Kingsport customers embrace compact fluorescent bulbs

Rick Wagner • Nov 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Got a compact fluorescent bulb in your kitchen or living room, the kind with small twisted glass tubing?

You’re part of a trend.

Customers of Appalachian Power Co. (APCo), especially in Kingsport, are embracing the energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

APCo officials Friday said residential customers across their Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee service territory are turning to the efficient bulbs faster then expected.

A recent company survey released Friday revealed that more than 62 percent of customers are using energy-efficient lighting in their homes in most of the territory. APCo sees the same trend across parent company American Electric Power’s (AEP) 11-state service territory.

The growth in energy-efficient lighting is even greater in the company’s Kingsport Power Co. area, where approximately 66 percent of its 46,000 customers are using energy-efficient lighting.

“The numbers really startled us,” Mark Gilbert, AEP director of economic forecasting, said in a news release. “We were expecting something more on the order of 40 percent. This represents a huge swing in our customers’ use of energy-efficient lighting in just a short number of years. I cannot think of a similar case where our customers have adopted an energy-saving appliance or device to this extent in such a short period of time.”

The survey showed that customers install energy-efficient lighting in rooms that give them the most energy and cost savings because they are rooms that tend to have lights on for longer periods of time.

People are installing energy-efficient lighting in kitchens and living rooms where lights tend to stay on more than two hours a day, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Isaac Webb, Kingsport-based manager of distribution services for APCo, on Friday said he has started using the high-efficiency bulbs in his own home. He said the compact fluorescents may be proving so popular in the Kingsport area because they are well stocked at area retail outlets and readily accessible to customers.

Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed reported having energy-efficient lighting for less than one year in most of the rooms they mentioned in the survey.

Approximately 84 percent report being satisfied or very satisfied with their energy-efficient lighting.

The survey found that older and more affluent residents tended to use the fluorescents more.

Approximately 4,500 residents participated in the telephone survey, giving the survey a margin of error of about plus or minus 1.5 percent across AEP. About 300 responses were obtained from each jurisdiction, giving the local data a margin of error of approximately 5.6 percent.

Visit www.wattwhyandhow.com to get energy saving tips and use calculators to determine energy and cost savings potential from changing habits or switching to more efficient appliances and lighting.

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