If you read the environmental blogs you would think so. But how much can the new energy saving light bulbs really help?
According to the Ellen DeGeneres Show, if every home replaced one bulb with a CFL, it would be equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.
Wow, that is a lot of cars! The idea is that less coal has to be burned to provide energy to homes that use compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s). This works because a CFL is 70-75% more efficient than an incandescent bulb. I have recently installed CFL’s in my home and I home everyone else does too. I think they are great.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t really get at the heart of the issue. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. It has nothing to do with how much we make, it is about how much we have to spend. Therefore, if we save in one area we are more likely to just spend it somewhere else. For many of us, that means more shopping, eating out, etc.
So by saving electricity at home, we now have more money to spend on dining out or babysitters so we can go out, or just shopping, you get the idea. We can save energy at home (and money), but unless we put that savings toward retirement all we did was drive more than before.
In theory, CFL’s could make the amount of CO2 emissions actually go up in areas that rely on nuclear or hydroelectric power for their homes!
So lets not go down that road. Save you money. Drive less. And maybe even plant a tree.