Can you afford to make the switch to CFLs?

Posted by Michelle Crawford

My husband and I first became interested in CLFs when we had our first house built. We didn't purchase them to reduce our electricity usage, but in hopes of our outside garage lights not burning out each month. When our house was built, something was faulty with the wiring. After several conversations with our builder, we became desperate and were willing to try anything other than to have another conversation with our builder that would only lead us to more frustration. Our neighbor told us to try a CFL since it can last up to 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb and use up to 75% less energy. Well, unfortunately this didn't solve our problem since our issue was bad wiring in the house.

We have since moved into a new house and the previous owners were very energy conscious. In addition to having three solar tube skylights, almost all of the light sockets were outfitted with CFLs. We have 7 CFLs in our kitchen and ironically one burned out last week. We were on the fence since we weren't sure if we should by the CFLs or the incandescent bulbs.

We looked all over the web to find a calculator to help us determine how much money we could save annually by replacing the remaining incandescent bulbs in our home. The General Electric Lighting website has a lot of useful information including the above calculator and images of the different types of CFLs you can use in your home lighting.

The cost of one CFL is approximately $1.39 but will save us $6.57 a year at $.10 kwh. In addition to saving money, we are saving approximately 470 kwh of electricity too – with this one bulb! One package of 10 CFLs (60 watt replacement) cost $13.99 (Costco). This one box full of 10 CFLs can save the consumer approximately $564 in energy costs (@ $.12per kwh) and save 4,700 kwh of energy. We are sold based on the savings in both our pocket and energy!

To get the same wattage as an incandescent bulb, follow this link to use a CFL to Incandescent bulb conversion.