Thursday, September 28, 2006

And the clock starts...now!

Earlier this week I made a financial investment for my future. Now all I have to do is sit back and reap the rewards. I'm crossing my fingers that this was a good decision.

The advertising hype is that over the course of the next seven years I'm supposed to save more than five times as much money as I spent on my initial investment. That's a pretty good return, don't you think? I'm already having visions of a more comfortable retirement than I could have imagined even last week.

So, you want to know my money-making secret? It's light bulbs! Yes!! I'm gradually replacing the light bulbs in my home with compact fluorescent bulbs. They're pricey, but I figure if I buy enough of them, and if they live up to their reputation, I'll reduce my electric bill to the point that the power company will have to send me a monthly check.

The best part isn't even the money; it's the safety factor. There are some hard-to-reach light fixtures in this house. Changing them involves standing on my tiptoes, stretching out as tall as possible, and leaning forward precariously so my fingertips can manipulate impossibly tiny screws that hold delicate glass globes in place. Naturally, maintaining this position involves leg and shoulder cramps. And gritted teeth. But now? Now I won't have to do it more than once every seven years.

I installed the first of my new light bulbs tonight in the sconce to the right of my fireplace. It should last until I'm 70. Check back with me every couple of years and I'll let you know how we're doing.

11 comments:

  1. You must be tall-I have to stand on chairs to reach our fixtures! I wonder how they work in overhead fixtures?

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  2. I am tall, Janet -- not tall like a model or a basketball player, but tall enough to reach the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets and all my light fixtures except the overhead ones.

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  3. This is a good thing, Velvet. A good thing for you and for the rest of us. As another energy user, and payer, I thank you and join with you. We've got to get our energy use under better control!

    I sound a little fanatic here, don't I. But I guess I am a bit fanatic about this.

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  4. I recently read an article (but now I can't find it anywhere, so I hope it wasn't a dream!) about how Wal*Mart is promoting the sales of the compact fluorescents. At first they just installed bulbs their own stores (to save energy), but now they are promoting to consumers, in a an effort to reduce energy dependance. I can't recall the exact energy equivalent savings, but on the order of taking millions of cars off the road.

    They are shooting themselves in the foot because they will eventually sell less bulbs overall - but they have my thanks in their efforts to help the environment. Still, begrudging thanks, as I believe they still have a ways to go in labor rights and integrating with communities.

    So good going Velvet, you are saving the world as you enhance your retirement! Also, I am honored by the link. Many thanks for encouraging and nurturing my little blog.

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  5. Way to go Velvet! We started using the 5 year bulbs last year (they're spiral shaped) and so far, so good.

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  6. Been there done that.....oh about 6 months ago....The house I live in is almost 10 years old....We had it built...I have gone through more light bulbs in this house that I ever imagined a person could in a lifetime....including 3 yes THREE refrigerator bulbs...I never replaced a refrigerator bulb until we got this house....My husband said we go through so many bulbs because I buy cheap Wal Mart bulbs....which I did.... so less than a year ago for the same amount of money I could have almost bought a compact car, I brought home a LOAD of expensive bulbs some of these bulbs were as high as $20.00 apiece!!!! I did this for 2 reasons, one my ceiling in the kitchen is 14' vault and it is extremely hard to get the bulbs changed, there are 8 in the kitchen, and the 2nd was because I thought I should do something for the energy crisis...I have now had to have several of the expensive bulbs changed out......When I pointed out to my husband that we were now replacing the expensive bulbs after only a few months he now says the wiring in the house must be overloaded!!! DAH like I have not been telling him this for 9 1/2 years!!!!

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  7. I just remembered that I bought more expensice long-life bulbs for the floodlights out back, because it's a pain in the rear end to change them-involving a ladder and actually getting up on it. So far I've been pleased with them.

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  8. VS - WEll done! You know that when you use these new bulbs, you help power plants reduce CO2 emissions by over 800 pounds over the life of the bulb. If you replaced 17 bulbs, you would eliminate as much CO2 as you would driving your car for one year. Seriously. And you will save money, because it's true that it costs 75% less to run, which actually will save about 12 times the purchase price in electricity bills over the 8,000 hour life span. Okay, I sound like a commerical. I work for an environmental firm - these bulbs are something we feature in climate change seminars.

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  9. i had thought about doing that very thing but decided the bulbs would last longer than i would.

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  10. I hope you wrote the date on the base of it (the lightbulb), to keep track of it's lifetime. It might outlive other things...

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  11. I intended to respond to your comments last night, but I walked into this room, flipped the light switch, and nothing happened. The brand-new light bulb did NOT shine! It seems to be working fine today, so maybe there's a short in the wiring or something.

    At any rate, I appreciate hearing from all of you who think the new light bulbs are a step in the right direction. If there's this much interest in energy conservation right here in this little group, maybe there are enough other interested people in the world that all of our small efforts, together, will make a difference. We can be hopeful.

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