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CEI ANNOUNCES LAWN MOWER TRADE-IN PROGRAM TO IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT

 CLEVELAND, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Northeast Ohioans will have the opportunity to help cut air pollution when mowing the lawn this summer, thanks to a new environmental program from the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI).
 The company today (April 6) kicks off EcoLawns, a program designed to replace old, pollution-belching mowers with new cordless electric lawn mowers which produce no emissions. The project is co-sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
 Sixty CEI customers will be selected for EcoLawns. They will trade in their old gasoline-powered mowers and pay just $100 for a new Black & Decker cordless electric lawn mower, which retails for $450. Customers will record operating information on the new mowers for future research.
 "These electric mowers with their rechargeable batteries are the next generation in lawn care equipment," said Charlene Jurkoshek, director of Environment and Safety for Centerior Energy, the parent company of CEI. "They're good for the environment as well as convenient because they are cordless and do not require tune ups."
 Powered by a 12-volt battery, the EcoLawns mowers will cut about a quarter acre of grass on a single charge. Recharging time is about three hours to reach 75-80 percent of the battery's capacity. A full charge takes about 17 hours. Recharging costs are less than $5 for an entire mowing season. These cordless electric mowers also are much quieter than gasoline-powered models.
 Many of the old, gasoline mowers which are traded in will be donated to the EPA for fuel consumption and emissions testing. The agency will determine whether it should regulate gasoline mowers by creating emissions standards. Mowers not given to the EPA will be recycled.
 "While some might scoff at the impact of gasoline mowers on the environment, studies estimate that the nation's 18 million walk-behind lawn mowers produce as much air pollution each year as 3.5 million newer model cars each driven 16,000 miles," said Jurkoshek. "Using a typical gasoline-powered lawn mower for an hour creates the same emissions as driving a car about 50 miles."
 Exclusive use of electric lawn mowers by homeowners would reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. by one million tons a year and drop the country's oil consumption some two million barrels annually, according to EPRI.
 CEI customers will receive an application for EcoLawns with their April electric bills. Selection of participants will be completed in May and the mower exchange will take place in June.
 -0- 4/6/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: CEI representatives will kick off EcoLawns today with an electric lawn mower demonstration at the company's customer center at 696 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. To schedule an interview and demonstration, call Todd Schneider, CEI Public affairs, 216-479-4905/
 /CONTACT: Todd Schneider, CEI public affairs, 216-479-4905/


CO: Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU:

LC -- CL002 -- 3340 04/06/93 09:03 EDT
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Date:Apr 6, 1993
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