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Another government mandate ...

October 6, 2009 - Frank Robinson
Here is the latest thing that likely will get you riled up. It's the state legislature's attempt save electricity but it really is just another program getting shoved down our throats. It applies only to Ohio Edison (First Energy) customers.

Here is how it is pitched on First Energy's Web site:

"To help customers use energy more efficiently, we're delivering two compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to the homes of residential customers of FirstEnergy√°s Ohio operating companies -- Ohio Edison Company, The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison Company. These types of bulbs use up to 75 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs and can last 10 times longer -- contributing to significant money and energy savings over the life of the bulb. Providing energy-efficient light bulbs is just one way we can help our customers save money while also helping the environment. "

What it doesn't really point out is that there will be a charge on your electric bill for the bulbs. It's $21.60 over a three-year period.

In the question-and-answer part of the utility's Web site, it says:

"Q. Will I be charged for these? "You will not see a separate charge for these bulbs on your bill. This CFL program is part of a larger energy efficiency program that is being mandated by state law. As part of this law, the utility is able to recover the costs of these programs through customer rates over a period of several years. However, the impact on your bill for this program will be minimal."

In the past, I have purchased and installed the new light bulbs. My wife hates them. I have them scattered in different fixtures in my house. They are not cheap, but they do pay off in the long run.

However, I do not like being required to purchase them. If I want one of the fancy CFL bulbs, I'll go back to Lowe's or Home Depot and get some more. Why do I want two more delivered to my house?

This is ridiculous. Stupid. Intrusive. You pick a word. But try keep it nice.


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