October 1, 2008

Governor Paterson Declares Today ‘Change a Light Day’

ALBANY, N.Y., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor David A. Paterson and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have called on all New Yorkers to pledge to become more energy efficient at home this Fall. To kick off the State's efforts, Governor Paterson has officially proclaimed October 1, 2008 "Change a Light Day New York".

This season, Governor Paterson and NYSERDA are encouraging New Yorkers to take small, individual steps at home that will make a big difference in the fight against rising energy costs and climate change. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one small step that leads to big savings. ENERGY STAR(R) qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use 75 percent less energy, last up to 10 times longer, and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

"Change a Light day has become a tradition in New York; a tradition that shows the great pride our citizens have in our state's rich environmental heritage and a desire on the part of our residents to focus on energy conservation," said Governor Paterson. "We proudly join in observances that focus on creating a healthier, more economically efficient environment through energy conservation and the wise use of natural resources. The cheapest energy is the energy never used."

If each household in New York changed one bulb to an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, New York could prevent more than 562 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the bulbs, the environmental equivalent of taking approximately 40,000 passenger cars off New York's roads for a full year. New Yorkers could also save more than 365 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and reduce household electrical bills by $56 million per year.

"The average New York household really can make a positive impact on the environment simply by using energy wisely," said Bob Callender, NYSERDA's Vice President for Programs. "If everyone in New York took small steps to improve our environment the impact would be tremendous. This is also a way for New Yorkers to show their state pride and contribute to the state's plan to reduce its forecasted energy use 15 percent by 2015."

New Yorkers can take the pledge by logging on to http://www.getenergysmart.org/ and clicking on the "ENERGY STAR Pledge" link. Additionally, residents can pledge to make these additional changes to help save energy and protect the environment:

1. Unplug seldom-used electronic products from the wall or plug them into a power strip, and turn it off when not in use. Home electronics such as DVD players, CD players, televisions, and cell phone chargers use 40 percent of their energy when they are in the "off "position.

2. Upgrade decorative or holiday lighting with ENERGY STAR qualified Light-Emitting Diode (LED) holiday lighting strands. LED holiday lighting strands last up to 11 holiday seasons, rarely burn out and will save you up to $100 per year on your energy bill!

3. Use power management tools in your home to effectively manage your power consumption. Smart power strips and other intelligent products are available to help manage power to electronic products without sacrificing product performance in the long run.

4. Turn off the lights when you leave home or leave a room. This one of the easiest ways to reduce global climate change and lower monthly bills.

5. Purchase appliances that have the ENERGY STAR logo. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) label the most efficient appliances such as refrigerators, clothes washers, and air conditioners so that consumers can easily find appliances that will help reduce monthly energy bills and reduce environmental impact.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) uses innovation and technology to solve some of New York's most difficult energy and environmental problems in ways that improve the State's economy. Visit http://www.getenergysmart.org/ or call 1-877-NY-SMART (1-877-697-6278) to learn more ways to save energy.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

CONTACT: Mary Ingram Schatz, +1-212-600-4469, [email protected], or GayleNowak, +1-978-525-3742, [email protected], both for New York State EnergyResearch and Development Authority; or Nancy Norman, NYSERDA spokesperson,+1-866-NYSERDA, ext. 3414

Web site: http://www.getenergysmart.org/