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EPA and DOE Spread a Bright Idea: Energy Star Light Bulbs are Helping to Change the World

Release Date: 01/15/2008
Contact Information: EPA Contact: Shakeba Carter-Jenkins, (202) 564-4355 / Carter-Jenkins.Shakeba@epa.gov DOE Contact: Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940

(Washington, D.C. – January 15, 2008) Americans are more than making good on their pledges to help fight climate change by replacing their lights with Energy Star qualified CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). EPA estimates that Energy Star CFL sales for 2007 were nearly double those in 2006, accounting for approximately 20 percent of the light bulb market in the U.S.

According to market data, sales of Energy Star qualified CFLs have risen dramatically over the last two years. In 2006, it is estimated that the market share jumped to about 11 percent, compared to a market share consistently under 5% in the early part of the decade. Sales in 2007 totaled approximately 290 million bulbs. Energy Star retail partners such as Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Costco, Menards, Ace Hardware and Sams Club have played an important role in educating consumers about the importance of saving energy and the value of these products.

"More and more Americans are seeing the light - that protecting the environment, while saving money, is as easy as changing a bulb," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Together, we are brightening our country's future, one Energy Star CFL at a time.”

“By switching to CFLs at home and at work, Americans are increasing energy efficiency and furthering the President’s vision to increase the advanced technologies that will help meet the nation’s growing demand for energy,” U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said. “Using CLFs is a quick and easy way that Americans can save energy and money everyday, while also protecting the environment.”

Energy Star qualified CFLs use about 75% less energy and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. It is important for consumers to look for CFLs that have earned the government’s ENERGY STAR label in order to ensure the best performance. Energy Star qualified models have a minimum lifetime of 6,000 hours, maintain their light output over time, and are more energy efficient than standard CFLs.

One Energy Star qualified bulb can save about $30 or more in energy costs over its lifetime. The average home has approximately 30 light fixtures. If every U.S. household replaced just one light bulb or fixture with an Energy Star, our country would save more than $600 million each year in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars.

To date, the national Energy Star Change a Light campaign has received more than 1 million pledges from Americans across the country to change nearly 4 million light bulbs to Energy Star CFLs, equating to potential savings of more than $100 million in energy costs and the prevention of more than 1.5 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. To join Americans already taking the ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World pledge, visit http://www.energystar.gov/changealight

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. For general information, visit: http://www.energystar.gov

Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. The US Department of Energy joined EPA in this effort and today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products. Products that have earned the Energy Star designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government.