California Utility Company has Comprehensive CFL Plan

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Southern California Edison plans to giveaway one million CFLs to low income customers and Educate them on the importance of recycling at end-of-life

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Utility company Southern California Edison has an innovative plan to provide one million compact fluorescent light bulbs free of charge to low-income customers.  The plan doesn’t stop there as they are also concerned about end-of-life issues with the CFLs.  So SoCal Edison is incorporating a largescale community outreach effort to recycle the bulbs into their plan to distribute them.’

Inside Green Business notes numerous utility companies and others (Home Depot gave away one million CFLs on Sunday) have promoted the efficient CFLs as a way to reduce energy use and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but few if any have been concerned about what happens after the bulbs are in consumers hands.

Environmentalists have suggested that CFL giveaways or promoting CFL usage should include information about how to properly recycle them.  There are concerns about mercury leaching from the bulbs if they end up in landfills.

The SoCal Edison idea marks the first time a major company has devised a plan that covered both usage and disposal.

If the plan is implemented SoCal Edison estimates the average household savings would be up to $72 per year and it will yield 278 million kilowatt-hours in energy savings statewide, an amount equal to 155,400 tons of greenhouse gas reductions.

Inside Green Business reports SoCal Edison plans to partner with a wide range of faith-based organizations and community groups who will go door-to-door in low-income communities to distribute the CFLs as well as information on their use and proper disposal.  The company will also setup drop boxes or other collection facilities at those churches and community centers in an effort to address the concerns of mercury.