Late last year, many electric utilities announced they would offer customers discounts on compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in a partnership with Energy Star. Dominion Virginia Power announced that in the three months of 2007 the program was operational, customers purchased more than 568,000 discounted CFLs. Consequently, the utility has raised its goal to the sale of 5 million bulbs by the end of 2009.

“We are extremely pleased with and proud of the program’s initial success. It means our customers are interested in making energy-conscious decisions,” said David A. Heacock, president of Dominion Virginia Power.

Dominion is providing a $1.50 discount on single and $3 on multipacks of Energy Star-qualified CFL bulbs purchased at The Home Depot stores in eastern, central and Northern Virginia. While the 2007 sales target has been reached, Dominion will continue to offer discounts for the remainder of 2008.

Because of the success in 2007, Dominion has increased the 2008 and 2009 CFL sales goal to 2.25 million each year, for a three-year total of more than 5 million bulbs, up from an initial target of 1.4 million bulbs. The company also is looking to offer the discount at additional retail outlets throughout the year.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CFL bulbs consume about 75 percent less energy, produce the same amount of light as traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb with an equivalent CFL can save a typical utility customer $54 during the bulb’s lifetime, according estimates by the EPA.

Based on the EPA’s CFL calculator, Dominion customers would save $284 million and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 1.5 million tons—the equivalent of removing 268,354 cars from the road for one year—if the sales goals of 5 million CFL bulbs were to replace 60-watt incandescent bulbs.