DOE unveils effort

WASHINGTON: The Department of Energy (DOE), working with the Environmental Protection Agency, on October 4 will look to internal communications as it launches a month-long program to encourage US households to replace at least one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL).

WASHINGTON: The Department of Energy (DOE), working with the Environmental Protection Agency, on October 4 will look to internal communications as it launches a month-long program to encourage US households to replace at least one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL).

The seventh annual "Change a Light, Change the World" program is timed to coincide with the government's October Energy Awareness Month. Patrice Pisinski, DOE director of technology advancement and outreach, said that the agency is making a concerted effort to encourage federal employees to participate.

DOE secretary Samuel Bodman will officially announce the campaign at a press conference in Reynolds, IN, whose local government is billing the town as "BioTown USA." All 600 households in the town have also promised to change at least five of their incandescent light bulbs to CFLs, which are being donated by Wal-Mart.

Additional external outreach includes podcasts of speeches by officials, print title outreach, and providing retail groups with information on promoting CFL use.

CFL promotion efforts within the federal government have ramped up, including outreach to energy managers at other federal agencies, development of an internal Web site where additional DOE staff can sign up to participate, and distribution of a poster featuring the faces of more than a thousand DOE employees who've already pledged to take part.

"We have a DOE 'newscast' that goes out to all federal employees talking about this campaign," Pisinski said. "We [also meet] with the energy managers at each of the federal agencies and talk to them about specifics of the campaign."

"If everyone changed just one light in their house, there would be enough energy saved to light Washington, DC, for 189 years," Pisinski added. "That's assuming everyone does it; absolutely. But small changes hopefully lead to big changes."

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