Tom Kabat: ‘I have plenty of experience with the efficient Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) that you mentioned last week. I’ve used them for about 10 years now and have them in about 30 sockets now at my house. They have really improved over the years, with flicker-free electronic ballasts and warm color rendering. I live in PG&E territory, buying green power for 14 cents per kilowatt hour. PG&E just applied to raise rates to about 16 cents per kWh. Each CFL costs me about $10 and saves about 500 kWh over its 10-year life, thereby saving me about $80 on electricity (net $70 saved). Installing one saves enough to buy seven more. I operated that little pyramid scheme on my house until practical saturation. Now I install them on local charity facilities as a form of highly leveraged giving. The charity has reduced operating costs that are much larger than my cost of bulbs. (Our climate wins, too.) I also give them away as stocking stuffers. Giving seven of them away each year saves and offsets the amount of electricity my home uses all year (about 3,500 kWh/year).’

☞ An excellent idea! Click here for a link from the Department of Energy, for those interested in buying them in bulk (I think 10 may be the minimum) — about $7.50 each. And check Ikea, which a few of you reported have them for just $5. If the first bulbs you try seem ungainly, don’t despair . . . give them to your favorite charity, as Tom suggests. It took me a while to find bulbs I liked, but I did. (Remember: They’re best for places where bulbs are left on for long stretches, not for quick on-and-off use, like a closet.)

Joe Cherner wrote: ‘When someone asks you, ‘A penny for your thoughts’ and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?’

Paul Johns: ‘Where’s the other penny go? Taxes.’

 

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