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Conservation & Cost Savings: Furniture Retail Replaces All Bulbs in Store with CFLs

Porto in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, NC, combine environmental concerns with compact flourescent light bulbs to save bundles in energy bills.

Raleigh, NC, October 19, 2007 --( When owners Michael Perry and Emily Barrett of Porto, a home furnishings store with locations in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, learned that they could reduce the amount of CO2 that an SUV emits over a year by replacing just 10 regular 100-watt incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, they decided to take it much further. They’ve replaced all the light bulbs in both stores with CFLs.

But there is more to their mission than environmentalism. As business people, the amount of money they’d save on energy bills was an offer they couldn’t refuse.

“[With the CFL bulbs] our power bill in Chapel Hill was only $416 during the month of August/September,” Perry said. “In Raleigh, where we’ve just finished the change-over, I calculated that 200 CFL floods used the same energy as 43 standard 75-watt par30 floods. We have cut our power bill by almost 75 percent. And when the temperature finally comes down into the 70s, we will be able to turn off our air conditioning units. We won’t have the extra heat generated by regular bulbs. We may actually have a $200 power bill for a 5000-square-foot retail store.”

According to Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, qualified CFL bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. They save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime. And they produce about 75 percent less heat, so they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with cooling.

Perry admits that CFLs are more expensive off the shelf, but he said the long-term cost and energy savings are well worth the investment. “We will recoup the cost of the more expensive bulbs in four months,” he explained, ”so the initial cost of the bulbs is worth it. After the four months, the savings will be worth thousands of dollars in a single-year period.”

As for the bulbs’ environmental attributes, Energy claims “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a qualified bulb, the savings would be enough energy to light more than three million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.”

Environmental responsibility is not a new direction for Porto. Perry and Barrett have made it a standard practice to work only with home furnishings and accessories manufacturers who practice environmental stewardship since the first store opened in Raleigh’s North Hills three years ago. Porto is a founding member of the Sustainable Furniture Council.

Porto is located in Raleigh at 4151 Main at North Hills and in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Shopping Center, 1800 East Franklin Street. Hours are: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 6 p.m. For more information, visit

Contact Information
Kim Weiss, blueplate pr
919-341-2763 (Raleigh)
919-338-2602 (Chapel Hill)

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