EPA encourages Americans to make a difference by changing a light


Washington, Oct. 14, 2002 — The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is challenging Americans to change a light in their homes to illustrate the impact of a consumer’s energy choice and the benefits of using energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures.

Choosing a more energy-efficient lamp can save money and help the environment.

“Change starts with simple everyday actions,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “ENERGY STAR® puts the power of change in the hands of all Americans. If everyone across the country changed just one room in their home to ENERGY STAR lighting, we could keep one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of the air.

From October through December, EPA is partnering with more than 140 manufacturers, retailers, state governments and utilities throughout the United States to make finding and buying energy efficient lighting easier. Local, regional and national promotions include special offers and rebates from major retail chains and regional utility companies to help consumers save on compact fluorescent light bulbs, fixtures and ceiling fans with lighting.

Nation-wide promotions and in-store lighting workshops will be held through a national home improvement chain. Local events where customers can exchange older technology halogen floor lamps for discounts on more energy-efficient ones will also take place.

A typical household spends about $90 a year, or 10 percent, of its annual electricity bill on lighting. ENERGY STAR labeled light bulbs, fixtures and ceiling fans with lighting help the environment and benefit consumers with greater energy savings and fewer bulb changes. Only 10 percent of a standard bulb’s energy is converted into visible light, while the other 90 percent is wasted as heat. By comparison, today’s compact fluorescent light only wastes 30 percent of its energy as heat. There are more than 40 types of ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs which last at least 6,000 hours while using 75 percent less energy without sacrificing quality.

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program managed by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. The ENERGY STAR label allows consumers to easily identify energy-efficient appliances, electronics, office equipment, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, buildings and homes. For more information about ENERGY STAR and how you can help by changing a light, visit http://www.energystar.gov or call 1-888-STAR-YES.

Fast Facts: Energy-Efficient Lighting

Basics on Bulbs, Fixtures & Fans:

“- Ninety percent of a standard incandescent light bulb’s energy is wasted as heat, leaving only 10 percent to be converted into visible light. ENERGY STAR® qualified lighting uses less energy, offers the same bright, warm light and is cool-to-the-touch.
“- Lighting accounts for 10 percent of the average household’s electricity bill, or about $90 a year, but much of this electricity is wasted due to inefficient light bulbs and fixtures. Replacing a standard incandescent bulb with an ENERGY STAR bulb can save you $25 or more per bulb over its lifetime.
“- ENERGY STAR® labeled light bulbs and fixtures use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting. Plus, they are available for most home lighting needs, save money, last longer, are safer and prevent air pollution.
“- On average, customers can save $15 per year with ENERGY STAR labeled ceiling fans, which are about 40 percent more efficient than typical units. About 80 percent of the dollar savings come from the ENERGY STAR qualified lighting on the fan. Consumers are encouraged to treat their ceiling fan like any other light-turn it off when you leave the room.

Better Lighting:

“- If every household in the U.S. changed the lighting in one room of their home to ENERGY STAR, the nation would save more than 800 billion kilowatts of energy and keep one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of the air. The energy savings would be equivalent to the annual output of more than 20 power plants and the savings could light more than 34 million US homes for one year.
“- ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light fixtures are up to 75 percent more efficient than standard products. A CFL used an average of four hours a day will not need to be changed for at least four years.
“- While CFLs are initially more expensive, consumers should see a quick return on their investment when they replace their most frequently used light bulbs and fixtures with ENERGY STAR qualified ones. They will save money on energy bills and will avoid the replacement costs of up to 10 standard light bulbs.
“- Energy-efficient lighting products not only help consumers save energy, they also reduce home fire hazards – halogen torchieres have caused hundreds of fires resulting in serious or critical injury. Halogen bulbs burn at 700 – 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to fry an egg in three minutes, while CFLs generate little heat and are cool to the touch.

Make a Change:

“- ENERGY STAR labeled light bulbs, fixtures and ceiling fans with lighting are a great place to start to make a difference for the environment while you benefit from greater energy savings, less heat, lower operating costs and fewer bulb changes.
“- In addition to lighting, more than 35 product categories feature the ENERGY STAR label and the list of products continues to grow. For more information about the ENERGY STAR Fall Lighting Promotion, please visit www.energystar.gov or contact Jackie Tate at 202-944-3375.

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