ENERGY STAR Change a Light Campaign

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Dec. 21, 2007

Fairfax and Arlington Counties Win ENERGY STAR Change a Light Campaign

Named National Leaders in Promoting Energy Efficiency

Fairfax and Arlington Counties were recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their leading efforts in promoting energy efficiency among residents.

NACo announced that Fairfax and Arlington Counties were the winners in the large and medium population categories, respectively, in the national campaign to encourage residents to pledge to replace one or more incandescent bulbs in their homes with compact fluorescent light bulbs that have earned the government's ENERGY STAR label.

"By simply committing to change the type of light bulbs we use in our homes, every resident has made a positive difference in the fight against global warming," said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. "Lowering emissions requires collective action, and I am proud that the residents of Fairfax and Arlington have made this pledge. As we move into 2008, I hope that the federal government tackles this problem with as much creativity and dedication as the people of Northern Virginia."

Fairfax and Arlington Counties were among the nation’s first jurisdictions to join the Cool Counties initiative, under which counties commit to achieving an 80 percent reduction in global warming emissions by 2050.

Both counties have launched environmental initiatives to reduce emissions from county operations. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has committed to a 30-year tree planting campaign, purchasing more wind power and expanding the use of green building practices. Under Arlington’s Fresh AIRE (Arlington Initiative to Reduce Emissions) program, the county committed to reducing government greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent from 2000 levels by 2012. Arlington has also committed to releasing yearly progress reports; the 2007 report was issued on Dec. 11, 2007.

“If every household in Arlington replaced just one light bulb, Arlingtonians would save $500,000 each year and reduce CO2 emissions - the equivalent of removing 1,000 cars from our roads,” commented Paul Ferguson, chairman of the Arlington County Board. “Localities like Arlington and Fairfax -- government, residents, and businesses -- have effectively pushed the federal government to adopt energy efficiency policies, such as phasing out the incandescent light bulb.”

Winning counties were determined by the percentage of county population taking the pledge and were categorized in small (population less than 50,000), medium (population 50,000 to 500,000) and large (population more than 500,000) categories. This is the second year of the County ENERGY STAR Change a Light Campaign, sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo).

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.


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