Wal-Mart is encouraging 200 million shoppers to save energy, and thus money, through the purchase of energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. In fact, Wal-Mart is determined to sell bulbs to at least 100 million homes. Currently fluorescent bulbs are only utilized by 6% of American homes. If Wal-Mart succeeds: total sales of bulbs in the US would increase by 50 percent, saving Americans $3 billion in electricity costs.
The pros of compact fluorescent bulbs: they last 10x longer, use 75% less electricity, save consumers $30 over the life of the bulb and produce less greenhouse gases from power plants (450 pounds less). The cons: they cost 8x more than incandescent bulbs and give off a harsher light. In addition, the bulbs contain mercury, which will be a problem if the bulbs eventually end up in landfills. But Wal-Mart is working with environmental groups to resolve the mercury issues, including the possibility of collecting and recycling the used bulbs.
Wal-Mart has a tough task ahead, they need to convince the American public that paying more for an item today, will help save a significant amount of money down the line.
To learn more check out the article in the New York Times.
4 thoughts on “Can Walmart Help Americans Save Money?”
I think it’s great that Walmart is forcing the issue on this aspect of energy conservation, regardless of their motives.
Walmart has shown in the past that they have the clout to make things happen so I think they’ll be successful in bringing more efficient light bulbs to the masses.
If the yahoos in Washington can’t make changes to solve our energy problem then maybe it’s up to private industry and individual consumers.
I totally agree. I’m happy to see private industry stepping in to save money and the environment.
My wife hates the CFL’s. She says they take too long to “warm” up to full light, even the new “instant” on ones. I don’t mind. My biggest complaint is the fact that I can’t get the 2 year life-span out of the bulbs. The longest I have had one last is just over a year. Greater than the regular bulbs but still, I would like the 2 years…..
I convinced my office to put daylight mimicing lights into our florescent outlets. Not only are they easier on our eyes while working on the computers, they also last 10 years (guarenteed), and save energy even over traditional floro’s. They are really worth a try.