New Year Ushers in Bright New Era in Lighting, Says Alliance

Release Date: Thursday, December 29, 2011

Consumers to Save Money and Energy with Expanded Lighting Options

Washington, D.C., December 29, 2011 – As we usher in a New Year, the first phase of a revolution in home lighting products – one that promises a bright future at less cost – will begin as well, says the Alliance to Save Energy.

Lighting likely accounts for 12% of home energy use, but the growing array of energy-efficient options allows consumers across the county to cut those expenses by $50 to more than $100 a year.  Many of the new products are already on store shelves in anticipation of the federal standards that begin phasing in on January 1.

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush, established the new lighting standards that take effect over three years. In 2012 the law requires manufacturers to offer bulbs that are at least 27% more energy efficient than traditional 100-watt incandescent bulbs. The law covers 75-watt bulbs in 2013 and 60- and 40-watt bulbs in 2014.

Manufacturers are ready for the challenge, having been closely involved – along with energy efficiency groups like the Alliance – in developing the standards back in 2007. Their new products, including halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), shed light in a range of colors from “warm white” to “cool blue,” come in different shapes and sizes and offer different levels of savings.

Those manufacturers, as well as the Alliance and other advocates, are now working to dispel misunderstandings about the standards and to spread the word about the savings they offer.

“There has been some confusion about the impact of the new lighting standards,” says Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “Consumers can still purchase incandescent bulbs with the brightness of a 100-watt bulb. The only difference is that those bulbs will be more efficient halogen incandescents that use about 30% less energy.  Consumers are also able to choose CFLs and LEDs, which can save them 75% or more on their lighting energy costs. And, the more bulbs they replace with today’s efficient ones, the more they will save.”

The savings are considerable for the nation at large, too -- as much as $10 billion dollars a year and the amount of electricity generated by 30 large power plants – about the same amount of electricity used by the state of Indiana every year. 

“One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make your home more energy efficient is by switching to energy-saving light bulbs. As consumers make the switch, we encourage them to look for new labeling and other information to help them make the best choices for their home,” added Callahan. 

The Alliance to Save Energy is a steering committee member for the LUMEN Coalition, a group of nonprofit organizations, manufacturers, utilities and others committed to educating consumers about their new lighting choices.  The LUMENnow.org  website can help consumers understand their new lighting options and see the results of a  lighting makeover in a home. 

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