Energy efficiency ad campaign launched

The U.S. Department of Energy and the Ad Council haved teamed to launch a national campaign designed to help consumers save money on utility bills.

This one is simply called "Cliff" and shows in a very stark way what consumers throw away when they don't take advantage of energy efficiency opportunities in their homes. Some of it is as simple as lighting retrofits and weatherization. Other fixes may cost more.

The second, "Oven," highlights the fact that incandescent bulb throw off a good amount of heat. They cook a chicken in a bulb oven. In Fairbanks, back in the early 1970s, my friend's dad heated a chicken coop with a single bulb, enabling those poor chickens to survive nights of 50 below.

The videos were created pro bono by Texas-based advertising agency GSD&M.

"Americans spend about $2,000 per household on energy every year — but many of them could save a few hundred of that without changing their lifestyle," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a statement. "Many American families can take simple steps to reduce their energy bill, while making their homes more comfortable, and use that money for something they really need or want."