Figures in wire stories don't always apply here

Question: I fully support the underlying message of this story that upgrading to compact fluorescent lights is a greate idea. However, I have a beef with the numbers in the sentence "Replace four 75-watt incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents that are used four hours a day, and you'll save about $27 a year at current electric rates." At current electric rates where -- in Orlando?

The savings for Spokane, where rates are more like 6 cents per kilowatt hour would be more like $20 per year. That's still significant. The writer could have said that for every 100 watts worth of conventional bulbs replaced, you save about 75 watts. This is true in Spokane as well as Orlando.

I understand that the story was more or less just a filler, but is it indicative of other cases where the national story doesn't match the facts in Spokane? -- Jon Etherton, Spokane

Answer: Good point. We often publish stories generated by reporters or syndicated columnists from other parts of the country and the facts or examples they use don't always correlate to the facts or circumstances in our area. We usually try to catch those references in the editing process and either eliminate them or make some logical local comparisons. -- Gary Graham, managing editor

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