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APS reaches sales of 17 million CFL bulbs

Arizona Public Service hit a milestone recently: it has now been a direct participant in the sales of 17 million CFL light bulbs.

APS achieved the mark through its' residential energy efficient lighting program, which uses promotions at retailers that offers instant discount on CFL bulbs.

"We estimate that a typical CFL will save about $40 in energy costs over the life of that bulb," said Tom Hines, Energy Efficiency Program Manager for APS. "When you multiply that by about 17 million light bulbs that are out there through our program, it's a really huge energy savings."

APS estimated the bulbs are saving about 900 million kilowatts of energy every year, enough to meet the energy needs of 75,000 average households. Hines said, while sales of CFL's are going well, there's been some misinformation that conventional light bulbs are becoming a thing of the past.

"There is a new federal lighting standard that requires that light bulbs meet a higher efficiency rating," he said. "It's similar to a miles per gallon rating for a car. That does not mean that traditional incandescent bulbs are going away. Manufacturers are working to make the bulbs more efficient."

Hines said consumers can still get incandescent bulbs in your local home improvement store.

CFL bulbs are filled with toxic mercury. Despite that, Hones said that once a bulb is used up, it's OK to throw it away.

"They are completely able to be disposed of in regular household waste," he said. "It is completely OK for customers to dispose of them that way, we just encourage customers to recycle them. We think that's a better approach."

Hines said that APS collects the used bulbs for free at local stores, then makes sure the entire bulb gets recycled.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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