House Vote Undermines Lighting Standards – Alliance Calls on Senate to Protect Consumers and Workers

Release Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Move Part of Broader, Misguided Attack on Efficiency Standards

The Alliance urges the Senate to reject several measures adopted by the House of Representatives that weaken the effectiveness of lighting and other energy efficiency standards.  

A new provision – adopted by voice vote last night in the House as an amendment to the fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill – would prevent DOE from spending federal funds “to implement or enforce” technology-neutral light bulb standards that save energy and money. The standards, which were part of the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, took effect January 1, 2012, and are still on the books.

Step Leaves Americans in the Dark

“The new energy-efficient bulbs, utilizing cutting-edge technology, are on store shelves; and many of them are producing new jobs here in America,” said Alliance Senior Vice President for Policy and Research Floyd DesChamps. “By denying the enforcement funding, the House encourages the import of illegal, inferior products – at the expense of American workers and American consumers.”

DesChamps added, “As manufacturers continue to comply with the law, Congress is only getting in the way of helping the American people realize savings of $12 billion a year on their electricity bills. That is equivalent to the output of 30 power plants and pollution from 14 million cars.”

Move Part of Broader Attack

The House also adopted by voice vote amendments prohibiting enforcement of efficiency standards on shower heads and stopping DOE from issuing a small piece of a proposed standard on specialized battery chargers for golf carts.

“The attack on enforcement of lighting standards appears to be merely the leading edge of a misguided, broader assault on federal energy efficiency standards,” said DesChamps. “This is most unfortunate, as standards are the most effective way to ensure that all products meet a minimal level of efficiency, helping every American purchase products that do not waste money or energy.

“Standards take outdated, wasteful products off the market and make it easier for consumers to choose products that will save them money over the long run,” he said.

Bipartisan Law is Broadly Supported

Members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle supported the light bulb standards when EISA was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Moreover, the standards reflected the input and consensus of leading U.S. light bulb manufacturers, who continue to support them and to make products that meet them. Even before the standards themselves went into effect, those companies had brought a myriad of money- and energy-saving lighting options to market.

“We call on Congress to reject the amendments that attack efficiency standards when the energy and water appropriations bill goes to conference,” DesChamps said. “There is no justification for eliminating enforcement of current laws and not allowing this country to fully realize the economic benefits of energy efficiency.”

Take Action: Support the Lighting Efficiency Law Today!

Tell your member of Congress to reject new amendments that could weaken lighting efficiency standards.  

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