Biden administration finalizes lightbulb efficiency rules

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The Biden administration on Friday finalized lightbulb efficiency rules first proposed in late 2022.

The final rule will more than double the required efficiency level for the most common lightbulbs, from 45 lumens (the unit of measurement for light intensity) per watt to more than 120 lumens per watt

The rule won praise from energy efficiency lobbying groups, with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) citing Energy Department estimates it will cut American utility bills by up to $27 billion while preventing the release of 70 million metric tons of carbon emissions over three decades.

“LED technology has gotten even better in recent years, and these standards will ensure that all products on the market catch up with the latest efficiency advances,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the ASAP, in a statement. “With dozens of light bulbs in each home across the country, these standards will reduce household energy costs and climate pollution from power plants.”

Ben Somberg, communications director for the ACEEE, told The Hill in an email that the primary effect of the final rule will be to improve the energy efficiency of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which are already significantly more efficient than the fluorescent bulbs the Biden administration is in the process of phasing out. A full ban on sales of fluorescent bulbs by retailers took effect last August, after the administration finalized the rule the previous April.

“Making common household appliances more efficient is one of the most effective ways to slash energy costs and cut harmful carbon emissions,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “Under President Biden and as directed by Congress, DOE is following the lead of lightbulb manufacturers, helping American families flip the switch on massive energy savings through strengthened energy efficiency standards.”

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