U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing energy conservation in American homes and businesses, starting with a new set of standards for lighting.

Mr. Obama is working hard to get sweeping energy legislation through Congress.  But in the meantime, he is taking smaller steps to promote conservation.

He says many seemingly small moves can make an impact, such as setting higher efficiency standards for light bulbs.

"I know light bulbs may not seem sexy," Mr. Obama said.  "But this simple action holds enormous promise because seven percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses."

The president says the savings will be striking.

"Between 2012 and 2042, these new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year," he said.

Mr. Obama also notes that millions of dollars have been set aside under the economic stimulus bill he signed in February to expand the development and use of alternative energy technology in residential and commercial buildings.  He says that money will be handed out much faster than originally planned.