Sarlo/Buono Bill To Require State Buildings To Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Passes Senate

TRENTON – The Senate today gave final approval to a measure sponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo and Barbara Buono that would require the State to use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs whenever possible in State-owned buildings and encourage residents to do the same.

“CFL bulbs use less electricity and last longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “With the switch to CFL bulbs, New Jersey will not only save money in the long run but also reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions and set a good example for everyone living in New Jersey.”

Senator Sarlo noted that while CFL bulbs may cost more than the incandescent bulbs currently used now, the state will save money over time since they use about a third as much electricity and last up to 15 times longer.

“Adopting new, energy efficient technologies such as compact fluorescent bulbs will be a critical part of New Jersey’s efforts to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions and reverse global warming trends,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex and the Senate’s leading advocate for policies aimed at curbing global warming.

According to Senator Buono, the federal Energy Star program has determined that if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL bulb, the U.S. would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.

Senator Buono added, “Any way you look at it, the switch to CFLs makes sense, whether you are looking to save money or help the environment. New Jersey should be leading the way in adopting this technology.”

The bill, S-2631, would require the Director of the Division of Purchase and Property, the Director of the Division of Property Management and Construction, and any State agency with the authority to contract for the purchase of goods or services to replace all incandescent light bulbs used in State-owned buildings with compact fluorescent light bulbs whenever possible within three years. Additionally, the bill would require the Board of Public Utilities to undertake a public education and awareness campaign to inform businesses and homeowners of the benefits of compact fluorescent light bulbs.

“This is a win-win proposition and we hope that every New Jersey home will join us in replacing all of their light bulbs with CFL bulbs. The only time they’ll notice the difference will be when they open a smaller electricity bill every month,” Senator Sarlo said.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 37-0 and now goes to the Assembly for their consideration.