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Progress Energy launches CFL discount program

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Progress Energy is launching a CFL bulb discount program Saturday designed to save customers an average of $1.50 per bulb purchased.

Customers who buy one Energy Star rated compact fluorescent light bulb at selected Home Depot stores will get a free 14-watt twist CFL. The limit is 12 free bulbs per customers.

These are the stores offering the free bulbs: 2031 Walnut St. in Cary, 210 Eastwood Road, Wilmington and 795 Fairview Road, Asheville.

"It's not like a rebate where they have to send it in — it's a discount right there at the store," said Progress spokesman Mike Hughes.

The program was approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission in November. The commission previously approved other CFL discounts that are offered at many other stores.

The way the new program works is that Progress will reimburse the hardware store for the bulbs given away. Progress will likely expand the program beyond those three Home Depots and include other hardware stores and retailers.

In its filing with the commission, Progress estimated the program would cost $12 million in the first three years and would result in 12.4 of light sockets in the company's service area using CFLs by 2011.

The money for the program will come from increases to customer bills, authorized by the commission to pay for conservation programs and other energy-saving initiatives.

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About the blogger

John Murawski has been a full-time newspaper reporter since 1991, with stints at Legal Times and The Chronicle of Philanthropy (both in Washington, DC), The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Palm Beach Post (in South Florida) before arriving at the N&O in December 2004. At the N&O he covers energy (nuclear, coal, renewable, efficiency), hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), public utilities and health care. His beat includes PSNC Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy Progress, PowerSecure International, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Biogen Idec and others. He has also contributed more than 30 book reviews on topics spanning botany, history, science and religion. You can reach him at 919-829-8932 or e-mail him.