NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  Representatives of CITGO Petroleum Corporation were joined by hundreds of Bronx residents today to celebrate the 2013 edition of the CITGO-Venezuela Energy Efficient Lighting Program (EELP) at the Bronx Spanish Evangelical Church in the Bronx. CITGO and its community partner, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, will provide 39,000 compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to help low-income families reduce energy costs and protect the environment. The Bronx is one of the communities in the 21 cities across the U.S. to benefit from the program this year.

"CITGO has been committed to helping residents of the Bronx for many years. We are proud to offer another program to make their lives better. The light bulbs we are providing through the EELP will help Bronx families save nearly $2 million in electricity costs over the lifetime of the bulbs, while also protecting precious environmental resources," said CITGO Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Dario Merchan. "Giving back to communities in need is a core value for CITGO and aligned with the social development principles of our shareholder Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. We are very proud to have a lasting impact in the Bronx."

The 2013 EELP will provide CFL bulb lifetime energy savings of 12,648,000 KWh for Bronx families. Over their lifetimes, the CFLs distributed throughout the Bronx will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 19,462,092 pounds, the equivalent of removing 1,730 cars from the road. The 2013 CITGO-Venezuela EELP will help nearly 4,000 low-income households in the Bronx and 62,500 households across the country conserve energy, save money and be good environmental stewards.

Wahid Muhammad, with the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, is a 20 year-old Bronxite who has been working with CITGO since the launch of the EELP program in the South Bronx two years ago. Muhammad says the program has changed his life. "When was the last time an oil company cared about you or the earth? CITGO and the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition have helped me launch a green career, educating my neighbors and other youth on how to save energy."

In addition to the EELP, CITGO also supports the South Bronx with its Social Programs and Environmental Initiative, which launched in 2007. Earlier this year, 32 South Bronx non-profits received grants for the development of local social and environmental programs from The Simon Bolívar Foundation, a 501(c) (3) private foundation solely sponsored by CITGO. More than $6 million in grants has been awarded to community organizations in the South Bronx over the past six years through the initiative.  Grant recipients include non-profit organizations – whose programs range from children's performing arts, internships in the community and green initiatives – that inspire positive change among local youth and provide opportunities for job training.

The CITGO-Venezuela Energy Efficient Lighting Program is just one of the ways CITGO gives back to the communities in which it, and its network of locally owned CITGO stations, operates. On average, the historical percentage of revenue CITGO invests in social programs has been five times more than many larger, vertically-integrated competing global brands. This investment helps CITGO ease the burden of many families across the country through programs such as the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program, its Fueling Education campaign, the 27-year long support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and many others. In addition, CITGO employees and those at nearly 6,000 local independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations provide thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars to help organizations in their own communities.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products.  The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit