Home Energy Management Nearly 1 Million People Take Energy Star Change a Light Pledge

Nearly 1 Million People Take Energy Star Change a Light Pledge


NEW YORK—The 20-day national Energy Star Change a Light Bus Tour concluded with nearly 1 million Americans across the country pledging to change more than 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,” Johnson says. “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.”

“By switching to compact fluorescent lamps (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.

Thousands Make CFL Commitment

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

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 CFLs responsibly, and the connection between our personal energy use and our climate. The education center was cosponsored 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.

Go to Energy Star Bus Tour.