Today’s news:

New lights for Queensbridge Houses

Queensbridge Houses residents will see energy efficiency in a new light now that the city's Housing Authority has donated and begun installing 10,000 fluorescent light bulbs at the Long Island City housing development, a NYCHA spokesman said.

The Housing Authority, which operates 343 citywide developments, will replace an average of six lamps per apartment at Queensbridge, the nation's largest public housing development, with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps as part of an Earth Day initiative.

"The installation of [the lamps] is a sure and immediate way to lower our utility expenses, reduce our output of greenhouse gases and, in the process, contribute to [Mayor Michael Bloomberg's] PlaNYC efforts to reduce carbon emissions and guarantee the sustainability of our great city," NYCHA Chairman Tino Hernandez said.

The mayor's plan is designed to prepare for the city's population growth during the next 22 years through a variety of initiatives, including electric bill surcharges and upgrading power plants.

Queensbridge's new lamps would use one-fourth the amount of electricity of average bulbs and last 10 times longer, Hernandez said. The public housing development is NYCHA's largest consumer of electricity, he said.

The bulbs, which will be installed in apartments and common areas in the development, are expected to reduce greenhouse gases by 1,400 tons per year as well as cut electric bill costs by as much as 17 percent, Hernandez said.

The Housing Authority has also been updating boiler and heating systems at its citywide developments to make them more energy efficient, the authority said.

The project was funded by a $20,000 donation from Citigroup, NYCHA said.

Queensbridge, which was constructed in 1940, houses 3,530 residents in 1,600 apartments at 13 buildings along 21st Street in Long Island City.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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