Senator Kissel Lauds Provision for Students to Promote Fluorescent Light Bulbs

July 13, 2007

State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, is lauding a provision that was included in the recently passed energy efficiency bill that allows the state Department of Education (DOE) to establish a state-wide compact that encourages local school districts to hold fundraisers to sell compact fluorescent light bulbs. According to Sen. Kissel, the program aims to get young people involved in energy conservation while helping raise money for their schools.

“This is a wonderful initiative that really helps get our children involved in a cause that we can all benefit from,” said Sen. Kissel. “In addition, I think it draws greater attention to the importance of newer energy efficient products not only for our local school districts but for all residents.”

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are energy saving bulbs that screw into a regular light socket or lighting fixture. Fluorescent bulbs last between four and ten times longer than incandescent light bulbs and use approximately one quarter of the energy, helping improve the environment while saving consumers money.

Sen. Kissel said he first heard of the idea of having school districts promote fluorescent light bulbs earlier this year while sitting on the Commerce Committee. “I thought to myself at the time ‘wow this is a really good idea,’ so I am very happy to see that it was included in what was one of the biggest bills of the 2007 session.”

According to Sen. Kissel, the provision also requires the Department of Education to establish a week-long promotional event to take place in late September or early October each year, to promote renewable energy and energy conservation while providing outreach, guidance, and training to districts, parent and teacher organizations, and schools concerning the value of renewable energy.

The Education Department along with the Energy Conservation Management Board must develop and implement a statewide fundraiser for all public schools in which students sell CFLs, with the participating schools keeping part of each sale. The Education Department must establish a sales target for the fundraiser and adopt regulations to determine the program’s parameters.