Irvine, Edison to hand out low-energy bulbs
Southern California Edison to buy 50,000 compact fluorescent lamps for residents.
By SONYA SMITH
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
IRVINE- Council members want residents to see the light and save energy, so they're teaming up with Southern California Edison to give every household in the city a free compact fluorescent lamp.
"The Earth is burning up. We must mobilize," Councilman Larry Agran said. "I want us to be the leader for residents in switching out bulbs for CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps)."
The city began giving out the lamps in 1999 and since then has distributed 8,500 bulbs. The new effort will distribute 60,000 bulbs in classrooms and at events such as UC Irvine Earth Day, the Woodbridge Street Fair and the Global Village Festival.
The effort was inspired by a letter Councilman Sukhee Kang got from http://www.18seconds.org, a project by Yahoo and AC Nielson that encourages Americans to use compact fluorescent lamps. The site says that if every American replaced a standard light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, the country would save $8 billion in energy costs, prevent the burning of 30 billion pounds of coal and remove the equivalent of 2 million cars' worth of greenhouse-gas emissions from the atmosphere.
Should government pay for energy-saving lightbulbs?
But Councilwoman Christina Shea thinks, "Local governments should not be passing out light bulbs and telling people to buy things."
The City Council voted 4-1 to approve the program. Councilman Steven Choi dissented.
Shea was cautious about spending too much money on the program, but voted for the proposal because she said it was "reasonable."
Choi voted against the proposal, even though he's replaced every bulb in his new Woodbury home with a compact fluorescent bulb.
"I understand the idea, but I want to be conservative in how we spend money," he said.
Agran wants to expand the program. He's asked city staff members for monthly updates, options for expansion and ways City Hall workers could go out to install the bulbs.
"If you make it relatively easy for people to save the environment, they'll do it with resounding participation," Agran said.
Staff members estimated the bulbs would cost the city about $100,000 at a bulk discount rate. After Southern California Edison offered to buy the bulbs, Kang suggested setting aside the city's $100,000 to expand the program.
Compared with incandescent bulbs, the compact fluorescent bulbs last six to 10 times longer, use 75 percent less energy and reduce carbon emissions by 628 pounds per bulb per year. .
Contact the writer: 949-553-2911 or email@example.com
http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/ne ... 650037.php