While it is widely believed that new federal regulations will ban the sale of the standard 100-watt bulb and other traditional incandescent lights, the truth is a little more complicated. New lighting efficiency regulations, which take effect starting in 2012, do not ban incandescents or any other type of bulb. They do require, however, that common light bulbs use about 25% less energy (measured in watts) for the amount of light produced (measured in lumens).
Currently available 100-watt incandescent bulbs produce about 1,600 lumens. Under the new regulations, bulbs with this level of brightness must have a maximum wattage rating of 72. Most incandescent products currently on the market do not meet these requirements and will no longer be manufactured or imported for sale in the United States after January 1st, 2012.
What does this mean for your household? While homeowners are not required to upgrade to products that meet the new regulations, the standard 100-watt bulbs will soon disappear from store shelves following the January 1st deadline. Fortunately, a variety of energy-saving alternative technologies are available that still provide the light quality that homeowners have come to expect.
Halogen Incandescents. Halogen incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. These lights are 25% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to three times longer. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and can be used with dimmers.
Compact-Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). An ENERGY STAR qualified CFL is 75% more efficient and lasts up to 10 times longer than a comparable incandescent bulb. CFLs are available in cool white or warm yellow tones and some are encased in a cover to diffuse the light and provide an appearance similar to traditional bulbs. Dimmable CFL bulbs are also available. CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury and should be properly recycled at the end of their life. For more information, see Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LEDs are made from a coated semiconductor material that produces light when exposed to an electric current. They are one of the most energy-efficient and rapidly developing technologies in today's market. An ENERGY STAR qualified LED bulb is 75% to 80% more efficient than an incandescent bulb and lasts up to 25 times longer. Although the technology is still evolving, LEDs are commonly used in recessed fixtures and small track lights. While LEDs are more expensive to purchase, their low energy use and durability can save money over the life of the bulb.
The new regulations apply only to conventional 100-watt bulbs; three-way and other specialty lighting products are not affected. New efficiency standards for 75-watt incandescent bulbs will take effect starting on January 1st, 2013, while those covering 60- and 40-watt bulbs will begin on January 1st, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that compliance with the new regulations will save consumers about $6 billion in energy costs by 2015. In a typical home, replacing 15 traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives will save an estimated $50 per year.
For information about Appalachian Power's WV SMART Lighting Program, please Click here.
Publisher's note: This is a news release courtesy of Appalachian Electric Power.
Great Advice From Hurricane Animal Hospital
Lights, decorations, good food... Every year, as we celebrate the holidays, we fill our homes with seasonal cheer for ourselves and our families.
However, what may seem beautiful beautiful and harmless to us may pose hidden dangers to our pets. Don't let an emergency spoil the festivities!
Below are some common holiday hazards for dogs and cats and simple ways to prevent them:
The following can be toxic to pets: chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic, onion, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, bread dough, and sugar-free candy and gum containing the artificial sweetener xylitol.
Despite tradition, bones should never be given to pets. Even beef, ham, and other "regular" foods that are not considered toxic can cause illness in pets. If your pet is a moocher, keep a saucer of his regular treats on the table to offer when he asks. He probably won't know the difference!
New Treats and Toys
Even a pet-safe treat can cause stomach upset if it is new to your pet. Offer only one of these at a time (ideally, separated by a few days). If your pet becomes ill after eating a holiday treat, it will be easier to trace the source and discontinue it. Also, check new toys for sharp edges, pieces that can be chewed off, or other potential hazards.
Hazardous plants include mistletoe, some evergreens (including some types of pine), and holly bushes and berries. Try to keep these plants away from pets, or at least supervise pets when dangerous plants are nearby.
Tinsel, tree ornaments, ribbons, string, and garlands are some items that can be dangerous if eaten by pets. Keep these items away from pets — especially when pets are unattended. Don't forget to cover any electrical cords or keep them out of reach.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide
Monitor pets near fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, candles, and portable heaters. Also, don't forget to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning properly. Space heaters, furnaces, and idling cars (in a garage) can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in pets and humans.
Monitor your pets when they are around your holiday tree. Pets may eat the needles (even from artificial trees) or drink water from the base of the tree, which can be toxic (especially if there are preservatives in it). Keep electrical cords and decorative lights out of reach, too.
Please visit our website at http://www.hurricaneanimalhospital.com/ and click on "Pet Portal LOG IN." We look forward to hearing from you.
The Doctors and Staff of Hurricane Animal Hospital
Hurricane Animal Hospital
2120 Mt Vernon Road
More Than 91 Percent Want Sheriff K9 Units Again
When Putnam County Sheriff Mark L. Smith discontinued the K9 Units, for budget reasons, some people felt it was a mistake. Some felt Smith was handing over the county to drug dealers. Others felt that the West Virginia State Police K9 Units were adequate. And the City of Hurricane continued funding its own K9 Unit.
PutnamLIVE.com wanted to find out what you thought. So we posted a survey. The results are overwhelming. More than 91 percent of our respondents want Smith to bring back the "drug dogs." In our non-scientfific survey from November 26th, 2011 to December 14th, 2011, 226 people voted. Of those, 206 voters, (91.2 percent), said to bring back the drug dogs. The other 20, (8.8 percent) said no.
The response is a stinging rebuke of Smith's K9 Unit policy and mirrors the views of Republican sheriff candidates Steve Deweese and Rick Parsons who say they will restore the drug dogs if they are elected in 2012. Smith is being forced out of office by the West Virginia term limit law.
Secretary Of State Urges Cautious Charitable Giving
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant, (D), is reminding generous people that they have many tools available to make sure they don’t get scammed during the holiday season.
“A lot of people feel generous during the holiday season, and want to donate to charities to make sure the holidays are happy,” says Tennant. “But remember that there might be dishonest people out there looking to take advantage of that generosity and who might try to scam you.”
Tennant says her office maintains a database of every charitable organization licensed to solicit donations from West Virginians. The database, available on the Secretary of State’s website at www.wvsos.com, displays important information in an easy to understand format. Where a charity is located, the amount of money a charity took in, and how they spent that money is available.
However, not every worthy charity is listed. Organizations such as hospitals, smaller charities that take in less than $25,000, and charities like the Salvation Army that are monitored on a national level are not listed.
Tennant urges people to remember some simple tips to make sure a scammer doesn’t take advantage of their holiday spirit and charitable giving.
“If a person calls asking for a donation, ask the caller if their organization is registered with the Secretary of State’s Office. If they give you the runaround, that’s a good sign that you should just hang up the phone. The honest charities will want you to ask questions because they know they are legitimate.”
Some other ways people can protect themselves are to ask how donations will be spent, where the charity is located, and to never pay cash. People should also watch out for high pressure gimmicks and guilt tactics if you decide to not donate. Some questionable charities also give themselves names similar to well-known and respected charities, trying to confuse people into donating.
If you feel you have been contacted by a fraudulent charity, you are urged to contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 304-558-6000.
Tennant also reminds West Virginians that there are many ways to help during the holidays other than giving a monetary donation.
“Money is tight for a lot of people these days. But remember – you can always volunteer at a shelter or other community group. A lot of times, a few hours of volunteer work is better than writing a check.”
Publisher's note: This is a news release courtesy of Jake Glance of the West Virginia Secretary of State's office.
Chief Jordan's Son Paid $2,250 By Police Fund
Weeks after PutnamLIVE.com filed a Freedom of Information Act request, the City of Nitro finally coughed up police fund checks written to family members of Chief of Police Jack Jordan.
Those checks include $2,250 in three checks written to Jordan's son, Charlton, for music vocal performances at town events.
Getting copies of the checks proved to be a challenge. After City Attorney Richie Robb promised full cooperation, officials at city hall failed that mission. PutnamLIVE.com had to telephone Robb who expressed surprise that Recorder Rita Cox and Mayor Russell "Rusty" Casto failed to comply with the FOIA five-day deadline under West Virginia law. (We filed the FOIA request November 21st, 2011). Violating the state FOIA law is a misdemeanor.
"We'll get them to you, I promise," said Robb, during a December 6th, 2011 telephone call. The next afternoon, copies of the checks were faxed to PutnamLIVE.com.
It is important to report that these funds were raised privately and are not tax dollars. Still, some are questioning as to why some of the checks were made out to the chief's family members. The City of Nitro has not provided any evidence of a bidding system for Charlton Jordan's performances.
"The city is now controlling these accounts," says Casto. "Council is overseeing how the money is being spent, now."
Because the funds were privately raised, it does not appear that any laws were broken, though many are questioning the ethics involved in the situation.
Nitro Examining Police Fund Checks
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