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Have You Seen the Light? Nearly 1 Million Take Pledge to Make Energy Efficient Change

Release Date: 10/23/2007
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 / jones.enesta@epa.gov

(New York City, N.Y. - Oct. 23, 2007) The 20-day national Energy Star Change a Light Bus Tour concluded today with nearly 1 million Americans across the country pledging to change more 2.6 million lights to help fight climate change. This represents a potential savings of nearly $70 million in energy costs and prevention of 1 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson ended the 10-city tour at Manhattan's Union Square.

"Some have said one person can't change the world. Well, how about a million people? By teaching nearly a million Americans that protecting the environment and saving money is as easy as changing a light, we are brightening our country's future, one light – and one person – at a time," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

"By switching to CFLs at home and at work, Americans are increasing energy efficiency and furthering President Bush's energy initiatives aimed at using advanced technologies to meet our energy challenges," Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said. "The cleanest, most abundant and affordable energy available is the energy we waste everyday. Switching to CFLs, which use less energy, last longer, and reduce energy costs for consumers, is a quick and easy way that Americans can save energy everyday."

If every U.S. household changed just one light bulb or fixture to an Energy Star bulb, each year our country would save $600 million in energy costs, enough energy to light 3 million homes, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from more than 800,000 cars. Lighting accounts for about 20 percent of a home's electricity use. Energy Star qualified light bulbs and fixtures use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent lighting, with bulbs that last six to ten times longer. One Energy Star qualified bulb can save about $30 or more in energy costs over its lifetime.

The bus stopped for 16 events in 10 cities. The Energy Star Change a Light campaign promotes lighting that has earned the government's Energy Star label for efficiency as a first step toward saving energy. The campaign encourages individuals to take the online Energy Star Change a Light pledge. The pledge is a public commitment to change out at least one inefficient light at home with an energy-efficient one.

Since this year's tour began approximately 100,000
Americans have taken the pledge and 885 organizations (such as governments, schools, businesses and non-profit organizations) have joined to encourage their communities to take the pledge.

Consumer event stops were held at California's Disneyland
Resorts; a Broncos Football Game in Denver; Navy Pier in Chicago; a Falcons Game in Atlanta; Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston; and today's stop in Manhattan's Union Square. Media event stops showcased what a few leading schools and their students are doing to participate in the national Energy Star Change a Light Campaign. EPA presented Environmental Leadership Awards to faculty and students at schools in Denver, Chicago and Atlanta.

Another tour highlight took place in Boston, where the Freedom Trail Foundation helped declare the coming of a new revolution – a revolution in how Americans use energy. "Paul Revere" re-enacted seeing the lighted signal from the Old North Church, 200 years after his famous ride. This time, his signal was Sylvania's Energy Star qualified lights, glowing from the church's steeple across the Charles River.

At each tour stop, the Energy Star Change a Light Education Center was set up with interactive displays to convey the importance of looking for the Energy Star label on lighting, how to use and dispose of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) responsibly, and the connection between our personal energy use and our climate. The education center was co-sponsored by JCPenney, 2007 Energy Star Partner of the Year for Energy Management.

The top five organizations leading the pledge initiative as of today, in order of most pledges to least, are: Alabama Power Co.; National Association of Counties; Georgia Power Co.; New Jersey's Clean Energy Program; and Arizona's Salt River Project. The top five organizations in five different categories can be viewed from the pledge site.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a large North American manufacturer of inter-city motor coaches, provided the bus for the tour. MCI's bus is a state-of-the-art J4500 LX motor coach, powered by a 2007 EPA-model clean diesel engine fitted with a particulate scrubber, and fueled by ultra low sulfur diesel. The bus itself served as a reminder that leaving our car at home and taking public transportation when we can is another way we can reduce our personal impact on the climate.

Energy Star Bus Tour: http://www.energystar.gov/bustour

Photos and updates from the road
: http://www.energystar.gov/bustour

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.

Energy Star: http://energystar.gov

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: epa.gov

U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.energy.gov




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