Wal-Mart to Market
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart yesterday announced its plan to release its own brand of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, which will go on sale at more than 3,000 of its U.S. stores by the end of the month.
The new light bulbs, carrying Wal-Mart's "Great Value" house brand name, are intended to bring energy-saving CFL technology to consumers at a more conservative price than the other, branded bulbs Wal-Mart sells. The company will continue to sell the brand-name bulbs alongside its own line, and hopes the new, more-affordable bulbs will help it achieve its goal in selling 100 million CFL bulbs by the end of 2007.
"We want to make eco-friendly living more affordable for our customers and with the Great Value CFLs, we can make energy-efficiency easy at an unbeatable price," said Wal-Mart Senior Vice President Andy Barron.
Barron estimated that, if Wal-Mart reaches its 100-million-bulb goal, it will help their customers save $3 billion in electrical costs over the life of the bulbs and prevent 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
Yesterday's announcement follows on the heels of Wal-Mart changing its advertising slogan, to "Save Money. Live Better," from "Always Low Prices." The move, announced last week, is the first change in slogans in 19 years, and may reflect an added emphasis on the company's recent environmental initiatives.
The purchase of CFLs are picking up momentum as environmental awareness awakens energy concerns among shoppers. CFLs can result in an energy savings of 75 percent, as opposed to incandescent bulbs, and generally last from eight to 10 years, as compared to an average of one year for a conventional light bulb.
Wal-Mart Launches Major Solar Power Project by Staff, GreenBiz.com, 5/8/7
Wal-Mart to Sell 100 Million Compact Fluorescents by Staff, GreenBiz.com, 5/8/7
With nearly 20 percent of all home electric costs stemming from lighting alone, CFLs can have tremendous benefits. Converting one conventional 60W bulb to a 13W CFL can save: $30 in electric costs over its lifetime; 10 conventional bulbs from being produced, transported and discarded in a landfill; 220 lbs. of coal from being burned; and 450 lbs. of greenhouse gases from reaching the air. The average home has more than 30 compatible sockets, which means even more potential savings.
"We realize this is a lofty aspiration, but if we reach our goal of selling 100 million CFLs by the end of 2007, the results will be staggering," Ruben added. "Over the life of those bulbs, $3 billion can be saved in electrical costs and 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases can be prevented from entering our atmosphere. This change is comparable to taking 700,000 cars off the road, or powering 450,000 single-family homes. Compact fluorescent light bulbs will change the way consumers look at energy efficient products because not only can they benefit directly, but also feel good about it."
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