12140 Wickchester Ln Suite #100, Houston, TX 77079

CFL Savings Exaggerated?

People like the idea of saving energy and reducing utility costs, especially in a tough economy with electricity rates that are, at times, tough to swallow. When compact fluorescent light bulbs hit mainstream America several years ago, consumers jumped at the idea of spending more for a light bulb that used less electricity and lasted for years.

If the result of an experiment in California is any indication, though, we may all have rushed a little too quickly to support the energy and money-saving message spread by CFL bulb manufacturers.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires a 25 percent increase in energy efficiency for most standard consumer light bulbs beginning in 2012, and phases out traditional incandescent light bulbs over the following two years until they are removed from store shelves in 2014.

However, California has preempted the federal law and instituted its own incandescent bulb phase-out, launching a plan Jan. 1 that will spend $548 million over seven years to subsidize consumers’ purchases of CFL bulbs. The deal has been kind to California consumers — who pay an average of $1.30 for the $4 bulbs, which are made in China — but the bulbs have not lived up to the hype.

During a 2006–08 statewide pilot program, PG&E Corp, a California utility, found that energy savings related to CFL bulbs were 73 percent less than expected, and that the CFL bulbs burned out about three years earlier than expected.

Although experts agree that CFL bulbs save energy and last longer when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, California’s results indicate that the benefits of using CFL bulbs may be significantly overstated.


Can Energy-Efficient CFL Bulbs Walk The Green Walk? Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 19, 2011.
The New Light Bulbs Lose a Little Shine,The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 19, 2011.

Translate »


Here’s a chance to get 200 points every month in Spark Energy Rewards*

Points can be used on local shopping deals, dining, daily deals, travel,
and even gift cards. Terms for the rewards can be found here.

*Certain Terms and Conditions apply. This offer is available to first-time customers only. Customers must sign up for a fixed-rate energy plan. The plan may include a monthly service fee depending on the product. Use promo code which is showing above to qualify. Rate expires at the end of the term. Canceling or changing supply service prior to the end of the fixed-rate term may subject the customer to an early termination fee based on the product details. To be eligible to receive Spark Energy rewards, customers must enroll in a fixed term plan and maintain an active Spark Energy account in good standing (no past-due balance owed) for 45 days after the beginning of service. May not be redeemed for cash. This offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice prior to customer acceptance. This offer is nontransferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. This offer applies to services areas where Spark Energy LLC is active. The offer expires on 12/31/2021. See the Terms of Service and Electricity Facts Label (applicable only for TX) at www. SparkEnergy.com for more details.
© 2021 Spark Energy LLC. All Rights Reserved.