Obama prioritizes energy-efficiency standards

President Obama announced Monday that his administration is prioritizing energy-efficiency standards for home appliances, specifically light bulbs.

The president announced that the Department of Energy will accelerate the spending of a "$346 million investment under the Recovery Act to expand and accelerate the development, deployment and use of energy-efficient technologies in residential and commercial buildings."

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"Between 2012 and 2042, these new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year, conserve enough electricity to power every home in America for 10 months, reduce emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 million cars each year and eliminate the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants," Obama said.

Speaking from the Grand Foyer of the White House, the president was clearly trying to capitalize on whatever momentum he might have gathered for his energy proposal after Friday night's narrow victory in the House.

In his remarks Monday, Obama again thanked House members who voted for his bill — even though 44 Democrats joined Republicans in voting against it — and said he is confident the Senate "will choose to move this country forward."

The first part of Obama's household appliance energy-efficiency standards centers on fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs.

"Now, I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses," Obama said. "And, by the way, we're going to start here at the White House. Secretary [Steven] Chu has already started to take a look at our light bulbs, and we're going to see what we need to replace them with energy-efficient light bulbs."