Energy Department pushes efficient light bulbs in new ad campaign

“Americans spend about $2,000 per household on energy every year — but many of them could save a few hundred of that without changing their lifestyle,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement Tuesday. “Many American families can take simple steps to reduce their energy bill, while making their homes more comfortable, and use that money for something they really need or want.”

The light bulb advertisement features a turkey being cooked by traditional incandescent light bulbs.

“Traditional light bulbs actually generate nine times more heat than light,” the advertisement says. “Switch to EnergyStar light bulbs and you’ll realize just how much cash you were really burning through.”

The average household can save $50 a year by switching 15 traditional incandescent light bulbs to more efficient ones, DOE says.

The campaign includes several other advertisements. One television advertisement features a couple throwing their possessions (a flat-screen TV, a tricycle) off a cliff. “When you throw away money on wasted electricity, you’re throwing away everything you could have bought with it,” the advertisement says.

Print advertisements include slogans like “Save energy, save vacation” and “Save energy, save date night.”

As is the case with all PSAs, media organizations will run the advertisements at no cost to DOE. The advertisements were created by a Texas-based advertising firm for free, DOE says. 

The House rejected legislation offered by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) last week that would have repealed the light bulb efficiency standards. But Republicans approved an amendment by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) to an Energy and Water spending bill later that same week that would block funding for the standards through the end of fiscal 2012.

Before the vote on the Barton bill, Chu defended the light bulb standards.

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