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Toyako Town and Matsushita promote compact fluorescent lamps (May 16, 2008)

Iburi Subprefecture's Toyako Town and the Toyako Onsen Tourism Association are jointly planning a project to demonstrate their initiative in reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The project is designed to comply with the national government's policy aimed at abolishing incandescent light bulbs, formulated in its role as host of the Hokkaido Toyako Summit at which environmental issues will be a major topic of discussion. The project is supported by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., and will involve the distribution of lower-energy compact fluorescent lamps to all households in the town on May 18 to promote the shift from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent ones.

On the day, the town's residents will be able to receive compact fluorescent lamps at a site specially prepared for the event by Lake Toya in exchange for tickets distributed to them in advance. The light bulbs for some 400 lanterns displayed at the Lake Toya Long-run Fireworks Nights have also been replaced with compact fluorescent versions, and will be lit all together at a ceremony scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on the same day.

Matsushita estimates that 5,000 households each replacing one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent model will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 188 tons annually.

The national government announced the policy to abolish incandescent light bulbs by 2012 at a town meeting on global warming held in April. There will be a promotion for their replacement with compact fluorescent lamps, which consume one-fifth of the electricity and have a longer life.

Matsushita has individually been promoting the Akari Exchange Project nationwide since last year. The company says the event in Toya will be the largest of its kind ever, involving the exchange of 5,000 light bulbs at once. Toyako Town and the Toyako Onsen Tourism Association will cover the costs of the event. Compact fluorescent lamps cost three to five times more than incandescent light bulbs, but Matsushita has agreed to support the event by discounting them for the promotion.

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