Yeah, yeah, you've heard that one before... But I actually saw our very own Mayor Greg Nickels change a light bulb all by himself yesterday. He was at Yesler Terrace promoting a new program to install 40,000 energy-efficient light bulbs in Seattle Housing Authority properties.
The city officials who were on hand, including SHA Director Tom Tierney, marveled at Nickels' dexterity as he balanced on a chair in the middle of the lucky resident's living room. There was a collective gasp when he dropped the bolt from the middle of the light fixture, but he recovered quickly, (or rather someone recovered the bolt for him) and without further incident the new compact fluorescent bulb was screwed in and ready to go. The most noticeable change? Took a while for the little sucker to warm up, but the room was soon lit again to the delight of the official onlookers.
Nickels says he uses the same funny looking spiral light bulbs at his house-- that he's replaced every old one that wasn't on a dimmer switch. You don't have to live in subsidized housing to do your part. City Light customers can pick up discounted energy efficient light bulbs at several local outlets.
Each SHA unit will receive and average of six bulbs depending on its size. Cost to the city is $80,000, or $2 each. But the mayor's office predicts a savings of around $234 per household in energy costs over the 10,000-hour life of the light bulbs, and boasts a potential total savings of as much as $740,000.Yesler Terrace's first recipient seemed pleased. But the suit-clad crowd that whizzed in and out of his apartment was pretty incongruous with the worn-down housing project-- built in 1936 and one of the oldest in the nation. Maybe some of the savings in energy costs can be banked for future updates to these properties.