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Change a Light Bulb to Save Energy and Money – and Help Our Environment

Release Date: 10/04/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, EPA Public Affairs (617) 918-1017 Kristine Foye, HUD Public Affairs (617) 994-8218

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 4, 2006) – You can joke about how many people it takes to change a light bulb, but here in New England we take this job seriously. In fact, New Englanders have pledged to change more light bulbs to energy efficient lighting than any other region in the nation. And by doing this we have saved money, protected the environment and conserved energy.

Nearly 25,000 New Englanders have pledged to change one or more light bulbs in their home with bulbs bearing the ENERGY STAR label. Based on New England’s high electricity prices, this will result in a savings of nearly $1.3 million and prevent over 13 million pounds of green house gas emissions over the lifetime of these light bulbs. Nationally, citizens have pledged to change more than 125,000 bulbs, with New Englanders accounting for 20 percent of the total.

This week, EPA is challenging homeowners across the nation to change at least one light bulb in recognition of ENERGY STAR’s October 4th “Change A Light” Day. This year, EPA is especially proud to be partnering with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to promote taking the energy-efficient pledge to HUD-subsidized housing across New England and other parts of the country. In the six New England states alone, the number of HUD-subsidized housing units exceeds 300,000.

In New England, we are asking residents to up the ante and change two light bulbs so this region can maintain its leadership role in electric energy savings. By changing these two bulbs, you can save more than $80 over the life of the bulbs, This translates into nearly 900 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Since lighting accounts for a full fifth of the average home electric bill, the savings are significant.

If every American home changes just one light bulb to an ENERGY STAR bulb, greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 800,000 cars would be removed from the atmosphere.

Residents who change their light bulbs can be sure their efforts are included in the regional tally by going to www.energystar.gov/changealight. Changing the world starts with simple actions. When you replace light bulbs or entire light fixtures in your home with ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR label, you help preserve energy resources and contribute to a cleaner environment while saving money and time buying and changing lights in your home.

ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light while it requires two-thirds less energy than standard lighting, generates 70 percent less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer. ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures are available in hundreds of popular styles, including portable fixtures - such as table, desk, floor and torchiere lamps-and hard-wired fixtures such as outdoor, cabinet, suspended, ceiling-mount, recessed, wall-mount, and ceiling fans.

To save the most energy and money, you can replace your highest-use fixtures or the light bulbs in them with energy-efficient models. The 5 highest-use fixtures in a home are typically the kitchen ceiling light, the living room table and floor lamps, bathroom vanity, and outdoor porch or post lamp. ENERGY STAR qualified lighting fixtures and replacement bulbs can be found at home improvement and hardware stores, lighting showrooms, and other retail stores, including on-line outlets.

It’s a start, but as the numbers show we can continue to make a difference. New Englanders have a record of being responsible environmental citizens. Let’s keep up the good work, and see how many of us can change a light bulb. No jokes, please.

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By: Robert W. Varney
Regional Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Office

Taylor Caswell
Regional Director
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
New England Regional Office

Editor's note: a high resolution photo of Robert Varney is available at: http://www.epa.gov/region1/about/images/bobvarney-hr.jpg
a photo of Taylor Caswell is available at: http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=ma&topic=offices