The interesting thing here, apart from comparing the price of electricity in 1980 to what it is now, is the section marked BULB SERVICE. This is a bonus service I'm not sure many utility companies offered in addition to providing electricity. We never had it in Connecticut or Pennsylvania when I lived in those states that I remember. For a fee of less than a dollar per month you could subscribe to the "bulb service" which allowed you to pick up two free light bulbs each month at any ComEd payment center. This was ended sometime in the 1990s, I think. I tried to find out the exact date, but my Internet searches failed me.
When incandescent lights were attacked for using up too much energy and the federal government enacted a law forcing the bulb industry to make the now ubiquitous CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) bulb and LED bulbs, ComED discontinued the bulb service. By 2014 incandescent bulbs will become obsolete. Already the 100 watt and the 75 watt bulb are no longer made.
|40 cents a month and you get two free light bulbs. Such a deal!|
|This customer has a very unusual last name, but I had to blur it out.|
He still lives in Illinois, though in a completely different town now
To encourage customers in the transition from the old to the new bulbs ComEd replaced the old "bulb service" with one that allowed people to purchase at a 60% discount CFL bulbs in more than 350 stores throughout northern Illinois. It was the largest such program in the entire Midwest. In Chicago free CFL bulbs were given out to the first 500 customers to take advantage of the program. Overall, one million bulbs were purchased or given out free through this program.
I subscribed to the light bulb service for the first five or six years I lived in Chicago (from 1986-1992) but stopped when I realized that I hardly ever remembered to pick up my bulbs before the month was out. I was living in tiny studio apartments and only used them for my two lamps and ceiling lights in the kitchen. I didn't need many then, though I got my fair share.
Anyone else have a "bulb service" program they remember back in the day?