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FEATURE STORY

One Light Bulb at a Time, Mexico Achieves a Guinness Record

August 1, 2012

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mexico entered the Guinness Book of Records for having distributed for free 22.9 million energy-saving light bulbs
  • In the first stage of the program, partially financed by the World Bank, there were more than 1,110 points of exchange in the whole country.
  • With the already replaced light bulbs, the saving is calculated to be 1,400 gigawatt hour (Gwh), or the energy consumed in a year in Nayarit or Colima.

The “Sustainable Light” ("Luz Sustentable") program of the Mexican government entered the Guinness Book of Records for having replaced 22.9 million incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or “energy-saving” ones.

In total, more than 5.5 million Mexican families already use energy-saving lamps that consume only 20% of the energy and last 10 times longer than a traditional light bulb.

In the first stage of the program, partially financed by the World Bank, there were more than 1,110 points of exchange in the whole country.

To obtain four energy-saving lamps for free, it was only necessary to present four incandescent light bulbs, an electricity bill and an ID.

With the already replaced light bulbs, the saving is calculated to be 1,400 gigawatt hour (Gwh), in other words the energy that is consumed in a year in Nayarit or Colima.

According to calculations by the Energy Ministry, the program also has an impact on the budget at home, as a family can save up to 18% of the electric bill.

María Elena Nogueda, 65, is an architect and she has changed her light bulbs to save energy and money. “ My sister-in-law did it because I told her to and (the electricity bill) went down 40%,” she explained.

Reduce emissions

Less consumption of electricity also favors the environment, as an emission of about 700,000 tons of CO2 is being avoided with the light bulbs that have been replaced until now, the equivalent of more than 130,000 cars.

In its second stage, the program hopes to replace other almost 23 millions of incandescent bulbs with energy-saving lamps.

This time, families that have not yet participated will receive eight energy-saving light bulbs in exchange of four normal ones. Those who already have participated in the first stage will receive four additional energy-saving light bulbs.

When the second stage ends, it is estimated that the saving will be of 2,800 Gwh per year, more than double the electricity consumption of the State of Campeche in 2011.