Virginians are saving about 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity through Dominion Virginia Power’s compact- fluorescent lamp (CFL) instant discount program. According to the utility, that is enough energy to serve 72,000 typical Virginia households.

For the program, Dominion provided a $1.50 instant discount on all Energy Star-qualified CFLs and $3 on multipacks of these CFLs purchased at The Home Depot stores in the utility’s Virginia service area.

“It is an effective, easy way to practice energy conservation,” said Paul D. Koonce, CEO of Dominion Virginia Power.

Dominion estimates the nearly 3.8 million CFLs that have been purchased through the program will save customers more than $150 million in energy costs over the life of the lamps. Based on estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, they also will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 853,000 tons by reducing the need for electricity generation.

Dominion initiated the discount program in October 2007. The current program ended Dec. 31, 2009, but Dominion is planning an expanded CFL program in 2010 as part of its energy-conservation plan that is pending before the Virginia State Corp. Commission.