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EPA Energy Star ’Change A Light’ National Bus Tour Stops at a Cobb County Middle School


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 10-city national Energy Star ‘Change A Light’ bus tour, traveling coast to coast to promote energy efficient lighting, made a stop at Durham Middle School in Acworth, Ga. today. The tour, co-sponsored by EPA and the Department of Energy, began on October 3, 2007 at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. EPA Regional Administrator Jimmy Palmer joined Principal Georganne Young and other school and local elected officials to recognize the success of Durham Middle School’s Energy Star activities.

“I strongly commend Durham Middle School for their exceptional participation in the Energy Star ‘Change A Light’ program,“ said EPA Region 4 Administrator Jimmy Palmer. ”This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn about how a small act, changing a light bulb, can save energy and help the environment"

The students and staff at Durham Middle School have been very engaged with this Energy Star campaign and have pledged more than 5,500 lamps, eliminating more than 4 million pounds of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The students and staff have pledged so many compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) it would be the equivalent of planting 500 acres of forest. Durham is number one in the nation as a pledge driver in the education sector and number three in the U.S. amongst all participants. The lamps pledged will reduce the need for 2.5 million kilowatt hours over their lifecycle. Durham is also one of seven pilot sites chosen as a demonstration middle school for Cobb County’s 21st Century Technology Initiative. As a part of today’s event, Regional Administrator Palmer visited a science class and participated in a ceremony to recognize winners in the school’s poster contest.

At today’s event, an outdoor interactive education center was set up with displays to convey the importance of lighting choices, how to use and dispose of CFLs responsibly, and the connection with our climate. The students and visitors experienced first-hand the wide variety of Energy Star qualified light bulbs and fixtures available. The education center is co-sponsored by JCPenney.

The ‘Change A Light’ bus tour is designed to educate the public about the importance of choosing Energy Star qualified lighting as a first step toward energy efficiency, and encourage individuals to take the Energy Star Change a Light Pledge, a commitment to change at least one light at home to an Energy Star qualified one. To date, nearly 900,000 Americans in every state and U.S. territory have pledged to change more than two million lights.

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 three million homes, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from mote than 800,000 cars. Lighting counts 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 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 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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