City And Reliant Push More Energy Efficient Lights

The city of Houston and Reliant Energy are doing what they can to encourage local residents to switch to more energy efficient lights. As Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports, compact flourescent lights are becoming more and more popular.

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ξHome Depot CFL Giveaway

Saturday, April 28 9 am-2 pm

Stores: The Home Depot
999 North Loop West
6810 Gulf Freeway
5445 West Loop
10707 North Freeway

Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, the CFL lights are much more energy efficient and a lot cooler, translating to significant savings over the life of a typical bulb. Reliant has started what it calls its Compact With Texas program that encourages consumers to make the switch. Janie Mitchum is a senior vice president with Reliant Energy.

"Back in the 70's, efficiency meant sitting in the dark and being hot and today it means having a light bulb that uses 60-percent or 70-percent less energy. A very efficient, quick payback for the customer, so a win-win for everyone and something anybody can do. We all change light bulbs."

The program includes CFL giveaways at four local Home Depot stores this Saturday. Mitchum says compared to the older and more expensive generation of the fluorescent lights, newer ones are a big improvement.

"Today when you look at the new bulbs, the manufacturers have worked to get them down where they're a comparable size. They have great color quality. A lot of the bulbs are Energy Star rated, which means they turn on instantly. There are choices out there and the cost has come down dramatically."

Mayor Bill White says switching to more efficient CFL's has more than a few advantages.

"When you do so, you not only help yourself, but you help this entire community. As we reduce our demand for power, we reduce the need to build new and expensive and often polluting power plants and as we cut the demand for power, because of the laws of supply and demand, we cheapen the price of energy for everyone."

The city has retrofitted 64 of its fire stations and police stations with more energy efficient fluorescent lights, with a power usage reduction of 9.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity and over $1 million in yearly energy savings. This is Building Services director Issa Dadoush.

"Our electricity bill per year is $150 million. That's about $411,000 a day. We need to think smarter. Our job is to protect the taxpayer's money. The way we operate our business, we want to make sure that we're reducing energy consumption. The mayor's mission is to make this city the energy conservation capital and we are leading by example."

You can find more details about the Home Depot fluorescent light giveaway on our website, KUHF.org.

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