"Operation Change Out" Spurs Efficient Lighting at Military Bases

April 23, 2008

Photo of three sizes of compact fluorescent light bulbs that employ a twisted, compact shape.

"Operation Change Out" challenges U.S. military bases to replace their energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps.

In honor of Earth Day, DOE and the U.S. Department of Defense launched a new Energy Star campaign called "Operation Change Out," which will challenge military bases across the country to install Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in their on-base housing. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman announced the new campaign at Camp Lejeune—a Marine Corps base near Jacksonville, North Carolina—as he screwed in the last of the 17,500 CFLs that have been installed in the camp's military houses. Over their lifetime, the new CFLs at Camp Lejeune will prevent more than 7.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, while saving nearly 5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and at least $500,000 on energy bills. Energy Star is a joint program of DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There are more than 200 military facilities located across the United States, and changing one incandescent light bulb to a CFL in every on-base housing unit could prevent the emissions of more than 95 million pounds of carbon dioxide and would cut nearly $7 million in energy costs over the lifetime of the bulbs. CFLs consume 75% less energy and produce 75% less heat than standard incandescent light bulbs, while lasting up to 15 times longer. See the DOE press release and the Operation Change Out Web site.