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[GRRN] ENERGY STAR Launches New Energy-Efficient Traffic Signals
For Immediate Release				For More Information:  
February 2001	Jill Vohr, US Environmental Protection Agency (202) 564-9002


Energy Star launches new energy-efficient Traffic Signals

While state and local governments grapple with power shortages and rising
energy costs, one government program is offering a solution. Energy Star,
established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US
Department of Energy (DOE), has recently announced its new specification for
energy-efficient traffic signals (available on the Internet at
www.energystar.gov). Energy Star labeled traffic signals incorporate light
emitting diode (LED) technology, which uses electrical energy very
efficiently and therefore emits large amounts of light from small inputs of
power. GELcore, LLC and Leotek are the first two manufacturers to adopt the
Energy Star specification for their LED traffic signal products. Energy Star
labeled traffic signals offer a significant opportunity to reduce energy
consumption and utility bills. 

Operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, traffic signals that use
high-wattage incandescent bulbs create a sizeable power bill for state and
local governments. For a medium-sized city like Anaheim with a population of
about 300,000, the power bill from traffic signals alone can exceed $400,000
a year. Larger cities like New York and Los Angeles have annual power bills
from traffic signals that can exceed $10 million. According to power
companies, recent increases in power rates in some states could double these
costs.

Built with highly efficient semiconductor devices, LED traffic signals use
about 6 to 25 watts under nominal operating conditions (77oF or 25C),
depending on the shape and type of signal, while incandescent bulbs use
about 70 to 150 watts. As a result, LED modules can save more than 90
percent in energy bills for traffic signals. Through the use of Energy Star
qualified traffic signals, cities could save 1 million kWh of energy and
nearly 70,000 dollars a year for every 100 signalized intersections
replaced, saving money and improving the environment at the same time. LED
traffic signals have lower maintenance costs because they can last more than
seven years, while incandescent bulbs may last only one year. Because LED
traffic signals rarely fail prematurely, they also reduce the risk of
accidents at intersections and associated liability costs for government
agencies. So even with a higher initial investment, dollar-savings and
quality-improvement benefits significantly outweigh costs.

The Energy Star label helps consumers identify products that save money and
help protect the environment. The label is already displayed on more than 30
product categories, including residential heating and cooling equipment,
major appliances, office equipment, lighting, and consumer electronics.
Recent additions to the Energy Star family include dehumidifiers, water
coolers and set-top boxes. By signing voluntary agreements with EPA,
manufacturers and retailers may place the Energy Star label on products that
meet or exceed energy-efficiency guidelines set by EPA and DOE. More than
1,200 manufacturers have signed voluntary agreements to produce and market
energy-efficient equipment, and the list is growing. Only traffic signals
that comply with ITE standards and operate at low wattage levels under
normal conditions can qualify to receive the Energy Star label. For more
information on Energy Star labeled traffic signals, visit the Energy Star
Web site at www.energystar.gov.



Michael Segal
Associate
The Cadmus Group.
1901 North Fort Myer Drive
Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22209
Tel: 703-247-6113
Fax: 703-247-6001

For more information on saving money and preventing pollution through energy
efficiency, please visit
http://www.energystar.gov




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