One business pays us to buy less of its product

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What business do you know that will pay you to buy less of its product?

We know of one, although it may not strictly be a business in conventional terms, and it is one that is owned by all of the people of Nebraska.

And while the Nebraska Public Power District is trying to reduce the amount of power it sells, it makes sense in taking the pressure off the generation and distribution system in a way that will save money for all of us in the long run.

The "Switch and Save" campaign which starts today offers a $1 off coupon for a single compact flouscent light -- CFL -- or a $2 off coupon for a package of two or more lamps -- as long as they are identified as Energy Star® qualified.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star® program is aimed at getting us to use CFLs that use 75 percent less energy than equivalent incandescent light bulbs, and have a rated life often 10 times longer or more.

How much does that amount to?

More than you think.

For instance, say you have 10 60-watt light bulbs that burn three hours a day, and last about 1,750 hours each. Replace them with CFLs, and you'll save $44 a year or $398 over the life of the bulbs.

You can see these new bulbs are well worth the investment.

According to the EPA, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star®-qualified lamp, there would be enough energy saved to light more than 3 million homes for a year, reduce annual energy costs by more than $600 million and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

Besides those benefits, the less electricity we use means that much less NPPD and other utilities have to produce, that much less wear and tear on generation facilties and a few more facilities that won't have to be built.

So, next time you flip the switch and that incandescent bulb flickers and dies, consider buying a compact flourescent light. You, and all of us, will save in the long run.

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