By Nina Wu
The Blue Planet Foundation's "Better Bulb Blitzes" program has resulted in about 87,500 CFLs that have been swapped for incandescent bulbs over the past several months.
School and community groups from Maui, Hawaii island and leeward Oahu helped replace more than 85,000 incandescent light bulbs with the more energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Collectively, the use of those CFLs is expected to save residents about $13.6 million.
A CFL uses about 75 percent less electricity than a conventional bulb. On Hawaii island, that translates into a lifetime savings of about $160 per bulb (assuming the cost of electricity there is about $0.43 per kilowatt hour).
Blue Planet provides the bulbs at no cost to schools, clubs, athletic teams and other community groups as fundraisers, paying between $0.40 and $0.50 for each incandescent bulb swapped, in addition to an orientation on energy efficiency.
Groups that exchanged the most bulbs include: the Waiakea Pirates softball team on Hawaii island (7,000 bulbs), Civil Air Patrol - Kihei Squadron on Maui (4,250 blubs) and Ka Waihona o Ka Na‘auao Charter School (3,060 bulbs) in Waianae, Oahu.
Community members who brought 10 or more bulbs to swap were entered in a prize raffle — and the prizes weren't shabby. They included a high-performance Giant bicycle from McCully Bicycle and an iPad2.