Venezuela to Give Energy-Saving Light Bulbs to Low-Income U.S. Communities

Source: Venezuela Analysis

The Venezuelan-owned Oil Company Citgo, together with the organization Citizen’s Energy, will provide about 460,000 energy efficient light bulbs to low-income households throughout the U.S., according to Citgo’s CEO Alejandro Granado.

The announcement was made in Washington D.C. yesterday in the home of one of the beneficiaries of the program, together with Venezuela’s Ambassador to the U.S., Bernardo Alvarez, and Citizen’s Energy Chairman Joe Kennedy, II. Another launch will be held tomorrow in Houston, also in the home of a program beneficiary.

Alvarez said the project was inspired by Venezuela’s program “Mission Energy.” “This program is a counterpart to our efforts in Venezuela, where more than 60 million conventional light bulbs have been replaced by energy efficient ones through Misión Revolución Energética," said Alvarez.

The U.S. project will start as a pilot program in communities that already receive discounted heating oil from Citgo throughout the U.S. Communities in the energy-saving light bulb pilot project include Washington, D.C.; Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas; Lamont, Illinois; and Lake Charles, Louisiana, where Citgo refineries operate. It will also be implemented in low-income communities in Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Milwaukee, Madison, and Minneapolis.

According to Alvarez, “The energy problem is a spring, summer, fall, winter problem. We are a country with so much oil, yet we are interested in conservation. We must be. We are all in the same world. We are happy to be in a position to inspire other corporations to help with this pressing problem.”

Working with local community groups, the program will distribute light bulbs and energy conservation educational materials to approximately 23,000 households in the pilot cities. Qualified participants will participate in energy workshops sponsored by partner organizations.

In total, the pilot program has the potential to save participants nearly $15 million and reduce their energy use by 165 million kilowatt-hours. The average household will receive about 20 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

In Washington D.C., the program will target 1,500 households and distribute an estimated 30,000 CFLs throughout the summer and early fall.

“I am proud that CITGO invests over $100 million annually on social programs to improve the lives of those in need,” said CITGO’s Alejandro Granado. “The CITGO-Venezuela Energy Efficient Lighting Program will save money for recipients who struggle to make ends meet while also helping these communities learn more about energy efficiency and environmental conservation.”

Similarly, Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II said, “The most cost effective and clean energy is the energy we don’t use,” adding, “We are proud to partner with CITGO Petroleum to help our most vulnerable households learn ways to use energy more efficiently, and in doing so, save energy, money and the environment.”

"Hedge funds and traders make more money when the U.S. uses more oil. We are about saving oil. And the only oil company which has responded to our request to do more for America," said Kennedy. He pointed out that in Boston alone where 40,000 CFLs will be distributed, the lifetime dollar savings will be $1.78 million, with potential elimination of CO2 emissions to remove 1,930 cars off the road.