Come on Baby, Fire My Light
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, those money- and energy-saving improvements on the old-fashioned incandescent variety, are extraordinarily popular in Wisconsin. About 12 percent of all light bulbs sold in the state are CFLs, a figure that trounces the national average of roughly 1 percent. That’s thanks largely to Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program, which educates homebuilders and businesses about energy efficiency and offers financial incentives for using efficient products. Unfortunately, the state’s budget crunch is jeopardizing the program’s future; a proposal by Gov. Jim Doyle (D) would cut $27 million, or more than 43 percent, from the program’s budget in 2005. Hugo Heyns, director of Focus on Energy’s business projects, says the cut would be a mistake, because every dollar spent on energy efficiency programs saves the state $3.50 in energy expenses.