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Bright Idea: Change a Light, Change the World with Energy Star


A bright idea hits the road on a national tour to promote energy efficient lighting as an easy, effective and money-saving way for American households to help fight climate change. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson kicked off the 10-city, 20-day Energy Star Change-a-Light Bus Tour today at Disneyland.

“Protecting the environment, while saving money, is as easy as changing a light. And through the Change a Light bus tour, we’re taking that message on the road,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By encouraging people to make smart energy decisions, President Bush and EPA are brightening America’s future, one light at a time.”

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.

EPA and the Department of Energy are sponsoring the tour to raise awareness of the benefits of energy efficient lighting choices. The Energy Star Change a Light Bus Tour will cross the country following this itinerary:

Oct. 3 Anaheim, Calif.
Oct. 4 San Francisco, Calif.
Oct. 7-9 Denver, Colo.
Oct. 10 Des Moines, Iowa
Oct. 12-13 Chicago, Ill.
Oct. 14 Indianapolis, Ind.
Oct. 15 Atlanta, Ga.
Oct. 18 Maplewood, N.J.
Oct. 19-20 Boston, Mass.
Oct. 23 New York City, N.Y.

At each tour stop, an outdoor interactive education center will be set up with interactive displays to convey the importance of our lighting choices, 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 is cosponsored by JCPenney.

The 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. To date, nearly 900,000 Americans in every state and U.S. territory have pledged to change more than 2 million lights.

The bus is being provided by Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a large North American manufacturer of inter-city motor coaches. 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. One bus can displace the need for more than 50 passenger cars on our nation’s highways.


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