Lighten Your Electric Bill, Win Free CFL Bulbs

By: Progress Energy Release
By: Progress Energy Release

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (August 1, 2011) –

Making changes to lighting are some of the easiest ways to manage electric use and cost. Many inexpensive options exist to help you save watts and dollars – including new bulb technology, dimmers, photo sensors and motion sensors. Progress Energy Florida has tips to help customers lighten their electric bills and a chance to win compact-fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.

Turning off lights that aren’t in use is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower your lighting cost. Consider that the average home contains 45 light bulbs. Now take into account that cutting back on four hours of daily use on just four, 60-watt bulbs (the number often contained in a ceiling fan light fixture, for example) could reduce a customer’s energy costs by more than $45 over the course of a year. The more unnecessary lights that are turned off, the more customers can potentially save.

Bulb types
Take energy savings one step further and replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient CFL bulbs. Prices have dropped on CFL bulbs and now dimmable versions and various light colors (warm or soft white, cool or bright white and daylight or natural) to meet a variety of needs are readily available. Replacing just eight frequently used bulbs with CFLs can save up to $72* per year in electric costs. Not only do CFLs use 75 percent less energy, the bulbs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Progress Energy is giving way a set of eight CFL bulbs to lucky Florida customers who sign up to follow Progress Energy’s social media channels on Facebook ( or Twitter (@progressenergy) from Aug. 1 to Aug. 10. Five winners will be selected from each social media channel. Complete rules are available at

Look into LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs for even more energy savings. A typical LED bulb uses even less electricity than an equivalent CFL. A 100-watt traditional bulb running 24 hours a day for a year would cost more than $110 to operate. Running an equivalent CFL bulb for the same amount of time would cost about $25 per year; an LED bulb would cost about $20 per year. Plus, LED bulbs last 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs – up to 10 years when used 12 hours a day – making them an ideal choice for lights that are difficult to change. Consider your use as LED bulb prices are significantly higher than other types, ranging from about $10 for a 40-watt equivalent bulb to more than $50 for a flood light bulb.

Install motion sensors on outdoor light fixtures and you won’t have to remember to turn off the porch light before you go to bed. The outdoor porch or lamp post is one of the most-used home light fixtures, and is the perfect place to install energy-efficient lighting products. Another good application is an often-used hallway.

Photo sensors can also help lower energy use by automatically turning lights on at night and off during the day. They are another good option for outdoor lighting. The simplest versions only run a few dollars and simply screw into the existing light socket between the socket and the bulb.

Dimmers can soften the light level in a home while lowering electric costs. Most modern dimmers clip off part of the alternating current wave form, which is similar to turning the power off for a fraction of a second dozens of times a second. This gives the appearance of a lower or dimmed light level. The electric cost savings is nearly equal to the amount that you dim the lights. Dim the light 25 percent and you save roughly 20 percent of the electricity normally used by the bulb. Rheostat-type dimmers, often found in older homes, do not save energy. They just change the extra power into heat right at the dimmer switch. Also, many CFL and LED bulbs are not dimmable. Progress Energy recommends reading the package labels carefully when selecting bulbs.

Making a few changes in bulb types, lighting accessories and habits can add up to big savings on your electric bill every month.

For more energy-saving tips visit

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  • by Anonymous on Aug 2, 2011 at 04:50 AM
    Stoking up on real bulbs before they are banned!
  • by Foxglovs on Aug 1, 2011 at 02:46 PM
    AND where does the mercury go, dummies??? I can't see by them, and if they phase out what I like and use now, I will lay in a supply long enough to last me. NO THANKS!
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