In his recent video about the transmission of electrical energy Derek Muller accuses physics teachers of lying to their students. One of my students saw this video before me and asked me the question. I got the answer right :-) However I'm not going to change what I teach, the model we use to explain the transfer of energy works, it doesn't have to be true.
I watched the video on youtube then read some of the comments. Derek isn't really telling the truth either. Although there will be a transfer of energy to the light bulb in a very short time it probably won't actually be enough to light the bulb. When the circuit is switched on there is a propagation of electric and magnetic field not only along the wires but into space, this causes a small current to flow in the light bulb in the time taken for the EM radiation to travel the 1m to the bulb. The field in the wire also propagates at the speed of light. When it arrives at the build it will result in the transfer of energy to the bulb. If the bulb was further away from the battery the radiation through the air would take longer to get to the bulb and would be weaker when it arrived (inverse square law).
To me, Derek makes it seem that the electrons play no role in the transfer of energy but if that is the case why do we need them? Why can't we make wires out of insulators?
Here is the video but make sure you read some of the comments.
Here is one of many videos that give an alternative view.