I think many/most companies use the "green" label simply to sell things. My poor old aunt was talked into replacing all the older windows with new "energy-efficient" windows.....cost $13,000.
When I found out and asked why, she said she'd be saving money on the utility bills. She died about 40 years before the break-even point. My own 60 year-old windows work just fine, don't leak air, and aren't going to be replaced till they break down completely.
I don't know, I spent $5k replacing the 30 year old aluminium frame, single pane windows in my condo with Low-E (has a coating that blocks infrared heat), dual pane vinyl frame windows. I don't have A/C and heating costs are minimal (does not get that cold here in SoCal near the ocean) so the payback time is so long that it's not measurable. But, the windows make a huge difference in the amount of heat that's let in so it's cooler in the summer (old windows would measure 120*F+ in hot summer, new ones are 5-10* above room temp), and the amount of noise blocked by these windows is huge compared to the old ones (important when you live in a condo with lots of neighbors close by). If I ever sell the condo, I'm sure that the resale value will be helped, too. So to me, they were worth every penny.
My least favorite person is a hypocrite like Al Gore who tells you do do one thing, but doesn't do it himself. Any efforts he made on his own house to go "green", were obviously just for show. IMHO....forget green when it comes to your own energy bills. Just concentrate on reducing the bills......which of course means more than adding a few "green" things around your home.
So, because Mark Spitzer is a hypocrite means that going and paying for high priced hookers is OK?
The key here is "supposed". I actually use very little lighting in my house and more than the 2 CFL's I mentioned earlier tough they are the most used. I have noticed little to no chage in electricity bills, in the last few years have replaced 3 CFLs and NO incandescents, some of which are 10 years old or more and still going strong.
It's quite easily to calculate your savings with fluorescent bulbs. Simply take the rate you pay for electricity and multiply by the amount of time you leave your lights on and multiply again by the difference in power consumed by the old and new bulb.
So lets take your sample room with 2 CFLs replacing 2 incandescents. You didn't mention what wattage bulbs they were, but for the sake of the argument lets assume the old bulbs were 60 watt models and the new ones are 13 watt models, you use the lights 12 hours a day and your electricity rate is 10c / kWh. When the lights are on, you're using 94w less energy, so multiply that by 12 hours and you use about 1 kW less energy a day, or about 10c a day. This would total $3/mo, so no, it's not likely something that you'd notice on your electricity bill unless they are very consistent. But just because you don't notice the savings doesn't mean that they are saving, it just means that the savings are small. Now, imagine if everyone did this, the cumulative effect is enormous!
Some of the early fluorescent bulbs were complete crap and died early, had poor warmup times, etc. If you look for bulbs with the Energy Star symbol on them, they should be of much better quality.