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Energy saving starts with a light bulb
Updated: 2009-08-03 14:37

Five 1-yuan ($0.14) light bulbs for everyone.... On Saturday morning, Beijing residents in many communities queued up to buy the energy-efficient bulbs, which have a normal retail price of 10 yuan.

Zhang Youfang, a 60-year-old pensioner, spent 140 yuan on 20 more in addition to the five lights "on sale".

She used to work at the department of environmental protection design under the Central Engineering Institute for Non-ferrous Metallurgical Industries.

"The design of industrial equipment should always be environment-oriented. It's for the good of the country and people," Zhang said.

Last year, China promoted the use of 62 million energy saving bulbs nationwide. This year, the government allocated 600 million yuan to meet the target of 120 million.

The Beijing municipal government cut another 40 percent off the original price, reducing each bulb to only 1 yuan.

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Energy saving starts with a light bulb China doubles energy-efficient light bulb subsidy

Since late June, the 1-yuan bulbs have been selling in many communities on weekends. Every resident can buy five at the preferential price, and beyond that they will cost 7 yuan.

According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, the city plans to promote 10 million energy saving bulbs.

A 9-watt energy-efficient compact fluorescent tube equals a traditional 40-watt incandescent bulb in brightness.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) estimates the bulbs will help save 6.2 billion kWh of electricity and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 6.2 million tons and sulfur dioxide by 62,000 tons in a year.

Statistics from the China Electricity Council and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology show that last year China consumed 3.42 trillion kWh of electricity and produced at least 1.1 million tons of sulfur dioxide in 2008. The figure for carbon dioxide exceeded 5 billion tons in 2007.

Like Zhang Youfang, many people bought more than the five bulbs covered by the preferential policy.

Zhang Guitian, 80, said he planned to use them in all the lights in his house and use environment-friendly paint to decorate his home this month.

"Emissions reduction and energy saving should really start from us ordinary people," he said.

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