Has Congress Put the Stop Sign on Incandescent Legislation?

Julie Muhlstein, a reporter for Washington’s The Herald, described the recent developments with the incandescent lighting legislation well: Political football.

Whether you think incandescent lighting should be phased out for inefficiency or you believe light bulbs are none of the U.S. government’s concern, you’ll agree that the aftermath of EISA 2007 has been heated.

First, a repeal bill called the Better Use of Bulbs Act attempted to eliminate the efficiency standards set to begin in 2012 altogether. The BULB Act did not pass, but it gathered support from a large group of people vehemently opposed to lighting legislation. In response, the Department of Energy launched a nationwide advertising campaign touting the benefits of efficient light bulbs. One of the ads depicted a couple throwing valuable items (a TV, a bike, an electric guitar, etc.) off the side of a cliff. The DOE drew a parallel to throwing away money on wasted electricity.

The final play in this game was last week’s bill that denied funding to implement the efficiency standards. Technically, come January 1, the  traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulb may no longer be manufactured or imported in the U.S. because it does not meet the efficiency standards put in place by EISA 2007.

However, the Department of Energy cannot enforce that law, as enforcement funding has been denied for the next nine months.

See what I mean? Political football. What do you think about the recent developments with EISA 2007?

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In-The-Know About January 1, 2012

There has been a lot of coverage on this blog about the upcoming incandescent light bulb phaseout. Back in January, I wrote a post titled Are You One of the 36%?, pointing out that only 36% of Americans were aware of the upcoming phaseout. A whopping 64% had heard nothing about the legislation, and 80% did not know that traditional 100-watt light bulbs would no longer be available after January 1, 2012.

The Department of Energy has been hard at work spreading the word, and so have lighting manufacturers and retailers like us.

Well, a new poll from Osram Sylvania found that those efforts have paid off! A majority of Americans (55%) are now aware of the federal legislation.

However, according to the poll, most Americans are still hazy on the details.

Do you feel comfortable about the upcoming changes? Do you have questions? Ask away!

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My Search for a New Light Bulb

Incandescent Light BulbAs most of us now know, the traditional incandescent light bulb invented over 100 years ago is being phased out over the next couple of years. To learn more about the incandescent phase out, or if you are like “What?!”, make sure to check out our coverage on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) – aka “the incandescent phase out”.

Whether or not you agree with the law, and there are plenty of opinions both for and against, it is coming. In fact, the first phase starts this January 2012 when the 100-watt incandescent light bulb will no longer be able to be manufactured or imported. In January 2013 it will be the 75-watt light bulb and in January 2014, the 60-watt and 40-watt light bulbs.

So, knowing this is coming, and knowing that I have a lot of light bulbs in my house that will need to be replaced, including 100-watt ones, I decided to start exploring my options and figured I would share them with you.

What did I learn?

  1. There are options available now.
  2. There is no one option for me. I will be using different technologies based upon my needs and wants.
  3. GE makes a very cool hybrid light bulb which is part halogen and compact fluorescent that I am now using.
  4. There are halogen replacements for incandescent light bulbs…did not know this.
  5. Philips has a very cool, very awesome, somewhat expensive, LED light bulb called AmbientLED. I wish I could afford many of these because they work very, very well.

Now on to the story…


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Political Pulls with Energy Efficient Lighting

Department of Energy photo from the national consumer education campaign

The efficiency standards for light bulbs set into place by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) have been a topic of debate in the political arena recently.

First, the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, H.R. 2417, sought to repeal the portion of EISA 2007 requiring incandescent light bulbs to become 25 to 30 percent more efficient.  The BULB Act did not pass in the House of Representatives.

Last Friday, the House approved an amendment that denies funding to implement the federal light bulb efficiency standards.

On Tuesday, the Department of Energy launched a new advertising campaign touting the benefits of efficient light bulbs.  It seems to be a timely response to Friday’s amendment.

The DOE’s public service announcements include print and television ads.  Here’s one of the videos to be aired: (more…)

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Light Bulb Bill Put To the Test Today

Update (7/13): The BULB Act did not pass in the House of Representatives.  The vote was 233 in favor of the repeal and 193 opposed.  Since that didn’t constitute a two-thirds majority, it did not go on to the Senate.

As the incandescent phase out approaches, with today’s standard 100W light bulb set to face new efficiency standards beginning in January 2012, a Republican-sponsored bill is seeking to halt the changing standards before they even happen.

The repeal bill, called the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, H.R. 2417 (BULB Act), would eliminate the portion of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) that requires incandescent light bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient.

Supporters of the BULB Act say that mandating efficiency standards in light bulbs will limit consumer choice and result in unnecessary government intervention.

Perhaps supporters of the BULB Act have not heard about the many replacement options for inefficient incandescent light bulbs?   Or the fact that this legislation will save U.S. households a great deal of money in energy costs (about $15.8 billion per year)?

The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to vote yesterday on the repeal bill, but the vote has been delayed until at least today.

A two-thirds majority vote will be required for the repeal bill to continue on to the Senate.

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The Expected Impact: The Incandescent Phase Out, Part 5

This post concludes our week-long series featuring everything you ever needed to know about the upcoming incandescent phase out as a result of the EISA 2007.  Our other posts in the series: Truth & Lies; The Fine Print, Explained; The Inclusions & Exceptions; The Replacement Contenders.  Thanks for reading as always, and here’s hoping you are now an expert on the phase out!

You may be thinking: “Okay, I get that the EISA 2007 was designed to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions… but is an incandescent phase out really going to make all that much of a difference?”

The short answer?  Yes. (more…)

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