Everett, WA — Snohomish County Public Utility District reached another energy-saving milestone in August as total sales of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs offered through a PUD promotion topped 5 million. The utility launched the program in 2000, and now manages a network of more than 50 local retailers to offer discounts on the energy-saving bulbs.
On average, PUD customers have each installed 15 CFL bulbs in their homes – or in nearly half of their homes’ light sockets. Each bulb uses one-fourth the energy of a standard incandescent bulb and lasts 10 times as long.
“The quality of CFL bulbs continues to get better and better, both in terms of the quality of light and the color rendition,” said PUD Senior Manager of Energy Efficiency Mary Smith. “They also come in all shapes and sizes and fit in track lights, vanities, globes and other fixtures.”
CFLs carry huge environmental benefits for the region. Over their life (seven to 10 years), the CFLs sold to PUD customers are expected to reduce the need to buy over 50 million incandescent light bulbs and reduce greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions by up to 325,000 tons (by avoiding purchases in the Northwest energy market). Since the program’s inception, the total CFLs in use by PUD customers are estimated to save 500 million kilowatt-hours – the amount of electricity needed to serve more than 41,000 single family homes for a year.
Since CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, burned out bulbs should be safely recycled. They can be recycled at all PUD offices, Snohomish County Solid Waste facilities, Bartell Drugs and Home Depot.