Government asks people to switch to more energy-efficient bulbs - KCTV5

Government asks people to make switch to more energy-efficient bulbs

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Within the next year there will be a change to what type of light bulbs people will be able to find on the shelves at their favorite store.

It's all to promote energy efficiency, but it's going to come at a cost.

The government is asking people to make the change from incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient ones, like a light-emitting diode or LED bulb. The change is going to cost people at first, but the savings will be huge long term.

"We're actually seeing an increase in sales in customer interest in the LED lights and just energy-efficient lights in general," Thomas Wolfinger, an assistant store manager with the Gladstone, MO, Home Depot, said.

He said he's noticing customers making changes.

"Home Depot is the largest supplier of lighting in the United States. It's allowed us to partner with EcoSmart to allow us to bring some affordable options to the table," Wolfinger said.

More energy-efficient bulbs, like LEDs, use less energy and last longer. Many of the light bulb choices can save people about 25 to 75 percent in energy costs.

LED isn't the only option when people are trying to cut down on their energy usage. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, save on energy costs too.

"If a customer comes in the story and is wanting to replace 50 bulbs in their house, an incandescent bulb is going to on average, actually the energy cost is going to be $7.23 per bulb per year. Take that times 50 and you're looking at an energy cost for that year of $361.50," Wolfinger said to put it into perspective.

He said, while an LED bulb may be expensive, people have to consider the future and long-term savings when making the switch.

"The LED equivalent is going to cost $0.72 per bulb per year. Take that times 50 and you're only spending $36 for energy costs," Wolfinger said. "Most of the time that's something customers see value in and there's an increase in sales for that."

While one LED bulb may cost someone what five or six incandescent bulbs cost, what they save in the LED bulb's life will more than cover the difference.

For people wanting to get rid of their old incandescent bulbs, they can take them to any nearby Home Depot or click here or click here to find nearby places to dispose of old light bulbs.

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