Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 17, 2006

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
518.862.1090 ext. 3356

Change A Light, Change the World! Kicks Off Campaign in Newburgh ENERGY STAR® Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Save Money and Air Quality

Oct. 17, Newburgh, --The "Change a Light, Change the World" Campaign was the highlight today at Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site where an ENERGY STAR® -qualified compact fluorescent bulb was substituted for a standard incandescent bulb. Change a Light, Change the World is a national challenge to encourage every consumer to switch to light fixtures or compact fluorescent bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR® label. The ENERGY STAR label designates products that reduce energy consumption by meeting strict energy efficiency criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy.


NYSERDA is calling upon all New Yorkers to change their home's five most-used light bulbs, from energy-wasting incandescent to highly efficient; ENERGY STAR-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). The two-month long Campaign rallies around a national "pledge," hosted by the U.S. EPA to track those bulb replacements.

Every consumer that replaces at least one light bulb is invited to submit a pledge which will track individual states' activity in the Campaign. However, New York has raised the bar challenging consumers throughout the Empire State to replace five light bulbs and to log onto to make the Change a Light Challenge pledge.

Peter R Smith, President and CEO of NYSERDA noted that the effort is a small gesture that adds up quickly: "We can all benefit from using less electricity; whether personally through lower bills, or environmentally by reducing power plant loads and emissions. This is a positive individual contribution through a small investment," he said.

"Rarely are we in a position to make such a huge positive impact with such a small gesture," said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 2. "The energy saved if every American household changed a single light bulb to a high efficiency ENERGY STAR bulb, would provide enough power to light more than 2.5 million homes. By using efficient light bulbs, we ensure both a bright and a green future for generations to come."

With about 30 light fixtures in the average home, lighting accounts for approximately 20 percent of most electric bills. By changing the five-most used bulbs, New Yorkers can save up to $60 on their energy bill annually.

"We are proud to host the Change a Light, Change the World event with our partners at NYSERDA and EPA to promote energy efficient lighting alternatives here at Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site and all across New York," said Bernadette Castro, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Today we not merely changing a bulb, but reinforcing the importance of pursuing innovative, yet practical and affordable, advances that will improve our state parklands and historic properties, demonstrating to the tens of millions of visitors each year the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of greener products, operations and facilities. Building on Governor George Pataki's vision for a cleaner environment and the strong support and recognition from our many public and private partners, these exciting energy initiatives and alternative energy programs will benefits generations of New Yorkers in the years ahead."

"A compact fluorescent light bulb should sell itself. It lasts up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, uses 66% less energy, and produces a cool and safer natural light with less fire risk. Consumers have been using incandescent light bulbs for over 100 years making it hard for us to change their purchasing habits. But the somewhat higher purchase price of an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, compared to an incandescent bulb, is made up for in a matter of months due the energy savings and longer life. Changing out your bulbs is one of the most cost-effective improvements you can make in your home. We hope to prove to New Yorkers that not only are these bulbs energy efficient and modern, but there is no compromise in the quality and they can be used in many different applications," said Smith.

The event at Washington's Headquarters was hosted by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which manages the nation's oldest State historic site. Representing the various agencies were John Filippelli, Branch Chief for Strategic Planning and Multi-Media Programs, U.S EPA Region II; Rick Gerardi, Director of Residential Energy Affordability Programs, NYSERDA; Chris Pushkarsh, Executive Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Don Fraser, site manager.