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EPA, Partners Accept ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Challenge Campaign spotlights environmental and economic benefits of energy-efficient bulbs

Release Date: 10/04/2006
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – October 4, 2006) One energy-efficient light bulb can change the world. That is the message being announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a coalition of municipal, corporate, and community partners as part of national ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day. EPA’s Regional Administrator and representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., North Central Texas Council of Governments, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and cities across North Texas are joining forces as part of a national ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World campaign.

“All across Texas, people are changing lights to change the world. This simple act can have a tremendous impact on protecting the environment,” EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. “Changing a light is the first step in consumers making ENERGY STAR-labelled products a part of their daily routine to conserve energy.”

The annual campaign challenges individuals to replace at least one incandescent bulb or fixture at home with one that has earned the government’s ENERGY STAR label for energy efficiency. For every 100 Texans that take the pledge, we will save at least 28,200 kilowatt hours of energy, cut $2,820 in energy costs, and prevent 44,600 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. If every American household changed a single light bulb to a high efficiency bulb, it would provide enough power to light more than 2.5 million homes. In Texas, that would include more households than the cities of Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio combined -- about 5 million people. (more) EPA, Partners Accept ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Challenge Page 2 of 2

"High utility bills can burden poor families and cause homelessness," said HUD Regional Director A. Cynthia Leon. "HUD itself spends more than $4 billion a year on energy costs in its subsidized housing programs, so saving on energy helps us house more families. That's why our partnership with the EPA and the Department of Energy on ENERGY STAR is so important."

"Right here, in our McKinney experimental Supercenter, Wal-Mart is working on innovative ways to help restore balance to climate systems, reduce greenhouse gases, save money for our customers, and reduce dependence on oil," said John Murphy, Wal-Mart's regional general manager for North Texas. "Helping working families find affordable ways to help our environment is also part of our commitment. We're pleased to already offer products, like approved ENERGY STAR light bulbs, in stores around the country so that our customers can start changing the world today."

ENERGY STAR energy-efficient light bulbs, also known as compact fluorescents, last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and save an average of $30 in energy costs over their lifetime. They also use one-third the energy of ordinary bulbs. Switching to an energy-efficient bulb is a significant way to reduce greenhouse gases, save energy and protect the environment for future generations.

“Participating in this year’s ENERGY STAR campaign is another way communities can demonstrate their commitment to protecting and improving air quality in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and we look forward to your support,” said Mike Eastland, North Central Texas Council of Governments Executive Director.

“The environment is one of the reasons people are moving to McKinney in record numbers, and we’re doing our best to keep it clean,” said Mayor Bill Whitfield. “From the environmentally friendly businesses we welcome to town, to improving our roads to ease congestion and the resulting pollution … McKinney is working toward becoming a greener community.”

More information on ENERGY STAR and the Change a Light, Change the World campaign is available at www.energystar.gov.

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