U.S. lighting manufacturers are already producing advanced incandescent light bulbs that meet the EISA energy efficiency standards. These fully dimmable, instant-on bulbs look like and provide the same quality of bright, white light consumers are use to – while consuming nearly 30 percent less energy.
More choices for consumers.
Another fact: EISA doesn’t limit consumer choices, it expands them. Despite rumors that incandescent bulbs are going away, EISA’s standards allow any technology that meets the efficiency criteria to compete in the marketplace. Already, those standards have driven private-sector investments that would not have occurred otherwise – investments resulting in innovations that will better position U.S. businesses, and give consumers more cost-effective lighting choices than ever before.
Choosing to save.
The long-lasting products that lower Americans’ monthly bills include at least three technology-savvy choices: energy-efficient incandescent bulbs that use halogen technology, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and highly-efficient, very long-lasting light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. This rapidly growing menu of choices means we can stop using energy-wasting bulbs as quickly as possible.
So what’s the difference between the newer high-tech bulbs and the venerable 135-year-old incandescent? At today’s electricity rates, when all 4.4 billion standard light sockets are filled by a variety of energy-efficient bulbs Americans will save $15.8 billion annually on their electric bills. That will save each U.S. family of four more than $200 a year – money they can spend on things that add value to their lives.
A bright idea for business.
Beyond consumer benefits, setting higher standards drives innovation and invention — the building blocks of American business and global competitiveness. Standards such as those in EISA help us move in that direction. We would no more want to retreat from modern lighting than return to manual typewriters or rotary-dial phones!
If we were to retreat, it would do a disservice to American manufacturers. Most of the world is moving away from inefficient lighting, which means American businesses that continue to produce only the same products will be outpaced by international competition. Likewise, American businesses won’t be positioned to capitalize on a growing, global market.
As Americans, we want the United States to be a global leader in technology with a growing economy. As consumers, we want to save money on our energy bills.
Energy-efficient lighting delivers on those fronts. Before Congress thinks of repealing good legislation phasing in energy-efficient lighting, lawmakers must understand the facts and the impact on their constituents.
In our view, more choices, and more savings, coupled with lower energy consumption, add up to a win-win-win for the American people and our struggling economy.
We are but two of the many voices urging Congress to continue to support energy savings, tech-savvy light bulb options. We must look to a brighter and more efficient future, illuminated by the growing array of new lighting technologies.
Ed Crawford is the CEO of Philips, and Kateri Callahan is president of the Alliance to Save Energy.