Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Change the world, one light at a time

Wakefield Observer

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The towns of Reading and Wakefield are squaring off in a neighborly competition to see which community can change the most light bulbs.

The two towns are challenging each other to see who can collect the most pledges to install energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs as part of ENERGY STAR's Change a Light, Change the World campaign.

Congressman John Tierney, D-Salem who has worked continuously to promote energy efficiency, initiated the friendly competition. As part of this national campaign, Tierney is encouraging individuals to pledge to replace at least one light with one that has earned the government's ENERGY STAR label - as a first step to conserve our energy resources and environment.

"If each household in the thirty-six communities of the 6th District switched just one bulb to an energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamp, we could save over $16 million in energy costs and prevent 137 million pounds of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere," said Tierney.

"If every home in the nation took this small step, we could save enough energy to light seven million homes. High energy costs and concern over global warming are not going away. This campaign promotes an easy step that everyone can take to be part of the solution."

"This is a win-win program, said Peter I. Hechenbleikner, Reading Town Manager. Residents get an opportunity to save money on energy costs and at the same time have a positive effect on the environment. What could be better?"

"The possibility of reducing energy costs and simultaneously improving the environment makes this a worthwhile endeavor," said Tom Butler, Town Manager of Wakefield.

"With ENERGY STAR rated lights using 60-70 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, the average household could save about $60 a year if they replaced five bulbs - plus they last 6 to 10 times as long," said Bill White of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Individuals can take the pledge online at ww.energystar.gov. They have the opportunity to pledge on behalf of their community and encourage friends to take the pledge as well.

The campaign runs through Nov. 30.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. Today, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy, the ENERGY STAR program offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy and money, and help protect our environment for future generations. More than 8,000 organizations have become ENERGY STAR partners and are committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

The ENERGY STAR Change a Light Pledge is already having a dramatic impact. Individuals who pledged to change a light in 2005 alone have the potential to save more than $2 million in energy costs and prevent more than 33 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions!

The ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World campaign is an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to encourage Americans to consider the energy they use and to switch to light bulbs and fixtures that have earned the government's ENERGY STAR for energy efficiency.

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