A CMHC study identifies that although CFL bulbs do reduce the electrical energy needed for space lighting by up to 68%, in a predominately heated region these savings are offset by an increase in space heating loads as the interior of the home is no longer being partially 'heated' by the traditional 'inefficient' light bulbs. In Vancouver, this increased heating load clawed back much of the savings and only resulted in a overall energy savings of $10-12/year (based on 2008 energy costs).
A further consideration before switching is looking at what provides the heating energy in the home. For those of us concerned about the environment and the planet's ability to survive the onslaught that we humans throw at it, does it make sense to replace an electrical heating source ('inefficient' light bulbs) operating at 100% efficiency with a gas heating source operating between 50% to 90% overall efficiency (depending on age of gas appliance) and at the same time belching out all that carbon compared to our relatively clean electrical supply we enjoy in BC?
I welcome your comments.