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Biden administration takes first step toward light bulb efficiency standard

Biden administration takes first step toward light bulb efficiency standard
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The Biden administration is taking the first step necessary to instate an energy efficiency standard for light bulbs, a move that’s expected to undermine incandescent bulbs in favor of LEDs. 

On Thursday, the Energy Department issued a pre-publication version of what’s known as a request for information asking stakeholders to weigh in on reinstating the standard. 

Specifically, it asks for details like how long it will take stores to sell through their bulb inventories and what industry needs to do to avoid “stranded” inventory.

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Supporters of reinstating the standards argue the move reduce greenhouse gas emissions with less energy being used, as well as save consumers money on their electricity bills. 

“We’re unnecessarily wasting a lot of energy and costing consumers a lot of money on their utility bills by every month that this is delayed,” said Noah Horowitz, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards at the Natural Resource Defense Council. 

In 2019, the Trump administration determined that it did not need to instate the updated standard for incandescent light bulbs.

Then-Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement at the time that he was choosing to “protect consumer choice.”

“Innovation and technology are already driving progress, increasing the efficiency and affordability of light bulbs, without federal government intervention. The American people will continue to have a choice on how they light their homes,” he added. 

Appliance Standards Awareness Project executive director Andrew deLaski, who supports implementing the standard, said he believes that if the Biden administration ultimately puts it in place, it will have the effect of essentially replacing incandescent bulbs. 

“The effect of implementing that standard will be to move the market to LED products,” he said. 

“Incandescent light bulbs would be replaced by LEDs.”