US launches home energy-saving campaign
In a bid to increase the use of energy-saving light bulbs in the US, the EPA is running a nationwide campaign throughout October and November called “Change a Light, Change the World”.
The EPA’s Energy Star programme which labels energy efficient products is being stepped up to focus on lighting products, such as special energy-efficient lighting fixtures and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Participating partners will be promoting the Energy Star qualifying products in cut price sales and other promotions.
“If every U.S. household looked for the Energy Star label on the next light bulb they purchased, the nation could save up to $800 million annually in energy bills, keep one trillion pounds of global warming gases out of the atmosphere, and get air pollution reduction equivalent to removing 1.2 million cars from American roads every year,” said EPA Administrator, Christie Whitman.
Lighting accounts for 10-15% of the average US household’s energy bill, yet 90% of the energy generated by the traditional incandescent bulbs found in most homes is wasted in the form of heat. The EPA says CFLs are typically up to 75% more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs; and while CFLs may initially be more expensive, they will save more than $25 in energy costs over the bulb’s lifetime. Consumers are being advised that if used no more than four hours a day, energy-saving bulbs need not be changed for about five years.