Industry News

10.2.2009

Ameren Illinois Utilities, DCEO Announce Partnership to Recycle CFLs

ILLINOIS consumers now have a convenient, no-cost way to safely dispose of used compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, thanks to a partnership between the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Ameren Illinois Utilities (AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP).

Utilizing a $50,000 grant from the Illinois DCEO, the Ameren Illinois Utilities (AIU) has placed recycling containers at sites throughout their service territory. Recycling containers have been placed in Springfield Electric stores, county health departments and at participating Ace Hardware stores.

"Our Act On Energy initiative has definitely helped to significantly increase the popularity of CFLs," said Karen Warnke, Ameren Illinois Utilities Energy Efficiency Advisor. "With that popularity there is an increased awareness that CFLs need to be disposed of in a proper manner.

"Though each CFL contains a trace amount of mercury - an amount about equal in size to the period at the end of this sentence - it is important to know that CFLs are safe to use. We are asking Illinoisans to recycle CFLs," Warnke said.

"Making the switch to CFL bulbs is an easy way Illinoisans can help reduce their carbon footprint. Through two key initiatives, we're able to reduce the cost of CFLs to the consumer and improve proper disposal of old bulbs," said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. "We are proud to partner with Ameren in helping people make their homes more 'green' without breaking their wallets."

Now in its second year, AIU's Act On Energy (actonenergy.com) initiative is helping residential and business customers use energy more wisely. Using CFLs has proven to be one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce energy spending.

"ENERGY STARĀ® qualified CFLs are the smart lighting choice. When you use a CFL in place of an incandescent bulb, you can save $5 in energy costs for an entire year. Replacing 20 incandescent bulbs with CFLs can add up to $100 in annual savings," Warnke said.

AIU customers can purchase ENERGY STARĀ® CFLs at sharply discounted prices. Complete information information is available at actonenergy.com. Warnke said AIU electric customers also can begin saving with just one phone call. AIU will pay an electric customer $35 for a standard size refrigerator or freezer manufactured before 1993. The appliance must be operating and used as a secondary unit located in a garage or basement.

In addition, Act On Energy is offering rebates to residential electric customers on these ENERGY STAR qualified products: $35 rebates on window air conditioners, $25 rebates on dehumidifiers and $20 on ceiling fans and ceiling fan kits.

Residential electric customers may receive an incentive of $600 for retiring an existing central air conditioner or heat pump with a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of 8 or less. A retired unit must then be replaced with a new 14 SEER central air conditioner or heat pump. If the retired air conditioner or heat pump has a SEER greater than 8, an incentive of $110 may be paid.

Residential electric customers who install a new geothermal heat pump may receive an incentive of $600. IEF