Old bulbs may be a thing of the past

To help keep energy costs down, lawmakers may soon make energy-efficient light bulbs mandatory in Texas state buildings.

As newschannel10's Tina Berasley tells us, the panhandle is ahead of the trend. The county's Director of Facilities Mike Head says "We run some very large bills here in Potter County, if there was any way to help cut back on the utility bills in Potter County one of them would be due to the...energy saving lights".

Three buildings in Potter County are already using compact florescent light bulbs. The project at the Santa Fe building started seven years ago, and county officials estimate the bulbs cut down their energy bill by 15%.

Energy efficient light bulbs can also be used in your home, Xcel energy says using the compact floresent bulb can save you up to 75 percent of the cost that the incandescent bulb can run-up in your home. 

However...the florescent bulbs are more expensive. A 7 watt energy efficient bulb is comparable to a 40 watt old-fashioned incandescent, and can last ten times as long, but it can cost eight times as much.

Xcel Energy's Wes Reeves says its a small price to pay. "Some people may think 'Oh what's one bulb gonna do' but if your retrofitting your lighting and using more efficient light bulbs, if your being smart about your thermostat you can really see significant savings over time in the summer especially".

The bulbs do contain traces of mercury and should be recycled, but the Department of Energy says they are not dangerous to you or our children.