** **A diva is always looking for ways to better their personal environment while still watching the budget. Here are a few tips and tools to do just that! Most are relatively simple and quick, so let’s get started!

** **By now you have probably heard that you can save some money on your utility bills just by changing out some light bulbs. But you are still a little skeptical. Just how much money could I save, you wonder. So I am going to provide you with the formula, and a way to see how quickly the investment in compact fluorescent bulbs can pay off for you.

Say you have a typical 4 light fixture in the bathroom. We will assume that you have four 60W bulbs in the fixture. The following calculation can show you just how much these bulbs are costing you for every hour that they are burning.

Cost per Kilowatt-Hour x Wattage of Appliance / 1000 x Hours Appliance is Running

Cost per Kilowatt-Hour (according to my bill) $.1129

4 60W Bulbs 2400W

Divided by 1000 (Kilowatt is 1000 watts) 0.2709

Multiplied by the Hours it is running or on 4

Cost per Kilowatt-Hour multiplied by wattage divided by 1000 multiplied by the hours it is on = cost per hour.

Electricity is billed by the power company based on kilowatt hours. Simply multiply the cost per kilowatt- hour by the wattage of the appliance. My utility company bills at .1129 cents per kilowatt hour. Then divide by 1000 to convert it to watts, since is a kilowatt is 1000 watts. Multiply that by the hours that the appliance is running. The cost for those four 60W incandescent bulbs in one hour is $0.27. Let’s say that you turn that light on for 4 hours per day. (It is in the bathroom, after all.) Multiply the cost per hour by 4. Your daily cost is now $1.08.

$1.08 doesn’t sound like that much money, does it? Now let’s figure out how much you spend in an average month. We will use 30 for the number of days in the month, although some have more , some have less, and some months have 30. Multiply the cost for the four hours by 30 days, and the cost has just gone up to $32.52. All for only 4 light bulbs that you only turn on for 4 hours per day.

Now let’s see how much we can save by replacing those 4 incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lights. The fluorescent lights will be just as bright but use less electricity, so they will use fewer watts. Watts is simply a unit of measure for electricity consumption or use.

Cost per Kilowatt-Hour (according to my bill) $.1129

4 14W Bulbs 56W

Divided by 1000 (Kilowatt is 1000 watts) 0.00632

Multiplied by the Hours it is running or on 4

Now, those four bulbs are costing you less than $0.03 per day. The cost per day for the same 4 hours is now $0.025 and the cost for a month is $0.76. You have just saved $31.76 per month on your utility costs!

But, you tell me, compact fluorescents cost so much more than incandescent! So what is the real savings?

These bulbs cost $11.97 for the pack, and you will need two packs for a four light fixture.

The incandescent bulbs cost $4.97 for the pack, and you will need two packs for a four light fixture. So the cost difference between the bulbs is $7.00 per pack. In the first month your savings drop to $30.39 per month, but they go back up to $37.39 for each month that the bulbs last. The incandescent light bulbs will last for approximately 3,000 hours or 2 years. The compact fluorescent bulbs will last for approximately 7 years.

In one year, with just changing the bulbs, your energy consumption just decreased $386.37! Over the course of seven years, you will have saved $2,704.60! Wow! Just by changing some light bulbs!