Discounts on CFLs

It’s enough of a bummer when the sky starts getting dark at 4:30 p.m., then add in higher electricity bills during these dark, cold nights and winter is just no fun. Daylight-saving time ends on November 4, and with darkness setting in earlier, people turn their lights on for longer hours. Lighting can be as much as 20 percent of a customer’s electric bill, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. SMUD can do something to help reduce your electric bill. From now through November, SMUD and more than 200 local retailers are offering discounts on Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs and fixtures. Some are priced as low as 99 cents each.

CFL bulbs are up to 75 percent more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs and can last eight to 10 times longer. Added bonus? Saving energy reduces the need to generate electricity, resulting in less air pollution. If all SMUD households replaced their five most frequently used light bulbs with CFLs, carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by almost 100 million pounds—equivalent to removing 8,500 cars from Sacramento roads. In 2000, only 16 percent of SMUD households had at least one CFL in their home. Now, nearly 60 percent do. Because CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, make sure to dispose of them properly at disposal centers (listed on the SMUD Web site). The beginning of the winter is also a good time to change the direction of your ceiling fan from counter-clockwise in the summer to clockwise, which drives heat down into the living space. For more information, visit or