Latest Lightbulb Rollback Means Less Energy Savings and Higher Costs for Consumers
WASHINGTON—The Alliance to Save Energy released the following statement from President Clay Nesler in response to the Department of Energy announcing a final determination to set lightbulb efficiency standards at levels far below those that were going to take effect automatically by law:
“This rollback will mean more energy-wasting lightbulbs, higher costs for families and businesses, and unnecessary carbon emissions. At a time when we should to be ramping up our actions on climate and reducing families’ energy bills, this is a big step in the wrong direction.”
“Low-income Americans will probably be hit the hardest by this. We know that energy-efficient bulbs are less available in low-income communities, and the standards set to take effect would have ensured that the most efficient and economical models would have filled store shelves.”
The Department’s two major actions on lightbulbs this year will cost the typical American household $100 more on energy bills each year than they would have had the Department not rolled back standards. In total, 30 power plants’ worth of electricity will be needed to power inefficient bulbs, converting most of the power into wasteful heat.
In the bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 signed by George W. Bush, Congress set a process to spur the transition to more energy-efficient lighting. The law instructed the Energy Department to set updated efficiency standards but specified that if the Department did not do so by January 1, 2017, a ‘backstop’ standard would take effect on January 1, 2020. The Department failed to set a standard, triggering the backstop. The Department inaccurately claims the backstop was never triggered and that it has now set a standard. The Alliance expanded on its concerns in comments submitted to the Department in November in response to the proposed determination.
In a separate rule finalized in September, the Department exempted several common lightbulb types from updated standards – including globe-shaped bulbs, reflector bulbs used in recessed lighting, and candle-style bulbs.
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.