Moloka'i lights the way

August 2, 2010

Moloka’i lights the way

When tens of thousands of free energy efficient CFLs were offered to Moloka’i to reduce their oil dependence, the community stepped up and said “hiki no!” (can do!). After three months and 36,000 incandescent light bulbs replaced with CFLs, Moloka’i is showing what a big difference little changes can make. Through the “Go Green & Carbon Clean” campaign, Blue Planet provided the bulbs and coordination, but the heavy lifting (sometimes quite literally) was done by the hundreds of student and community volunteers who stepped up to help unscrew the old bulbs and distribute new CFLs. Over the life of the bulbs, the Moloka’i residents will save an estimated $6.5 million, preventing the use of over 17 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 24,000 barrels of oil, reducing greenhouse gas pollution by over 16,000 tons.

A follow-up random survey of Moloka’i residents (margin of error +/- 5.7% at 95% confidence) found that nearly 60% of residents swapped their light bulbs during the campaign, with the typical participant swapping 15 bulbs. Of those participating, 42% saw an immediate decrease in their energy bill, and 68% of participants are looking for additional ways to cut energy use, such as behavior changes or installing solar. Over, 87% of those aware of the program felt that it was effective, and 88% would consider participating in future energy savings programs!

Mahalo, Moloka’i, for lighting the way!