Tucson Electric Power is expanding its Residential Efficient Lighting Program to include instant discounts on LED bulbs, in addition to CFL bulbs.
TEP now buys down the cost of Light-Emitting Diode and Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs directly through lighting manufactures, allowing customers to receive savings at the time of purchase. LEDs and CFLs are available at local Home Depot and Costco stores, with LEDs costing roughly $6-10 each (Home Depot) and CFLs as cheap as 49 cents for a four-pack (Costco).
LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. Over the course of its lifetime, an LED bulb will save the user an average of $80 in energy costs.
“The more bulbs you switch, the more money you’ll save,” said Jessica Vega, a TEP Energy Efficiency Program Manager who oversees the Efficient Products Program.
LEDs have tiny red, green and blue light sources that combine to create a white light. LED bulbs are directional, meaning the light shines where you want it to without the use of reflectors, which can dim the resulting light.
LEDs emit 90 percent less heat than regular incandescent bulbs and stay cool to the touch. Because of the lower heat source, cooling an interior space equipped with LED lighting takes less energy compared with traditional lighting, all else being equal. Plus, dimmable LED bulbs now are available.
Between 2011 and 2012, global sales of LED bulbs increased by 22 percent while the cost of a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb fell by nearly 40 percent. In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. — saving about $675 million in annual energy costs.
A CFL bulb uses up to 75 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb, lasts up to 10 times longer and emits up to 70 percent less heat, which helps save on home cooling costs.
With savings of about $30 over the lifetime of each CFL — and more than 40 light sockets in the average home — adopting CFLs (in addition to LEDs) will produce energy savings that adds up. CFLs provide $1 worth of conventional lighting for just 25 cents.