PSE customers line up to ‘Rock the Bulb’

A PSE representative explains how the “Rock the Bulb” program works at Saturday’s Bellevue event. - Linda Ball, Reporter Newspapers
A PSE representative explains how the “Rock the Bulb” program works at Saturday’s Bellevue event.
— image credit: Linda Ball, Reporter Newspapers

Despite cold, steady rainfall, people waited in long lines outside the Bellevue Fred Meyer to participate in Puget Sound Energy’s “Rock the Bulb” event Saturday, Oct. 27. Not only could they exchange their incandescent light bulbs for more energy efficient bulbs, but also they could learn about various ways to reduce energy consumption.

Customers of PSE could swap 15 old bulbs for 15 compact fluorescent bulbs, the “spirally ones,” or 10 CFL’s and five LED bulbs.

Will Einstein, PSE’s director of community services, said LED bulbs are the newest technology and last much longer. However, he added, they are expensive.

But consider this. A regular incandescent light bulb that uses 60 watts is comparable to 13 watts in a CFL and seven to 12 watts in an LED bulb.

While the sound of the old bulbs crashing into the recycle pile was a bit unnerving, the good news is they will be recycled by Ecolights of Seattle. The glass is crushed and used in pavement.

It was quite the process. First, folks registered by giving a PSE representative their address and account number. The information is put into the system so PSE can track the customer’s savings by using the energy efficient bulbs. Everyone then had a chance to win a free energy efficient shower head.

Several contractors were on hand to talk about their energy efficient products. Greg Smith, was busy explaining PSE’s Re-energized by Design contest.

Customers were encouraged to create a video explaining why they deserve an energy home makeover. The people with the top six videos will compete for $7,500 worth of energy efficient appliances and work with an interior designer to be sure they achieve the look they want.

“I just came to get bulbs,” said Bob Jacobs, a 27-year Bellevue resident.

Jacobs didn’t want to make a video, but he said information on heat pumps and home energy assessments was worthwhile.

Jackie Moe of “Green Power,” which contracts with PSE, compared the program with shopping at the local farmer’s market.

She was signing up customers to volunteer to buy Green Power credits, which shifts a portion of their electricity use to support wind power, solar power and other new renewable energy options.

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