Utility companies lead the charge on CFLs

Utility companies nationwide are jumping on the compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb bandwagon by encouraging their customers to buy energy-efficient bulbs, offering discount coupons and, in some cases, free light bulbs.

The promotions are a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star “Change a Light” (CAL) pledge, a campaign designed to encourage consumers to switch from their traditional incandescent light bulbs to the energy-efficient CFL bulbs. To date, the program has collected more than 900,000 “pledges” nationwide, claiming national energy savings of more than $57 million.

Kentucky utility companies Grayson Rural Electric, Nolin RECC and Blue Grass Energy have created a program called “Fluorescent Fridays,” with offers of free CFLs to customers who come into their offices on Fridays and sign the CAL pledge between Oct. 5 and 26.

Georgia utilities Satilla REMC and Coastal Electric are also sponsoring CFL giveaways to their customers.

Utilities like ComEd in Chicago are providing their customers with coupons or rebates to supplement the higher cost for the CFLs, an average of $4 per bulb. ComEd has teamed up with Ace hardware on a pilot CFL recycling system as well.

OG&E Electric Services from Oklahoma is working directly with manufacturers GE and distributor Wal-Mart to provide discount coupons to its customers. Additionally, as earlier reported by HCN, Minnesota utility Xcel Energy is working with Ace Hardware and Menards to offer CFL rebates to its customers.