How to Budget Your Electricity Bill

February 27, 2013

Making the switch from incandescent fluorescent light bulbs to energy efficient lighting is a great way to lower energy bills. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs will curb cooling costs during the summer and reduce energy consumption year round.  Shop for CFL bulbs at any local home improvement store or a specialized online store for light bulbs.

Increased Life Spans

According to the EPA, incandescent fluorescent bulbs have the highest annual power consumption at 3,285 kilowatts and the lowest life spans at 1,200 hours. The annual cost to operate an incandescent light bulb is a whopping $328.59 per bulb.

LED bulbs are currently the most energy efficient lights on the market with a lifespan that is more than 40 times greater than incandescent light bulbs. On average, an LED bulb will last 25,000 to 50,000 hours. Their annual power consumption rate is only 328 kilowatts, which translates into a yearly operating cost of only $32.85 per bulb.


CFL bulbs also have impressive life spans. On average, CFLs last up to 8,000 hours per bulb. Their annual operating cost is also relatively low at only $78.65 per bulb.

The lower consumption rates of energy efficient bulbs will translate into hundreds of dollars of savings per year. The bulbs will be changed less frequently, so you will not have to spend money on replacement bulbs. These extra savings can be used to pay other utility bills, or to add to your bank account.

Lower Cooling Costs

Unlike incandescent fluorescent lights, which cause rooms to warm up while illuminated, energy efficient lights do not generate heat when they operate. Therefore, you will not have to use the air conditioner as frequently during summer months to keep your home cool. Less frequent use of the air conditioner will greatly reduce your summertime energy bills, despite the rising mercury outdoors.


Even though they have a lower wattage output, energy efficient bulbs shine brightly in the home. For instance, LED bulbs illuminate instantly when turned on and give off the same amount of brightness as incandescent fluorescent light bulbs. Therefore, you will not notice a difference in lighting when switching to LED bulbs. CFL bulbs turn on slightly slower than incandescent fluorescent light bulbs, but shine as brightly when fully illuminated.


An added benefit of energy efficient bulbs is that they contain fewer toxins. Incandescent fluorescent bulbs contain high amounts of mercury, which can be harmful to people and the environment when the bulbs are broken or improperly disposed of. Conversely, LED bulbs contain no mercury. Therefore, they are not harmful to humans, animals or the environment when broken. CFL bulbs contain lower amounts of mercury than incandescent fluorescent light bulbs. However, they must be properly discarded when broken or disposed of to prevent contamination.