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How She Fell for the CFL

Queens, NY


Pamela, a high school French teacher and part-time writer, put her literary skills to work when she wrote the award-winning essay, “Why I fell for the CFL” for NYSERDA’s “Shining Example” essay contest. Pamela’s enthusiasm for CFLs, or compact fluorescent light bulbs, began after she watched her electric bill drop by nearly $30 a month after she replaced the traditional round light bulbs in her Queens apartment with ones that she describes as “funny-looking corkscrewed things”. “I thought— how can this possibly be a serious light bulb given this shape?” she says, recalling her first reaction to her now beloved CFLs. But Pamela’s initial reservations about the bulb’s strange shape were quickly forgotten when she saw the effect they had on her electric bills.

Pamela won a home performance assessment as part of the prize for her essay. The assessment provided her with information and tips to make her home even more energy efficient. She learned the importance of regularly cleaning both her oven and air conditioners because the dirtier they are, the harder they have to work, and the more energy they use. She was also given several other helpful tips in order to save energy. Pamela has since taken even further steps in making her home more energy efficient—investing in an energy efficient stove and an ENERGY STAR refrigerator. Although Pamela has made some big changes, she emphasizes the fact that it all started with something small and easy. “If we all do one small thing, it can make a big difference,” she says.




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