|A Million Lights Initiative
Several years ago, Kansas City was the first city in the nation to set the goal of changing A Million Lights as part of the national ENERGY STAR® campaign to help consumers save money and energy by switching out old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
On April 15, 2008, the official initiative concluded successfully. Overall, across the metro area, 1,627,170 CFL bulbs were purchased and/or distributed by the City and its partners—far beyond the original goal.
The initiative was created to take advantage of the substantial savings from changing a single incandescent bulb. Because a 60-watt equivalent CFL consumes less energy and lasts 10 times longer, 440 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated, and $30 can be saved in energy costs over the bulb's lifetime.
When those savings were multiplied on the scale of this regional initiative, the environmental and financial results were tremendous. Over the lifetime of these CFLs in Kansas City, replaced bulbs will prevent the production of 377,832 metric tons of CO2 emissions and will save 88,278 metric tons of coal. This is the equivalent of taking 13,235 cars off the road. Financially, the initiative will generate over $32,265,622 in estimated savings for Kansas City residents and businesses.
Continuing the effort
Residents and businesses are encouraged to continue Kansas City's ongoing efforts to switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs. The switch is easy and is a bright idea for a variety of reasons.
A single CFL:
Energy consumption (in watts)
Savings per bulb*
*Source: Based on KCPL price of 7 cents/kWh, 8,000 hour total usage and 1.58 lbs/kWh
The Road to A Million Lights
During the initiative to switch "A Million Lights," the City itself led the way by identifying standard incandescent light bulbs in City buildings and replacing them with CFLs. CFLs were installed as a part of the City’s energy conservation projects at Bartle Hall, the City Hall complex, KCI and various other locations. In addition, the City’s 4,800 employees were asked to switch at least one light at home for each of their family members.
Several local partners also joined the initiative, including:
- Kansas City Power & Light, which offered a $2 rebate per qualified ENERGY STAR® light purchased at Missouri locations of Ace Hardware and HyVee grocery stores.
- The University of Missouri at Kansas City, which installed 2,060 compact fluorescent lights on its campus.
- Burns & McDonnell, which encouraged its 1,800 metro-area employees to switch at least three lights by the end of the year. The company also donated 2,000 bulbs to the City's Neighborhood Improvement Program for distribution to lower income families.
- The Power Partners (the National Electrical Contractors Association Kansas City Chapter and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 124), which donated 10,000 CFLs for lower income families and elderly fixed-income households in Kansas City.
- Walmart, which contributed 21,000 CFLs to the City for free distribution to low income households across the community.