Lighting Program FAQs

Dominion’s Residential Lighting Program ended on December 31, 2011.

Replacing your standard incandescent light bulbs with efficient CFLs is an easy and cost effective way to practice energy conservation in your home.  CFLs not only use approximately 75% less energy, they can last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

Below are some frequently asked questions to help keep you informed.

About the Lighting Program

Why should I use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)?

Lighting accounts for up to 20% of the average home's electric bill. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) provide the same amount of light as standard incandescent bulbs, but use less wattage. This means when you use CFLs in your home, you're using less energy and saving money on your electricity bill.

CFLs also provide high-quality light using smart technology and design. Compared to standard bulbs, CFLs use about 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer. 

How much will I save by switching to CFLs?

Replacing a standard bulb with a CFL can save $66 to $69* or more in total costs over the bulb's lifetime - much more than the extra up-front cost.

*U.S. EPA calculations as of June 2010.  Actual energy savings may vary based on use and other factors.

Isn’t there only one type of CFL?

The CFLs of today offer consumers many options: style, size, color, light output, wattage, indoor or outdoor. Three-way and dimmable CFLs are also available.

Can CFLs be used outdoors?

When purchasing a qualified CFL, check the package. It will let you know if the bulb is rated for outdoor use, a 3-way switch, or as a dimmable.


Where can I find CFLs?

You can find CFLs in the same retail locations that sell standard incandescent light bulbs, such as home improvement stores and grocery stores.

Additional Information & Recycling Information

How do I dispose of CFLs?

You can increase the environmental benefits of CFLs by disposing of used bulbs properly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that consumers take advantage of available local recycling options for CFLs.

For a full list of Virginia recycling vendors, visit the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's website.

What do I do if a CFL breaks?

The cool-burning illumination of a CFL is made possible by a trace amount (5 milligrams) of mercury, an amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking the following steps:

  1. Open a window and leave the room for 25 minutes or more.
  2. Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with a stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
    a. Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (do not use bare hands).  Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.
    b. Do not vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
  3. Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
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