Friday, December 11, 2009

Xcel Energy ‘Lights Out Lunch’ event gaining support from Colorado residents, businesses

Nearly 19,000 light switches will be turned off to save energy

DENVER – This holiday season, Colorado residents and businesses are celebrating energy efficiency by shutting off their lights from noon to 1 p.m. on Dec. 11 during Lights Out Lunch.

The goal of the one-day, statewide event, a collaboration of Xcel Energy, the Governor’s Energy Office and the City and County of Denver, is to promote energy conservation. As part of the effort, residents that pledge to turn off lights receive special dining offers from participating restaurants and are registered to win lunch with Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche or Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets. Businesses that sign up also get registered for a group lunch with the local stars.

To date, more than 300 businesses have signed up to support the energy conservation initiative. Several schools and universities have also signed up to participate, including the Colorado Community College System, the Community College of Aurora, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, and schools in the Aurora Public School district, among others.

“The support that we have seen from Colorado residents, businesses and schools for a new program like this is a great testament to how important it is to examine how we use energy,” said Tim Taylor, CEO, Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “Lights Out Lunch is just one example of Xcel Energy’s investment in educational programs. Our goal is to encourage people to think about energy use in a new and different way.”

To date, 99 restaurants are on board and providing exclusive offers/discounts to the public who sign up and download coupons from The Palm Restaurant, Snooze, Wynkoop Brewing Company, Beau Jo’s Pizza, Cherry Cricket, Hapa Sushi (Cherry Creek and Boulder) are just a few of the restaurants offering deals.

“It’s a win-win for our restaurants to be involved, especially as more are going green by recycling, composting and using energy-efficient lighting,” said Pete Meersman, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association. “Research shows that restaurants use more than five times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, and this event serves as a great tool to get restaurants thinking more about ways to become energy efficient and cut down costs.”


· Lights Out Lunch, brought to you by Xcel Energy, the Governor’s Energy Office and the City and County of Denver, is a simple concept – turn off the lights to emphasize the importance of energy efficiency from noon to 1 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2009.

· Whether you’re at home, dining out or at your workplace – wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, take a small step toward conserving energy by safely shutting off the lights for one hour. Sign up at:

· The Lights Out Lunch event hopes to motivate customers to purchase compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs by offering discounted bulbs for as little as $1 at participating retailers for a limited time. Customers can find participating retail locations and sale time periods at:

· Lights Out Lunch endeavors to build awareness that CFLs need to be recycled after use. CFL recycling is free of charge at participating Ace Hardware locations.

· Prominent athletes Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets) and Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche) have endorsed the program and will play a significant role in educating the public about energy savings.

· You can follow Lights Out Lunch on Twitter @LightsOutLunch or become a fan on Facebook at, to see more facts and great deals from participating restaurants.


· Customers can save, on average, $5 per bulb per year, by replacing an incandescent bulb with a CFL.

· The most frequently used lights in a home include kitchen lights, living room table and floor lamps, bathroom vanity lights and outdoor porch or post lamps.

· Turning off the lights when you leave a room and/or taking advantage of natural light will save you energy and money on your electric bill.

· ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than typical incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

· If 110 million American households or business owners replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people.

· If every household in Colorado replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb, we could save up to 95 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and reduce electric bills by $8.8 million a year.


· According to Conserve, the National Restaurant Association's Environmental Initiative, restaurants use five times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings and five times more energy in their kitchens than in the rest of their buildings.

· By taking small steps like turning off unnecessary lights, installing motion detectors and timers, and using CFL and light-emitting diodes (LED), restaurants can make a huge impact on saving energy.

· For each incandescent light bulb replaced by a compact fluorescent bulb, a restaurant can save up to $30 in electricity costs over the bulb’s lifetime.

To learn more and to register for Lights Out Lunch, visit:

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