Lighting the Way to Energy Savings

How to save on home lighting costs

It might seem a bit cliché to talk about turning out the lights when discussing energy savings, but home lighting can account for up to 10 percent of the average American’s electric bill — $150 a year.

It simply doesn’t need to cost that much.

There are so many easy and affordable ways to bring down home lighting costs. The Energy Resource Center always works with the Southern Colorado residents we help to find affordable lighting solutions that will save them on their utility bills.

Light bulbs

New energy-efficient light bulbs can pay for themselves in savings pretty rapidly. If you replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb with a 20-watt CFL for $4, you’ll recover your investment in less than a year if you use the light an average of four hours a day. Since CFLs don’t have to be replaced as often as typical incandescent bulbs, the savings will grow exponentially from there.

LEDs last even longer and save even more energy. If you plan to stay in your home long term, consider making the switch.

The savings over the long haul will be tremendous.


Install dimmer switches in rooms where they’re appropriate. Turning the light down saves energy.


Instead of flipping your outside light on every night and leaving it on or even forgetting about it in the morning, consider installing a sensor that will make the light come on when people approach. It accomplishes the same security goals as constant outdoor lighting and saves energy.

You can also install sensors in closets and pantries so they turn on automatically when the door opens and off when it closes so no one forgets to flip the switch, something that could potentially go unnoticed for days, depending on how often the closet is used.

Consider sensors for similarly unused parts of your home, such as the basement or attic.

Use the sun

Open window blinds during the day and leave the lights off. Natural light is an inherent mood lifter and often provides more than enough light during the day.

Get advice

If you want to find new ways to cut back on energy use in your Colorado home, contact the Energy Resource Center. We provide free home energy audits and weatherization upgrades for income-qualified residents of El Paso, Denver, Jefferson, Teller, Fremont, Elbert,  Douglas, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Saguache and Rio Grande counties.

erc button


Our Loveland office has moved! If you are in the Weld, Boulder, Larimer country service area please contact our Sterling office at 970-463-7020 or email