Another Bright Idea For Saving Money
How to save $120 with a $20 investment—a real no-brainer
Doug Rye
King of Caulk
and Talk

See, I told you it was easy to make your house more energy efficient. Last month, we began a new series of columns on simple, low-cost steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient. In that column, I suggested that you buy an insulating blanket for your water heater. I assume that you have now followed that suggestion and, if you did, you will be saving at least a few dollars each month. If not, go back to last month’s column before continuing with this one.

This month’s improvement – compact florescent lights (CFLs) - should cost you less than $20. That’s a small price to pay for what I believe is the greatest advancement in lighting since Thomas Edison’s invention of the incandescent light bulb. In fact, they are so great that I just know that Thomas would be proud of us. When CFLs were first introduced, they cost about $9 each and blinked when they first came on. Well, since then, “they’ve come a long way, baby.” If you buy them in the four-pack, they now cost about $3 each. For this month’s improvement, I want you to buy at least four CFLs and install them in your most used locations. (In my house, that would be the garage door opener light). I am aware that they may not fit in some older appliances. They are available for recessed lighting, too, in both spotlight and floodlight designs.

So just what is the advantage of a CFL? First of all, the CFL uses two thirds less electricity than an equal-watt incandescent bulb. And since the CFL operates at a much lower temperature, they last much longer – in fact, they can last up to 10 times longer than a standard bulb. The filaments of the hotter burning incandescent bulbs simply burn out sooner because of the heat.

Next, consider this, 90 percent of the energy of incandescent bulb turns into heat and 10 percent goes for light. In a CFL, 90 percent of the energy goes for light and only 10 percent for heat. (See how this might help reduce your cooling load in the summer).

Now, for the really good part. By the time the CFL burns out, you will have saved at least what it cost you to buy the original four CFLs. By simply replacing a 100-watt incandescent build with a 32-watt CFL, you can save about $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Now, let’s see — $30 times four bulbs equals $120 saved. Duh – No-brainer!

Where can you get them? Many home improvement stores now have them and you can always check with your local electric cooperative. So, do yourself a favor and switch to CFLs.

You’ve heard him on the radio. You’ve read his column in this magazine. Now see him in person!

Nationally recognized energy consultant, Doug Rye, will be visiting southern Illinois to help you lower your utility bills. Come see this home energy conservation expert and learn how residential energy improvements can make you money, not cost you money!

The workshops are being sponsored by Egyptian Electric Cooperative, Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative and Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

Residential Energy Audit Workshops, 6:30 p.m. Please call to reserve seating.
March 5, 2007
Holiday Inn, Mt Vernon 800-244-5151
March 6, 2007
Williamson County Pavilion, Marion 800-833-2611
April 9, 2007
Hecker Community Center, Hecker 800-757-7433
April 10, 2007
World Shooting Complex, Sparta 800-606-1505
April 11, 2007
Shawnee Community College, Ullin 800-762-1400

Stay tuned for more from Doug Rye
The “Doctor of Energy Efficiency—the King of Caulk and Talk”

In the mean time you can go to his Web site:
E-mail him at
or call (888)-Doug-Rye or (501) 653-7931

You can also sign up for a free newsletter and order his “how to” videotapes.

You can now listen to my radio show live on the Internet at 9:05 a.m. on Saturdays. Just go to