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Change a Light Pledge

On October 4th, the Department of Energy (DOE) kicked off the Change a Light campaign in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Each DOE employee is asked to save energy by replacing one or more incandescent bulbs in their home with ENERGY STAR qualified, compact fluorescent bulbs. Dr. Samuel W. Bodman, Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ray Orbach, Under Secretary for Science, and Dr. Jonathan Dorfan, our Director, request your full support for this energy-efficiency initiative, which will run through November 31.

"This is everybody's opportunity to really do something to help the environment," said Greg Loew. "If every man, woman and child in California were to replace two of the 75 watt incandescent light bulbs we normally use every evening with these qualified compact fluorescent bulbs, this would reduce the power demand on our grid by close to 10% during those hours."

The DOE has set up a website where pledges to replace incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs can be made. The Office of Science's goal is for at least 2,744 federal and laboratory employees to pledge to change at least one light bulb at home before the pledge drive ends on November 30. By reaching this goal we will make a significant positive impact on our environment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving over 6.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

ENERGY STAR qualified Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs use significantly less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. If you are unfamiliar with the best CFL wattage to use for your lighting needs, use the lumen (light output) on the product packaging as your guide. For example, most 60-watt incandescent bulbs provide around 800 lumens and can be replaced by a 13-watt CFL bulb providing the same light output while saving 47 watts of power.

The table at right offers the lumen or light output range for the most popular residential incandescent bulbs. This knowledge will help you to select CFL wattage based on the required lumen output.

ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs are also safer as they operate at less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Typical halogen bulbs frequently used in floor lamps burn at closer to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make a pledge, visit the Change a Light website and click on the "Science" link. This will direct you to the pledge webpage. Fill out the requested information, making sure that you leave the box of the "referring organization" unchanged. It should read "DOE-Office of Science." When you have completed the form, click on "Submit Pledge." Congratulations: you have made your pledge to help save energy! Now, go to your nearest store and purchase your ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent bulbs.

Remember: Saving energy prevents pollution. If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the roads. By changing more than one incandescent bulb at home and by informing your relatives, friends and acquaintances about this campaign, your personal contribution to saving energy will be even more significant.

—Luda Fieguth, SLAC Energy Conservation Program Manager
    SLAC Today, October 4, 2006