The Trump Administration’s anti-environment policies are so extreme, they are now even proposing to roll back energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. In 2017, the day before President Trump took office, the Energy Department issued a rule to expand the types of light bulbs required to meet stronger efficiency standards. According to the web site Utilitydive.com, experts at the Appliance Standards Awareness Project calculated that the changes would cause consumers to lose $12 billion a year in electricity savings by 2025.
- The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, a bipartisan law, required that seven additional categories of light bulbs be covered under stricter efficiency standards starting in 2020.
- Research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed about 2.9 billion of the total light bulbs sold in 2015 would have been covered in 2020 by the higher efficiency standards.
- Leaders from the Appliance Standards Awareness Project and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy issued a joint statement opposing the rollback and estimated that U.S. electricity use would increase by 80 billion kWh per year, without the new standards.
The Hill quoted Noah Horowitz, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, who said that “[e]ven with today’s highly efficient LED light bulbs on the market, Trump’s Department of Energy wants to keep 2.7 billion of our lighting sockets mired in a world of dinosaur, energy-guzzling lighting technology that basically hasn’t been updated for more than a hundred years.”
Why This Matters: Not everyone can buy a zero-emission car, but by and large consumers are willing and can afford to purchase energy-efficient light bulbs. They save money over their lifetime and there are societal benefits in terms of energy saved as well. This rollback will cost consumers billions and increase pollution due to increased energy production. There is nothing great about spurning new technology so that we can keep using light bulbs that had not been improved on for a century. What a waste!
What Can You Do: The Energy Department is holding a public meeting on February 28, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., in Washington, D.C. The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar and there are instructions here for how to participate or emailApplianceStandardsQuestions@ee.doe.gov. And you can email written comments to the Energy Department until early March atGSL2018STD0010@ee.doe.gov with this docket number in the subject line “RIN 1904-AE26.”