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Saving money with ENERGY STAR CFLs and LEDs

NORTH LIBERTY– We’re all looking to lower our electric bills. But what’s the cheapest, easiest way to do it? The answer is light bulbs. By changing out your old, traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in your five most-used light fixtures, you can save more than $65 each year in electricity costs. Plus, when used properly, average CFLs last about 7-10 times longer than average incandescent bulbs.
If you’re ready to give LED light bulbs a try, you’ll save a bit more on electricity, but the real benefit is in the features.
LED bulbs are instant-on– meaning they instantly turn on to full brightness. They contain no mercury, and are more durable than both incandescent and CFL bulbs. And the expected bulb lifetime is estimated at more than 22 years.

Alliant Energy ENERGY STAR Bulb Rebates
CFL: 50 percent of purchase price
LED: $10 per qualifying bulb
alliantenergy.com/SaveEnergyAndMoney/Rebates/HomeIA/030031
Linn County REC ENERGY STAR Bulb Rebates
CFL: 50 percent of purchase price
LED: 50 percent of purchase price
linncountyrec.com/energy-efficiency/incentives/indoor-lighting

Extending the life of your CFLs
Frustrated by a CFL that burns out before its time? To get long life out of your CFLs, there are certain things you can do to help achieve that advertised seven-plus year lifespan:
1. Use low-wattage bulbs in enclosed light fixtures.
CFL lifespan is shortened by heat. If used in enclosed light fixtures or recessed lighting, the heat that gets trapped around the bulbs will cause them to operate at higher-than-normal temperatures and burn out earlier. If you use CFLs in enclosed fixtures, choose low-wattage bulbs and use them in cooler parts of your home.
2. Use them in fixtures that stay on longer.
In order for CFLs to achieve their advertised lifespans, they need to be turned on and left on. Some say four or more hours is the ideal if you want to achieve the advertised lifespan (source: sparkenergy.com). But at the very least, install CFLs in fixtures that stay on longer.
3. Use heavy-duty CFLs with ceiling fans and near heavy doors.
CFLs are a bit vulnerable to vibrations and jolts, which means using them in ceiling fans or near foyer doors can take years off their life. There are, however, heavy-duty CFL bulbs that are more resistant to vibration and could make good choices for installing in ceiling fans and near doors.
4. Tape the receipt to the box and keep it.
This way, you can return the bulb if it burns out early.
When your CFL does burn out or break, remember to handle and dispose of it properly. Recycling is your best option, as CFLs contain a small amount of mercury. You can take your old CFLs to one of the local recycling centers listed below:
Coralville Ace Hardware (1701 2nd Street)
Lowe’s (2701 2nd Street, Coralville)
Iowa City Ace Hardware (1558 Mall Dr.)
Iowa City Landfill (3900 Hebl Ave. SW)
As a last resort, you can seal your old CFL in a zippered plastic bag and toss in the trash.

Doing your part
Remember to take North Liberty’s Hometown Rewards pledge and tell us how you plan to save energy and resources while helping North Liberty meet its Hometown Rewards goals. Visit alliantenergy.com/northliberty to take the pledge today.