Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Kentucky Organizations Help the Environment One Light Bulb at a Time

Press Release Date:  Friday, April 20, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

John Davies

ENERGY STAR bulbs save energy, reduce emissions

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Thirty-seven organizations across Kentucky are celebrating Earth Day this year by promoting a simple action everyone can do: changing a light bulb.

A regular, incandescent light bulb can be exchanged for an ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb that uses one-third of the energy but lasts up to 10 years longer.  The better bulbs reduce not only electric bills but also carbon emissions. 

This year from Burkesville to Bowling Green, from Lexington to Louisville, community groups were awarded $350 Earth Day ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World grants by the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy and the Kentucky National Energy Education Development Project (NEED).

“It was a brilliant idea to make little bits of money available to lots of groups of people,” said Sister Claire McGowan, whose organization, New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future in Washington County, received one of the mini-grants.  Using their $350 grant, New Pioneers partnered with the local Ace Hardware to purchase CFL bulbs at wholesale prices, enabling youth groups to distribute them throughout the community.

“This is exactly what we had in mind when we designed the Earth Day ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World grant,” said Talina Mathews, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy.   “We want to educate people about a wonderful way to save energy and protect the environment all in one easy package.  These grant recipients have become ambassadors.  They are doing an excellent job of effecting positive change for Kentucky’s environment.”

“Education is a big component of this project,” said Karen Reagor, Kentucky NEED coordinator.  “People get excited when they find out this CFL bulb can save them $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb and that every CFL can prevent more than 450 pounds of emissions from a power plant over its lifetime.” 

Nearly all the grant applicants included education as part of their method for getting the word out about CFLs.  A few examples:

  • David Deborde’s writing class at Greenup County High School wrote public service announcements for a local newspaper explaining the impact of reducing energy use and emissions on our environment.  Students designed an informational display that will culminate in a week-long pledge drive within the high school.
  • Adair County Middle School’s Junior Beta Club is hosting an “Energy Fair and Bulb Exchange” with booths set up by local merchants to share information about energy conserving products. 
  • Gallatin County Extension Service will have a “Check the Label” booth at the Gallatin County Extension Day, April 21, and be distributing free bulbs to those who take the Change A Light pledge
  • Somerset High School E-Team (Energy and Environmental Education Team) in Pulaski County is setting up a booth at the local Lowe’s store to explain to customers the benefits of the CFL bulb and to sign up Change A Light pledges.

“Based on the success of this year’s Change a Light grant, we are hopeful we will be able to repeat the outreach event next year,” said Mathews.  Groups that would like to be notified about next year’s Change a Light grant should contact the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy

For more information about ENERGY STAR CFL bulbs go to – you can click the icon at the lower right corner of the page to “Take the ENERGY STAR Change a Light Pledge.”