Blaine city light offers coupons for energy saving bulbs

Published on Thu, Apr 19, 2001 by Brendan Shriane

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Blaine city light offers coupons for energy saving bulbs

By Brendan Shriane

Blaine residents can expect a nice surprise with their next utility bill.

The city will be mailing out $12 worth of coupons redeemable towards energy-efficient light bulbs to encourage electrical conservation.

The $6 coupons will be redeemable at local hardware and grocery stores towards the purchase of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) that have the government’s Energy Star rating.

“They’re not free, but it will certainly make the difference in some people buying them,” said Steve Banham, assistant public works director for the City of Blaine.

The CFL bulbs use up to 80 percent less power than traditional incandescent bulbs, while still producing the same amount of light. They also last up to eight times longer.

The average household spends about $110 a year lighting its home, so switching to CFL bulbs could save $20 – $50 a year, according to the city.

During its 10,000 hour life span (nearly 14 months if left on 24 hours a day), a CFL bulb would use $7 wort of electricity at Blaine’s current residential rate of 4.8 cents per kilowatt hour, while using a comparable incandescent bulb would cost about $30.

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Blaine’s power provider, is leading the program, along with lighting manufacturers and conservation groups, in an attempt to minimize the effect of power price increases. Because of record drought conditions and increasing demand, BPA may begin charging 200-400 percent more for power this summer. By offering energy-saving light bulbs, BPA and local utilities hope to lessen demand for power.

Other utilities, such as Oregon’s Pacific Power, have mailed out coupons redeemable for light bulbs and found the response was 30 – 40 percent.

When customers use the coupons, retailers are reimbursed by the BPA and, as a further incentive to the utility, the City of Blaine gets $1 from the BPA.

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