MEXICO CITY, September 27, 2011 – Nearly one million Mexican families have energized Mexico’s green policies and their household budgets, by taking actions as simple as changing a light bulb. Simple as turning the light on and off.
They are benefitting from the Sustainable Lighting Program , which replaces incandescent light bulbs with more efficient, environmentally-friendly ones – compact fluorescent lamps, better known as energy-saving light bulbs.
Given that in 2009 and 2010, two pilot projects were carried out in which approximately 1.4 million bulbs were replaced, the Sustainable Lighting Program has 45.8 million replacements pending. This year, 50 percent of the program target will be met. To date, the Sustainable Lighting Program has replaced approximately 2.4 million bulbs, benefiting more than 600,000 families, surpassing by 10.7 percent the established target for this year, according to the Energy Ministry.
To this end, more than 1,100 exchange centers have been set up in Coppel, Soriana and Chedraui stores in 56 metropolitan areas around the country and in all cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The process is easy: simply bring in four incandescent bulbs, a paid electric bill and official identification or proof of residence.
“Mexico has demonstrated to the international community how a country with an emerging economy can adopt a responsible, proactive attitude toward the challenges of climate change,” said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank director for Colombia and Mexico. “This is why we support the government in developing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve sustainable, inclusive development,” she said.
“Green” light for the environment
The program has a clear “green” component since it respects the environment by saving electric power and by avoiding the emission of greenhouse gases produced when fossil fuels are used to generate electric power. The initiative seeks to reduce by up to 2.78 million tons the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere every year, equivalent to 36 percent of annual emissions of vehicles circulating in Mexico City or the consumption of 7.44 million barrels of oil (Mexican crude processed in six days).
“Through Sustainable Lighting, Mexico is giving a great example to the world that it is possible to implement a large-scale energy efficiency program in the residential sector,” he said.
What are you waiting for?
The program distributes energy-saving bulbs through national market distribution channels and is implemented in coordination with government officials. According to Reina Velázquez, executive director of the Energy Secretariat’s Investment Promotion Office, “these factors strengthen the transition to efficient, quality lighting technologies that generate savings for all Mexicans, without sacrificing our families’ comfort.”