Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out to save money

Matthew Daly | Olx Praca

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is phasing out obsolete incandescent light bulbs, accelerating an ongoing trend towards more efficient lighting that officials say will save households, schools and businesses billions of dollars a year.

Regulations approved by the Department of Energy will require manufacturers to sell energy-saving light bulbs, accelerating a long-standing industry practice of compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs that last 25 to 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs. The Trump administration has slowed down an earlier phase-out of incandescent light bulbs, saying it is targeting regulations that burden businesses.

Once the new rules are fully in place next year, consumers will be able to save nearly $3 billion a year on their utility bills, according to the Department of Energy. The rules are expected to cut planet-warming carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next 30 years, the equivalent of emissions from 28 million homes in one year, officials said.

“By raising energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, we put $3 billion back into the pockets of American consumers every year and significantly reduce domestic carbon emissions,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday. “The lighting industry is already turning to more energy efficient products and this action will accelerate progress in bringing better products to American consumers and building a better and brighter future.”

The new rules extend energy efficiency requirements to more types of light bulbs and ban the sale of light bulbs that produce less than 45 lumens per watt, a measure of how much light is emitted per unit of electricity.

The Trump administration in 2019 slowed down a decades-long push by Congress and past administrations to shift Americans to LEDs and other lighting that consumes less electricity. Former President Donald Trump said in September 2019 that the Department of Energy had canceled an expected phase-out of incandescent light bulbs because “what’s saved isn’t worth it.”

Defenders welcomed the latest rule change, saying it ensures that commonly used light bulbs meet an easily achievable efficiency standard.

“This is a victory for consumers and for the climate — a victory that has been long overdue,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, a non-profit organization that aims to reduce energy waste and fight the climate. change.

LED lamps “have become so cheap that there is no good reason for manufacturers to keep selling 19th-century technology that just isn’t very good at turning electrical energy into light,” Nadel said. The new standards will “finally lead to the phasing out of energy-saving lamps across the country.”

Andrew de Lasky, executive director of the Home Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said that while retailers will be able to sell inefficient light bulbs until July 2023, “responsible chains should take them off their shelves as soon as possible and certainly by the end of this year. ”

In 2020, about 30% of light bulbs sold in the US were incandescent or halogen incandescent bulbs, according to industry groups. The new rule bans the manufacture or import of incandescent light bulbs from January 1st.