In the interest of helping our readers reduce energy and water waste, Sustainable Utah will publish weekly conservation tips contributed by the Student Energy Ambassadors, a program funded by Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas.
By the Student Energy Ambassadors
About 35 percent of energy used in homes comes from appliances, electronics, and lighting, making it the second largest piece of the residential energy use pie; only space heating uses more energy. Some homes still use incandescent or halogen-style bulbs, which are the least efficient lamps currently on the market. Switching to energy efficient bulbs, including compact fluorescent lights, aka CFLs, and LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs, reduces emissions from lighting and saves money on energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy cost of a 60-watt incandescent bulb is $4.80 annually. CFLs and LEDs with comparable light levels annually cost $1.20 and $1, respectively, and the LED bulb will last roughly 25 times longer than the incandescent. And the cost of CFLs and LEDs has declined dramatically in recent years—you can find LED bulbs online and in stores for less than $10 each. See how many old bulbs you can replace in your home, and you’ll likely see a drop in your energy costs over time. Other easy ways to reduce your lighting energy use: Turn off lights when you leave a room, use task lighting to light only what you’re currently working, and open the curtains to use daylight when possible.