August 6, 2009 in Washington Voices

Cheney sending out free energy-saving bulbs

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Customers of the Cheney Light Department can expect to find five-packs of compact fluorescent light bulbs in the mail, courtesy of the city.

The CFLs should start arriving at residents’ homes around the third or fourth week of August and are paid for with some of the $195,000 the city received through the Bonneville Power Administration’s conservation program. The funds are also used to provide rebates for customers who upgrade to Energy Star-rated appliances to save energy. Cheney had three years to spend the funds and must use the remaining $64,000 by Sept. 30.

“We chose to spend it on our customers,” said Joe Noland, director of the light department.

Although a five-pack may seem like a lot of light bulbs, Noland said that most homes have around 60 light bulbs in them. The packs come with two 13-watt bulbs, two 20-watt bulbs and one 23-watt bulb.

According to the federal government’s Energy Star Web site, a 13-watt CFL is the equivalent of a 40- to 60-watt incandescent bulb. A 20-watt CFL is the equivalent of a 75-watt incandescent, and a 23-watt CFL is the equivalent of a 100-watt bulb.

The bulbs tend to be a little more expensive than regular light bulbs, so the giveaway is intended to get customers started on switching over to the longer-lasting, more energy efficient bulbs.

“We hope to promote conservation in our community,” said Daryce Hoffman, an administrative secretary in the light department who works on the city’s conservation program. She said the city will give rebates to customers who install new Energy Star-rated appliances such as washing machines and water heaters.

A new two-year agreement with the BPA will begin Oct. 1, Noland said. The city will receive $130,000 to spend on rebates for that period.

Hoffman said this isn’t the first time Cheney has given away CFLs to its customers.

“We had lots of people get excited when we gave them away at City Hall,” she said.

Around 4,500 customers of the Cheney Light Department will receive the CFLs.

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