The Lightbulb Exchange gets Moving!


Energy efficiency starts with each one of us. We believe that a small change by the hundreds of thousands of us, will lead to a big difference. The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs initiated a pilot Light Bulb Exchange programme on Saturday 13th July, 2013 at the Penal Rock Road Hindu Primary School inviting residents of the community to bring in two traditional incandescent bulbs, the kind used almost universally in T&T and receive two CFL bulbs in return.

Energy efficiency starts with each one of us. We believe that a small change by the hundreds of thousands of us, will lead to a big difference. The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs initiated a pilot Light Bulb Exchange program on Saturday 13th July, 2013 at the Penal Rock Road Hindu Primary School inviting residents of the community to bring in two traditional incandescent bulbs, the kind used almost universally in T&T and receive two CFL bulbs in return.
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) are the twisty descendants of traditional fluorescent bulbs that fit in current light sockets, meaning that no new wiring work is needed to install; users simply remove their existing bulb and replace with the CFL bulb. Compared to incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. According to the fictional character Philomena Alexis Baptiste, the nationally recognised frugal cleaner played to excellence by actress Deborah Maillard, that means a big savings over a longer period of time that offsets the initial and slightly higher cost of the bulb. And given the longer period of time that the bulb can stay up, that also means never having to depend on anyone to frequently change those bulbs either – making it a great choice for single ladies (like the fictional character) and the elderly.

Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs, Senator the Honourable Kevin Ramnarine noted, “From an energy savings point of view it is the direction that we have to go in. Energy touches every single thing we do in Trinidad and Tobago. What we need to do is adjust our relationship with energy.”

This programme helps us towards that direction. We have to be able to conserve energy because the more we conserve energy is the more we have to export.” Functionally, because our indigenous energy supply is created by drawing on natural gas, we can slow our use of this resource and extend its availability by reducing the energy demand from citizens.

In addition, 25 visitors were specially selected to have an energy audit conducted on their home, which would entitle them to receive CFLs for the most frequently used areas in their homes, allowing the Ministry to functionally see the difference that the bulbs make when a household makes the switch to the energy saving bulbs.

Look out for Bulb Exchanges in your community soon. CFL bulbs are also available at most supermarkets and home stores!