The Philippine government and the Asian Development Bank launched a campaign Saturday to replace power-hungry incandescent light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent lamps, saying they can save money while also helping the environment.
The nationwide ``Switch to CFL'' campaign will reduce the country's fuel costs by $100 million annually, said Philippine Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes.
It will also reduce the country's carbon dioxide emissions by 300,000 tons a year, the ADB said in a statement.
In the first large-scale ``Switch to CFL'' program in Asia, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and ADB officials exchanged energy-saving CFLs for old-fashioned incandescent bulbs in the homes of 2,000 poor families in Manila's Tondo district.
About 13 million CFLs will be distributed in the coming months in the nationwide campaign to phase out incandescent bulbs by 2010, which will be funded by a $31.1 million ADB loan, officials said.
``This project shows how the people of the Philippines, and the world, can benefit through such investments,'' said Neeraj Jain, ADB's Philippine country director.
Incandescent bulbs use only 20 percent of the electricity they consume to produce light, wasting the remaining 80 percent as heat. They also last for only about 800 hours compared with 10,000 hours for CFLs.
The project will also retrofit government offices and public lighting systems with other efficient lighting options, create a lamp waste management facility, and establish an energy service company to provide financial and technical support to companies planning to reduce energy consumption.
Sohail Hasnie, a senior ADB energy specialist, said an Energy Department facility will buy back used CFLs and recycle their toxic mercury content.