Ask the expert

Spring Ahead to Savings

In March, we set our clocks forward and Daylight Savings brings us out of winter hibernation, into the spring season. Spring is that time of year when we think about deep cleaning, purging storage, and getting back out in the yard. It’s also a good time to think about taking charge of your energy bill and reducing your environmental impact.

The countdown is on for Earth Hour on March 19 at 8:30-9:30 p.m. local time, a day where millions of people in communities all over the world choose to turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change. Even world monuments like the Eiffel Tower in Paris go dark for one hour in support of this effort.

Eiffel Tower 2

Organized by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), the global lights-out event is symbolic of the impact we can have when each of us takes action on an everyday basis. The energy used in the average house can cause about twice as many pounds of greenhouse gas emissions as the average car. When Americans take simple steps at home to save energy by turning off their lights when not in use, or choosing ENERGY STAR® certified light bulbs, we are all making a difference for the environment and our pocketbooks.  

The latest in innovative lighting technology, LED bulbs that feature the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to save energy and perform as expected. In addition to delivering the same familiar quality and brightness as traditional lighting, these bulbs use 70 to 90 percent less energy and last 10 to 25 times longer.  In fact, a single certified lightbulb can save you as much as $75 in electricity costs over its lifetime.  And if every American home replaced their five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 5 million cars. 

Although LED lighting typically costs more to purchase than traditional incandescent lighting, these products are now more affordable than ever, and many local utilities provide rebates to offset the initial purchase price of ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs and fixtures. To find out if your local utility offers ENERGY STAR lighting rebates, visit the ENERGY STAR rebate finder

So while you’re cleaning closets, weeding flower beds, and paying your winter electric bills, spring ahead and upgrade to ENERGY LED lighting throughout your home. When you switch to certified LED lighting, you’ll save on energy costs, spend less time changing light bulbs and lower your household’s impact on climate change. To get started, download this guide to choosing efficient light bulbs and start saving!

Dan Cronin - Photo

About the Author: As the Lighting Marketing Lead for the ENERGY STAR program, Dan Cronin works with retailers, manufacturers, EEPS, and utilities to encourage consumers to purchase ENERGY STAR certified lighting products. To that end, Mr. Cronin creates educational materials and digital tools to simplify the otherwise complicated world of efficient lighting. Prior to joining EPA in 2015, Mr. Cronin supported the ENERGY STAR third-party certification program at ICF International.