an in-store discount when purchasing ENERGY STAR® qualified CFLs, showerheads and light fixtures at participating local retailers. We want to help make energy efficient choices more affordable for our customers.