Alliance: Trump Administration Should Shelve Lightbulb Efficiency Rollback
WASHINGTON – In comments submitted to the Department of Energy Friday, the Alliance to Save Energy called for the Trump administration to withdraw its proposal to roll back efficiency standards for several common types of lightbulbs. The Alliance argues that the proposal runs contrary to the law and would needlessly increase household energy costs and harmful emissions.
Updated energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs were set to take effect next year, ensuring consumer and businesses would see more cost-saving options on store shelves. The standards would save U.S. households roughly $100 on electricity bills each year, according to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. In February, the Department of Energy proposed to roll back the standards.
“DOE’s proposal would lead to a weaker standard, which would result in backsliding, and which is illegal,” the Alliance argues in the comments. “DOE’s proposal would cause needless market uncertainty less than one year before the new standards are set to take effect. Tragically, this uncertainty is due entirely to DOE’s decision to publish its proposal.”
Friday is the deadline for public comment on the proposed rule. Thousands of Americans have submitted comments opposing the rollback.
DOE’s proposal involves rewriting regulations stemming from bipartisan legislation passed in 2007 and signed into law by President George W. Bush. That legislation, which calls for gradually phasing in new lighting efficiency standards, has led to dramatically increased adoption of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and encouraged innovation in new lighting products. DOE’s rollback proposal would undo a 2017 decision by DOE – consistent with the legislation – to expand the types of lightbulbs covered under stronger standards, including globe-shaped bulbs, cone-shaped bulbs used in recessed lighting, and several other common types.
At risk are significant household energy savings as well as reduced pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), about 2.9 billion of the total lightbulbs sold in 2015 fall under the new categories to be covered by the higher efficiency standards that were set to take effect in 2020 – nearly half of all bulbs sold that year.
About the Alliance to Save Energy
Founded in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy is a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders working to expand the economy while using less energy. Our mission is to promote energy productivity worldwide – including through energy efficiency – to achieve a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security, affordability and reliability.