In a drive to help residents save energy and money, Puget Sound Energy is giving people in the Lake Hills area free compact fluorescent light bulbs for their porches.
The City of Bellevue and the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association are cosponsoring the program, and volunteers with the neighborhood group went door-to-door in Lake Hills with the light bulbs on Jan. 31. Accompanied by PSE representatives, they visited 275 homes. Bellevue is the first of many Puget Sound communities to participate in PSE's year-long neighborhood conservation program targeted at porch lights.
Free compact fluorescent bulbs will continue to be available to all homes in Lake Hills throughout the month of February. Residents simply need to bring the Neighborhood Association postcard they received in the mail to the Bellevue Mini City Hall (15600 NE Eighth St.) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Call PSE at 1-800-562-1482 if you have questions.
"Porch lights contribute to neighborhood attractiveness and safety," said Cal Shirley, vice president of Energy Efficiency Services for PSE. "Many homes have outdoor lights at the front door, along walkways, at garage entrances and on back porches or decks. In winter, these lights can be on for as much as 16 hours a day, making them the most-used lights for many homes."
Residents received postcards in the mail in January, letting them know to expect the volunteers with energy-saving bulbs. The morning of Jan. 31, a Saturday, volunteers with wagons loaded with a variety of fluorescent bulbs went door-to-door. Many volunteers were stopped throughout their routes by neighbors who didn't want to miss out on their free bulb or learn more about energy conservation and safety.
"It's important for all of us to get involved in conservation, and community efforts like this can really encourage participation," said Mindy Garner, president of the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association. "Everyone we visited was happy to see us and get something free, which opens the conversation and helps get the conservation and safety messages out."
Since PSE started distributing compact fluorescent bulbs to customers in 2002, the utility has discounted or given away a total of more than 9.5 million, saving enough energy to power 35,000 homes for an entire year. In addition to saving energy, fluorescent bulbs last up to 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
In addition to discounted fluorescent bulbs, PSE offers rebates for energy-saving equipment, appliances and upgrades to homeowners that can total more than $5,000. The PSE residential rebate programs are designed to make energy conservation easy and inexpensive for homeowners.
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