Illuminating Your New Year | VideoAmy Fox | 12/27/2012
Rows and rows of light bulbs line the racks and shelves at Ace Hardware. But, next time you go shop, there may not be not be any 75 watt bulbs.
"What General Electric did, and that`s what light bulbs we sell, is they re-tooled their factory, so they can no longer produce them," said enployee Guy Stevens.
Under the Energy Independence Act, the government is regulating how much energy is used per bulb.
"Government regulations stated they are not going to rate them as watts anymore. They are going to rate them for lumens," Stevens said.
In January, the government began phasing out the 100 watt bulbs, moving towards compact florescent light bulbs to conserve on energy by using lumens, a rating of brightness for a bulb.
“An incandescent bulb is roughly a 1,000 hours a year, where as a CFL compact bulb is 10,000 hours the life of it,” said Kathy Aas, Xcel Energy Community Relations. “So, that will tell you there`s a big difference. They`ll say over the lifetime of a bulb, as a CFL bulb, that you can save roughly $50-55."
While there`s no real difference between the two bulbs in appearance, the halogen light bulb could save you a few extra bucks on your electric bill. But, the price of the bulb could go up.
"We have them one sale for two for $5 right now for the halogen light bulbs,” said Stevens. “The CFL or the compact fluorescent light bulbs are usually $5.99 for a 2-pack, where the older bulbs were on sale sometimes for a $1.99 for a 4-pack."
With compact fluorescent light bulbs being more expensive, some are not looking forward to making the switch.
Stevens said, "A lot of people are afraid of change, but it`s a chance for the better because it’s using less electricity and still getting the same light."
"Some consumers jump on board sooner because it just appeals to them where they want the energy savings the difference in their home. Others will just wait to see the cost come down too," said Aas.
While General Electric will stop producing 75 watt bulbs on December 31, stores, like Ace Hardware, will continue to sell the bulb until their stock runs out.
Xcel Energy says a standard 75 watt incandescent bulb can be replaced by a 20 watt CFL bulb.