Like most working moms, Annette Nelson has a to-do list that often seems as long as rush-hour traffic on the U.S. 60 near her Gilbert home. However, lately the real estate agent says one task has fallen off her insanely busy schedule.
"This year is the first year I started using CFL bulbs, and honestly I haven't had to change one yet, so that is super nice," Nelson boasts. "My house has a lot of chandeliers with a lot of bulbs that used to burn out, but with CFLs, it makes it so nice because they just keep going and going and going."
The longtime Salt River Project (SRP) customer says she didn't pay attention to or try CFLs until about a year ago, after hearing about how they use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. CFLs can also save homeowners about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime.
In January, the phase-out of less-efficient 40- to 100-watt incandescent bulbs will begin, as mandated by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. As the deadline draws near, SRP is offering up to $4 off on CFLs to encourage customers to make the switch. Homeowners can visit www.savewithsrp.com to find participating retailers and locations. Also, by participating in the "Light of Your Life" contest through Dec. 11, SRP customers can win prizes, such as a Toshiba 55-inch LED HDTV and $100 gift cards to Arizona Mills mall. Participants simply submit a photo at www.univision.com of a loved one holding a newly purchased CFL.
Customers will still find incandescent bulbs in stores for some time to come, but as the phase-out continues, more efficient bulbs such as CFLs will become the norm. Nelson says she's not concerned that the old "familiar" bulbs will eventually disappear from stores. She feels it's better for the environment and her daily routine.
"Anything that saves times is great," she says. "And if I know I'm not going to have to get on a bar stool to change light bulbs every other month and I can buy new CFL lights that last longer, that's great!"
• Kathleen Mascareñas is a media relations representative with SRP, the third-largest public power utility in the country.