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Administrator Johnson, ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Press Announcement

10/04/2006
    Good afternoon and welcome.

    Today, I’m pleased to join our partners to kick off ENERGY STAR’s Change a Light Day. This annual campaign helps us brighten America’s future literally one light at a time.

    When most people hear the name, “ENERGY STAR,” they probably think about big appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, or washing machines. But today, we’re focusing on an energy user that’s often overlooked, but lights up all the rest.

    Homeowners like me have a choice between installing traditional lighting, or ENERGY STAR qualified lights that promote greater economic security, protect our environment, and put more money in our pockets. And, as you can see on the shelves of lighting behind me, consumers have never had a wider variety of energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures to choose from.

    The Change a Light, Change the World campaign is about getting these lights off the shelves and into people’s homes.

    I’m sure there are some who might question, “How can changing one light really matter?” Well, it’s amazing how one simple, individual action can help brighten America’s energy, economic and environmental future.

    If every American household changed just a single traditional light bulb to a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR bulb, we would save enough power to light more than 2.5 million homes – that’s almost all the homes in Massachusetts, or in the state of Washington.

    So, for just a few seconds it takes to change a bulb, consumers can help improve the reliability of our domestic energy supply.

    But today is not just about our energy future. Through ENERGY STAR, President Bush and EPA are brightening America’s economic future one light at a time.

    By making smart lighting choices, thousands of Americans are saving millions in energy costs each year.

    And the savings add up quickly. By changing just one traditional bulb to an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, homeowners can save more than $30 in electricity costs over the bulb’s lifetime – and replacing the most frequently used lights at home will yield significantly more savings.

    Saving energy and saving money just makes sense. Through ENERGY STAR, President Bush and EPA are encouraging consumers to get the most out of our energy dollars.

    But some of you may be asking yourself why the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is talking about energy and economic savings. Well, through ENERGY STAR, President Bush and EPA are also brightening America’s environmental future one light at a time.

    You see, the energy used in the average home each year is responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of most cars. If homeowners change just one light bulb to an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, they will prevent the release of more than 450 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

    So by offering consumers environmentally-friendly energy choices, President Bush and EPA are reducing our nation’s climate footprint.

    And as EPA Administrator and a consumer, I practice what I preach. Over the years, I have designed and served as the general contractor for each of my family’s homes. In every one, I considered their efficient use of water and energy. Our current home has won an award for energy efficiency – saving my family hundreds of dollars a year on power costs and limiting its impact on the environment. As you can probably guess, most of the products in our home have the blue ENERGY STAR label on them.

    But you don’t need to build an energy-efficient house to make a difference. If every homeowner, apartment renter, or business owner took just a few seconds to change one light, together we would help brighten America’s future.

    None of this will happen if we don’t get these lights off these shelves and into people’s homes. Thankfully, today American consumers are embracing responsible energy products, from cars and televisions, to light fixtures and light bulbs – because it means greater economic security, a healthier environment, and more money in their pockets.

    But EPA can’t spread the word on our own, so I want to thank our colleagues from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for once again co-sponsoring this annual campaign.

    I also want to thank our non-federal partners who are helping consumers to make smart energy decisions across the country. Today, 30 governors are marking this as ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day, and encouraging their residents to switch to more energy-efficient lighting. Also this year, 450 organizations have set their own pledge goals to encourage their employees, customers, and congregations to support the campaign. For example, Wal-Mart and Lowe’s are bringing ENERGY STAR savings to their many millions of shoppers. These, and other efforts, will move mountains of energy-efficient lighting off the shelves and into people’s homes.

    Finally, there are three more partners I’d like to acknowledge, and I’ll let them speak for themselves in a minute: The Home Depot, and manufacturers Sylvania and General Electric.

    With the help of our partners nationwide, we are encouraging people to take the ENERGY STAR Change a Light pledge at energy-star-dot-gov, and change just one traditional light to one that’s earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR label.

    By making this simple commitment to change just one bulb, residents nation-wide can help President Bush and EPA brighten America’s future one light at a time.

    Thank you.