Duke Energy has set up a program to provide free compact florescent light bulbsCFK lightbulb - duke Energy(CFLs) to their customers.  Most of us in southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana will qualify. 

Why is Duke Energy doing this?  Last year, the company distributed over 10 million free bulbs to one million customers.  They estimate that that will save enough energy to provide power to over 45,000 homes.

It is thought that replacing one incandescent bulb with a CFL qualified, energy efficient lightbulb will save you about $30 over its lifetime. So if Duke Energy qualifies you to receive six CFLs, and you place them in the most frequently used locations, you can save $180 over the lifetime of the bulbs.  CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer that standard light bulbs.

In light of the new federal energy efficiency standards that take effect this year, many retailers are already phasing out incandescent bulbs.  

Will I like these new bulbs?  CFL bulbs are available in a range of light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones, that were not as available when first introduced. Some are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure you purchase a CFL with that feature.

Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, and they should always be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free. See www.epa.gov/cfl for more information.

How do I get my free bulbs?  Duke Energy customers can request free CFLs by going to www.duke-energy.com/freecflsnow or by calling 800-943-7585.  You will need either your billing number or your phone number that they have on file and the last four digits of the person responsible for billing.  So light the Way and Save some M-O-N-E-Y!