HUD Archives: News Releases

Krista Mills
HUD, (617) 994-8218
David Deegan
EPA, (617) 918-1017
For Release
October 11, 2006

Low-income families in federally subsidized housing development receive new light bulb to help reduce utility costs

PROVIDENCE - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Taylor Caswell and
Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Robert Varney spoke today with residents of Alewife
Parkway Apartments in Cambridge to promote energy efficiency and conservation as part of the ENERGY STAR
Change a Light, Change the World

The objective of the Change a Light, Change the World campaign is to promote energy efficiency and conservation throughout America. The emphasis is to change from an incandescent light bulb to an ENERGY STAR labeled light
bulb, thereby conserving energy, becoming more energy efficient as a nation, and reducing greenhouse gas

"One of the most simple, but effective, ways to save energy is to replace our light bulbs," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England region. "New compact fluorescent light bulbs deliver dramatic energy savings, are long-lasting, and deserve a place in everybody's home."

Villa Excelsior is a HUD-subsidized housing development that consists of 76 units for low-income families. EPA
provided one ENERYG STAR bulb for each household that "took the pledge" to become more energy efficient. HUD
will be working with all of the federally subsidized housing developments throughout New England (more than 3,000 units of low-income housing) to encourage energy efficiency. HUD spends nearly 10 percent of its $28.5 billion
budget on energy costs, and lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of electricity costs. By changing from incandescent light bulbs to ENERGY STAR labeled bulbs, consumers can save up to $25 over the lifetime of one bulb.

"Because utility bills are the second largest household expense for most Americans, housing affordability and energy efficiency go hand in hand," said Caswell. "When we reduce utility bills, we reduce the cost of living for low- and moderate-income families."

Residents who change their light bulbs can be sure their efforts are included in the regional tally by going to Changing the world starts with simple actions. When light bulbs or entire light fixtures are replaced with ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR label, consumers are helping to preserve energy resources and contribute to a cleaner environment while saving money and time buying and changing lights in their home.

ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light while it requires two-thirds less energy than standard lighting, generates 70 percent less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer. ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures are
available in hundreds of popular styles, including portable fixtures - such as table, desk, floor and torchiere lamps-
and hard-wired fixtures such as outdoor, cabinet, suspended, ceiling-mount, recessed, wall-mount, and ceiling fans.

To save the most energy and money, consumers should replace their highest-use fixtures or the light bulbs with energy-efficient models. The five highest-use fixtures in a home are typically the kitchen ceiling light, the living
room table and floor lamps, bathroom vanity, and outdoor porch or post lamp. ENERGY STAR qualified lighting
fixtures and replacement bulbs can be found at home improvement and hardware stores, lighting showrooms, and other retail stores, including on-line outlets.

If every U.S. household replaces just one incandescent light bulb at home with one that earned the ENERGY STAR label, the country will save $600 million in energy bills, save enough energy to light seven million homes, and
prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to one million cars.

Other simple steps today to help make homes more energy efficient include:

  • Use a programmable thermostat with air conditioners to adjust the setting warmer at night, or when
    no one is home.
  • Use a fan with window air conditioners to spread cool air through a home.
  • Use an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® air conditioner, which can save up to 50 percent on cooling bills.
  • Plant trees around your home. Just three trees, properly placed around a house, can save between $100
    and $250 annually in cooling and heating costs. Daytime air temperatures can be three to six degrees cooler
    in tree-shaded neighborhoods.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but do not block the airflow.
  • Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house. Sunny windows can make
    air conditioners work two to three times harder.
  • Replace windows with ENERGY STAR® models and consider the new double-pane windows with spectrally selective coatings.
  • Tightly close fireplace damper.

In July, 2005, the Bush administration formed a new partnership aimed at reducing household energy costs by 10 percent over the next decade while improving our nation's air. The Partnership for Home Energy Efficiency is
providing energy saving solutions for households across the country and is supporting research and implementation
of a new generation of energy efficiency technologies. In support of this Partnership, HUD, EPA and the Department
of Energy are providing Americans, including homebuilders, with the latest home energy savings information online. Information about Energy Star products, home improvement, partner resources etc. can be found at


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