Info from Energize CT. website about lighting efficiency

An easy way to save energy and money

Did you know that energy-efficient lighting uses up to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lighting, yet provides the same amount of light? Switching to energy-saving ENERGY STAR-certified light bulbs and fixtures is a cost-effective way to save energy and reduce energy costs. You’ll enjoy the great light quality and the convenience of bulbs that last much longer than traditional bulbs.

Along with the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Energize Connecticut works with retailers and manufacturers to promote and discount ENERGY STAR certified lighting products. These products are designed to save you energy and money without sacrificing comfort and quality. And they last 10-50 times longer than traditional bulbs, so you can spend more time enjoying life and less time on the ladder changing bulbs.

To earn the ENERGY STAR label, a product must meet strict energy efficiency standards. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, created to promote energy-efficient products and energy-saving practices.

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Today most home improvement stores, major grocery stores, lighting stores, large discount department stores, and warehouse stores, throughout Connecticut, carry a range of ENERGY STAR-certified light bulbs and fixtures. So finding the right energy-efficient lighting product for your home is easy. Just look for a “marked” lighting product when you shop.

Light Fixtures

You’ll find ENERGY STAR-certified fixtures at local retailers in an array of styles to fit your decor.

Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs have come a long way since the first “twisty” compact fluorescent bulbs. Today you’ll find an energy-saving bulb for nearly every application in your home. When you shop for bulbs, think about the fixture it will go in, the light output and color you need, and the mood you want to achieve.
Most people prefer soft, warm light in bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and rooms with warm paint tones. In workspaces, garages, rooms with cooler paint tones, and outdoors, you may prefer cooler white light. ENERGY STAR certified bulbs are available in a range of tones – warm to cool white – and brightness levels. See the product packaging and the Lighting Facts Label for details.

CFL and LED Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting.
CFLs have been around for years and are smaller versions of full-sized fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets and provide the light that looks similar to incandescent bulbs. Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs use about one-quarter of the energy to produce the same amount of light, last 10 times longer, and produce 75 percent less heat, reducing cooling costs.

LEDs are the latest in energy-efficient technology. Most of us are familiar with LEDs from our electronics. We see them everywhere, telling us the equipment is on. Recent advances have made LED bulbs available for our homes. The bulbs – made with many small LED lights grouped in clusters – look similar to traditional incandescent light bulbs. LED technology is advancing rapidly, and many new bulb styles are available. Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs bring more value since they last longer. They use up to 80 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last 15 to 40 years. LEDs also provide excellent color quality, dimming capability, and turn on instantly. They are currently more expensive than other energy-efficient bulbs, but the cost is decreasing each year as the manufacturing technology continues to improve.

See more at: http://www.energizect.com/residents/programs/energy-star-lighting#sthash.zIa0CWkB.dpuf

Been burned in the past by a crooked Contractor? You may be eligible for up to $15,000 from the home improvement Guaranty Fund. Know your rights!

Home Improvement Guarantee Fund

The Department of Consumer Protection maintains the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund. This pool of money was created and is replenished from annual assessments of registered contractors, and can be used to help satisfy an unpaid judgment to a homeowner. A homeowner may be eligible for up to $15,000 from the Fund if he or she had hired a registered home improvement contractor and the resulting problem meets certain criteria.
Phone: (860) 713-6110
Link to more info on CT Home Improvement Guarantee Fund

More info from the CT Department of consumer protection website.

Tips for Protecting Yourself

The Department of Consumer Protection can not resolve every consumer dispute. We rely on you – the consumer – to help us in our mission. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Do Your Homework:  Before making a significant purchase or hiring a contractor.
  • Research the business you will be dealing with. Ask for references and then contact them. If you are hiring a home improvement or new home construction contractor, visit other job sites they have worked on, if possible.
  • Check that your contractor or licensed professional has an active license or registration. Don’t take their word for it. Even if they give you their license or registration number, you should make sure it is active.
  • Read your contract before you sign and know your rights. Check out our Consumer Fact Sheet: About Consumer Contracts in Connecticut for things to watch out for in everyday consumer contracts. Our Consumer and Publication pages have additional resources to help you protect yourself.
  • Try To Resolve Your Dispute Yourself:  Most Connecticut businesses are legitimate companies that want to be satisfied, repeat customers. If you have a problem with a business, call or write them a letter – explain the problem, show them the backup documents if you can, and ask for a fair resolution. If you can help yourself, that gives us more time to go after the companies engaged in patterns of fraud or abuse. Read on for tips and resources to help you resolve your dispute.
  • Alert Us To Problems:  Although we cannot solve every problem, we do want to hear about them. From your information, we learn when a business has a pattern of acting badly or a new scam is moving into the State. Where we see a pattern of bad conduct, the law provides us with tools to go after the business, or we can alert the public to protect others from being victimized. Click here to see if your complaint is one we have authority to deal with and, if appropriate, to file a complaint.

Licensed Electrical Contractor Hiring Checklist

Starting that new electrical project?

Here’s a good checklist that is helpful when looking for an electrician, or any other trade person.

Hiring a Contractor Checklist

Are you planning to remodel your home? This checklist will help you make sure you’ve done everything you need to do for your project. Check off each item when they’re complete.

  • Verify the licenses of all contractors and subcontractors on ct.gov.
  • Ask the contractor for references.
  • Request a list of subcontractors to be used.
  • Have the Contractor obtain the appropriate building permits.
  • See and understand any plans and blueprints before approving them.
  • Periodically check on the progress of the work.
  • Get lien releases from subcontractors and material supplies.
  • Keep copies of all documents and correspondence.