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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 1, 2007

Residents get efficient light bulbs through program's partnerships (REVISION)

To further promote its A Million Lights campaign, the City of Kansas City, Mo., is giving residents who live in neighborhoods participating in its Neighborhood Improvement Program free compact fluorescent light bulbs. The City's Weatherization Program will provide compact fluorescent light bulbs to low-income residents as energy improvements are made to participating homes. The City plans to extend the program to other households beyond the Neighborhood Improvement Program neighborhoods, working through neighborhood organizations throughout the city that will target low-income and senior citizen households.

The A Million Lights campaign is a local initiative designed to help consumers save money and keep air cleaner by converting from standard incandescent light bulbs to more energy efficient light bulbs. The goal is to change 1 million standard incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. It is estimated that by reaching this goal, residents will save more than $26 million in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 580 million pounds. Kansas City is the first city in the country to proclaim a goal of "A Million Lights" in the national Energy Star campaign to help consumers save money and keep air cleaner.

"Many residents had heard of the A Million Lights campaign and the benefits of using compact fluorescent lights and were excited by the opportunity to receive these energy saving bulbs as part of the Neighborhood Improvement Program," said Deletta Dean, manager of the Neighborhood Improvement Program.

The Neighborhood Improvement Program coordinates and oversees the delivery of public and private services to improve the quality of life for residents. The program is managed by the Neighborhood and Community Services Department and will focus on specific neighborhoods for three years per cycle.

So far, 1,200 light bulbs have been distributed in 300 homes with the help of neighborhood association members and other volunteers in eight of the 17 participating neighborhoods. In February, the light bulbs will be distributed at neighborhood association meetings where representatives from the Metropolitan Energy Center are scheduled to give residents tips about other ways to save on energy costs.

The Weatherization Program, a division of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department, will give its contractors compact fluorescent light bulbs to install in homes where they are working. This distribution effort is not limited to neighborhoods participating in the Neighborhood Improvement Program.

The more than 23,000 light bulbs being distributed were donated by Burns & McDonnell (more than 2,000 bulbs) and Wal-Mart (21,000 bulbs). An additional 10,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs will be contributed by the Power Partners -- the National Electrical Contractors Association Kansas City Chapter and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 124.

Some facts about compact fluorescent light bulbs:

    Generate the same amount of light and use less than one-third as much energy

    Last up to 10 times longer

    Generate 70 percent less heat

    Are safer to operate and help cut energy costs associated with home cooling.

More than 2,500 compact fluorescent light bulbs have been installed at Bartle Hall, the City Hall complex and the Kansas City International Airport, and more installations are planned. In addition, the City's 4,800 employees were asked to switch at least one light bulb at home for each of their family members.

For more information about the A Million Lights campaign, visit www.kcmo.org/manager and click on "Office of Environmental Quality" or call Dennis Murphey, the City's chief environmental officer, (816) 513-3459.

For more information about the Neighborhood Improvement Program, call Deletta Dean, manager of the Neighborhood Improvement Program, (816) 513-3220.

    
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