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WAPA to Give Away Energy-Saving Bulbs This Weekend

Sept. 6, 2007 — The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is taking its CFL Caravan to 21 neighborhoods Saturday and Sunday in another attempt to get Virgin Island residents to save money and the environment simply by changing light bulbs.
As part of its continuing "Change a Light, Change the World" campaign, WAPA customers are invited to bring a copy of their latest electric bill and three old incandescent light bulbs to neighborhood locations to exchange for three free compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). The "Change a Light, Change the World" Campaign is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program.
WAPA, an Energy Star Partner, supports the use of CFLs as a way for its customers to easily lower power bills while working to save the environment, a release from the authority this week said.
At a St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce meeting this year, WAPA energy consultant John Klein made clear the environmental and financial impact of changing to compact flourescent bulbs.
If everyone in the Virgin Islands threw out their incandescent light bulbs and switched to compact fluorescent lights (CFL), it would equal taking more than 16,000 vehicles off the road in terms of annual emissions savings, Klein said. He also said a single 13-watt CFL saves $30 a year in energy costs. (See "How Many Senators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?" ).
For these reasons and more, WAPA is working to distribute 60,000 Energy Star-rated CFLs to its customers this year. The bulbs were purchased with $93,000 from a Demand Side Management Fund, an escrow account intended to help customers improve energy efficiency in their homes and businesses through initiatives such as the CFL Caravan.
Nellon Bowry, WAPA interim director, threw out further facts about CFLs in the release. He said they use up to 75 percent less energy than the standard incandescent light bulbs. When all the 60,000 CFLs are in use by WAPA customers, they can save over $7 million during the life of the bulbs, which generally last about four years.
At present electric rates, just one CFL can save each customer approximately $120 during its 8,000 hour life versus a comparable 60-watt incandescent bulb.
"The incandescent bulb has been in use for 128 years and has proven to no longer be the most energy efficient source of lighting," Bowry said. "WAPA believes that changing out to the newer technology of CFLs should be the goal in every residence and business in the Virgin Islands."
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy, savings can be quite significant, since 30 percent of the energy used in homes and businesses goes for lighting. Congress has appropriated over $71 million to the Department of Energy in the last five years to support lighting research in laboratories across the nation.
Given WAPA's power struggles, it is a big help to the utility as well by reducing the load on the authorities aging, ailing systems.
The CFL Caravans will pull into the following locations this weekend:
St. Croix –Saturday and Sunday
9 — 11 a.m.— D Hamilton Jackson and John F Kennedy Community Centers in Christiansted; Midre Cummings Playground and W.I.M.Hodge Pavillion Community Center in Frederiksted.
12:30 –– 2:30 p.m. Harborview Apartments near Building 1 and Sion Farm near Island Dairies in Christiansted; Ludvig Harrigan Court Community Center and Renholdt Jackson Ballpark in Frederiksted.
St. Thomas, 9 -11 a.m. Saturday–Paul M. Pearson Gardens, and Sunday at Oswald Harris Court Community Center; Saturday and Sunday-Estate Tutu and Kirwan Terrace Community Centers, and the Turnkey Basketball Court.
12:30 — 2:30 p.m. Saturday–Thomasville Community Center, Sunday–Bovoni Community Center, Saturday and Sunday–Bordeaux Fire Station, and the Frenchtown and Savan Romeo Malone Community Centers.
St. John, Saturday
9 – 11 a.m. Bellevue Community Center,
12:30 –– 2:30p.m. George Simmonds Terrace Community Center
Sunday 10:30 a.m. –– 12:30p.m. Coral Bay Ballpark.
WAPA urges its customers to join the CFL Caravan this weekend.

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