Campaign Talking Points

Feel free to use the following talking points, facts and key messages to develop outreach materials or other content in support of the ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Campaign.


  • The ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Campaign is a national call-to-action from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to encourage every individual to help change the world, one light — one energy-saving step — at a time.
  • Going into its 8th year, the campaign provides a central rallying point on ENERGY STAR Change a Light Day, Wednesday, October 3, 2007. Organizations across the nation will help mark this day with activities, events, government proclamations, in-store promotions, and more around energy-efficient lighting.
  • Key supporters of the campaign include leading lighting manufacturers, utilities, retailers, non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools, community groups, and others who will join together to run energy-efficient lighting programs and events this fall in support of the nationwide effort.
  • New this year is the ENERGY STAR Change a Light Bus Tour that will kick off on Wednesday October 3rd, 2007, stopping at special events hosted by ENERGY STAR partners in ten cities over 20 days.
  • Learn more about the campaign and how to join at www.energystar.gov/joinCAL.

The Pledge

  • At the campaign's heart is the ENERGY STAR Change a Light Pledge: a way for individuals to commit to being more energy-efficient by switching at least one light in their home to an ENERGY STAR qualified one. Found at www.energystar.gov/changealight, this pledge is a simple, but vital method of forming a community of inspired individuals across the nation to commit to saving energy and join the fight against global warming.
  • The goal is to encourage individual Americans to take the ENERGY STAR Change a Light pledge. Every light changed is a step in the right direction. If every American home replaced just one light bulb or fixture with an ENERGY STAR, every year we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes, more than $600 million in energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. When individuals act together as a community, we can make a difference in the fight against global warming.
  • Organizations large and small can also play a personal role by setting their own pledge goal and inviting their community to join the campaign, too. Organizations can track their results and then demonstrate the difference their participation is making to preserve our nation's energy resources and fight global warming.

Our Environment

  • Most people are sensitive to the need to protect our environment, but many don't know where to start. Choosing ENERGY STAR qualified lighting is a simple way to save money, energy, and time, while helping to keep our planet a healthy place to live.
  • Your lighting choice is important! Lighting is a significant part of the electricity we use in our homes — nearly one-fifth! When you use less energy, somewhere a power plant is generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which means that you are helping to solve the problem of global warming [global climate change]!
  • The energy used in the average home can contribute more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car per year. Make a difference by saving energy at home — start by changing a light!
  • Because more than 70% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels using energy-efficient lighting helps reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, mercury, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide.

ENERGY STAR Qualified Lighting

  • An ENERGY STAR qualified light bulb or fixture can save about $30 or more in electricity costs and prevent more than 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime, an equivalent of keeping nearly 200 pounds of coal from being burned.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs and fixtures use 75% less energy, last up to 10 times longer, and produce about 75% less heat than traditional incandescent models so they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are available in different sizes and shapes, including mini-spiral, spiral and A-line, which fit in almost any fixture. On average, each CFL can save more than $30 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the bulb and prevent more than 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. That's the equivalent of keeping nearly 200 pounds of coal from being burned.
  • Wondering where to get the most energy savings? Replace bulbs [or entire fixtures] where lights are typically left on the longest, such as your family and living room, kitchen, dining room, and porch. Place bulbs in open fixtures that allow air flow and, if replacing a bulb operating on a dimmer switch, look for bulbs specifically designed for this use.
  • How do you choose the right bulb or fixture?
    • First, look for the government's ENERGY STAR label. When you see the government's ENERGY STAR label on a light bulb or fixture, you can trust that it has met rigorous energy efficiency, quality and lifetime standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy — and is backed by a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
    • Match the right CFL type to the right kind of fixture to help ensure that it will perform properly and last longer. Read the packaging to be sure that the type you choose works for the fixture you have in mind. For example:
      • If a light fixture is connected to a dimmer or three-way switch, select CFLs that are labeled for this use
      • For recessed fixtures, it is better to use a 'reflector' CFL instead of a standard type
    • To get the ENERGY STAR qualified light bulb or fixture with the right amount of light, choose one that offers the same lumen rating as the light you are replacing. The higher the lumen rating, the greater the light output. For your convenience, manufacturers also often label their packaging in terms of watt replacement.
    • Choose the color that works best for you. For example, while most CFLs are created with warm colors for most rooms in your home (2700 to 3000 degrees Kelvin), you can choose a cooler color for task lighting (3500 to 6500 degrees Kelvin).
  • Your energy-efficient lighting choices do not end with light bulbs — you can find the ENERGY STAR label on entire light fixtures and lamps for your home. ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures are designed from the ground up to deliver energy savings and high quality.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures come 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, wall-mount, and more.

CFLs and Mercury

  • CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing — an average of 5 milligrams, which is roughly equivalent to an amount that would cover the tip of a ball-point pen. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use. By comparison, CFLs contain about 1/100th of the mercury that older thermometers contain.
  • Mercury currently is an essential component of CFLs and is what allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. Many manufacturers have taken significant steps to reduce mercury used in their fluorescent lighting products. In fact, the average amount of mercury in a CFL is anticipated to drop by the end of 2007, thanks to technological advances and a commitment from the members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
  • Coal-burning power plants are the single largest source of human-caused mercury emissions in the United States, contributing to more than 40% of all emissions. Because CFLs use 75% less energy than the incandescent bulbs they replace, they help to reduce net mercury emissions by requiring less coal to be burned at these plants.
  • Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, they should be disposed of responsibly, ideally recycled. The U.S. EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of local recycling options, where available. For help finding a local facility, visit www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling or www.lamprecycle.org.
  • More information regarding mercury in CFLs, including proper disposal options and what to do if a bulb breaks, can be found in a fact sheet found at www.energystar.gov/CFLsandMercury.