1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
When will consumers realize the 60-cent light bulb wasn't a bargain?
The deadline is approaching slowly, stealthily. You may not even realize it until the shelves of your local hardware store are void of 40-, 60-, 75- and 100-watt standard incandescent light bulbs. Congress ordered them phased out in 2007, and manufacturers stopped making them as of Dec. 31, so when they run out depends on your store's inventory and the incandescent bulb's continuing allure. But according to the math, while the new energy-efficient bulbs are costlier than incandescents, they are a bargain for the consumer over their lifetimes.