Maryland Promotes 'Change a Light' Campaign To Conserve Energy - Southern Maryland Headline News

Maryland Promotes 'Change a Light' Campaign To Conserve Energy

BALTIMORE (October 5, 2007) – To kick off the 'Change a Light' campaign, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is dedicating 120,000 compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) for projects to assist low-income families throughout Maryland.

The national campaign, which began October 3, challenges residents, colleges, schools, businesses, and utilities to take control of their soaring energy bills by replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights, one light – one energy-saving step – at a time.

Reducing overall energy usage across the state would eliminate, or stall, the need to build expensive power generating plants which pollute, affect the public's health, and contribute to the global warming problem. Nuclear facilities present national security issues, waste disposal problems, and are highly subsidized by the public because of their risk. Moves are currently underway in both Charles and Calvert Counties to build new power generating facilities.

Governor O’Malley’s EmPOWER Maryland Initiative to reduce per capita electricity consumption by 15% encourages Marylanders to go beyond the national goal and change at least four incandescent lights to ENERGY STAR CFLs. If every Maryland home changed four lights to ENERGY STAR CFLs, those homes could save $60 annually and Maryland would reduce its residential electricity consumption by 2%. Marylanders can show their commitment by pledging to replace bulbs in their homes with ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR by visiting

“The least expensive kilowatt is the one not used,” said Maryland Energy Administration Director Malcolm Woolf. “Changing regular incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights is a quick, easy and meaningful way to make our homes and businesses more energy-efficient, thereby saving money.”

“Civic Works engages in many projects with communities. Few projects have as immediate an impact as our work with MEA installing CFLs and promoting energy conservation. Installing energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances is a great way to both save on utility bills and improve the environment,” said Dana Stein, Executive Director of Civic Works. “A homeowner can instantly reduce his or her energy usage with these devices, and can help reduce the emissions caused by power generation. We are proud to be part of the State of Maryland's Change a Light campaign.”

Lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs use 75% less energy than standard bulbs and last up to ten times longer. If every household in Maryland takes on the challenge, the State, together, would save a combined total of $81 million in energy costs a year and prevent more than 3 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the CFLs lifetime, an amount equivalent to the emissions from 300,000 cars.

As part of the EmPOWER Maryland Initiative and the Change a Light Campaign, MEA will give 100,000 CFLs to the Department of Human Resources’ Office of Home Energy Program to distribute to low-income families signing up for energy assistance benefits throughout the State. MEA will also provide eight CFLs to the Department of Housing and Community Development Weatherization Program for installation in each of the 1,300 homes in the program throughout the State.

MEA also donated over 600 CFLs to Maryland’s Department of General Services, which will go to the Department’s employees. The Department of General Services is home to the Office of Energy Performance and Conservation which assists State agencies in reducing energy consumption and unit costs, improving building indoor air quality, and optimizing equipment life in State facilities by providing building system commissioning and quality equipment service.

“Through his EmPOWER Maryland initiative, Governor O’Malley has set goals for State government to improve energy efficiency in our buildings, reduce costs, and save taxpayers dollars,” said Department of General Services Secretary Alvin C. Collins. “The Governor is encouraging Marylanders to reduce energy consumption in their homes. By giving each of our employees this highly efficient light bulb, and asking them to change at least one bulb in their home, we are showing our commitment to energy conservation and protecting the environment.”

In August, the Maryland Energy Administration announced four energy efficiency programs to save Maryland residents both energy and money. The programs will focus on increasing the energy efficiency of Maryland homes and saving energy through the use of compact fluorescent lights.

In addition to these efforts, MEA was directed by Governor O’Malley at the Governor’s Energy Summit on July 25 to develop a strategic energy plan to help Maryland take control of our energy future.

Civic Works' mission is to provide critical community services that would otherwise go undone while enhancing the work skills, education, and citizenship of young people. On any given day, Civic Works "corpsmembers" are rehabbing low-income homes, building community parks and gardens, and tutoring and mentoring students.

The mission of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is to maximize energy efficiency while promoting economic development, reducing reliance on foreign energy supplies, and improving the environment.

Source: State of Maryland

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