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Energy Department reverses Trump-era policy, bans sale of old-fashioned lightbulbs

The Energy Department announced new energy efficiency rules that will phase out old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs.

A variety of Philli[s LED lightbulbs. Source - Barbetrukitos (CC BY-SA 4.0)
A variety of Philli[s LED lightbulbs. Source - Barbetrukitos (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Energy Department on Tuesday announced new energy efficiency regulations that will phase out old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs.

The new standards, which ban the production and sale of new bulbs that produce less than 45 lumens per watt of electricity, are expected to phase out most incandescent and halogen bulbs, according to The Hill.

The new regulations will also raise the efficiency standards of lamps that are used to satisfy lighting applications traditionally served by GSILs. GSLs are used in general lighting applications and account for the majority of installed lighting in the residential sector.

The new standards will save consumers $3 billion each year in utility costs, the department said, reports CNBC News. The rules could also prevent 222 million tons of planet-warming carbon pollution from being emitted over the next 30 years. That’s about as much as 48 million vehicles emit in a year.

“This is a victory for consumers and for the climate, one that’s been a long time coming,” Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, said in a statement.

“LEDs have become so inexpensive that there’s no good reason for manufacturers to keep selling 19th-century technology that just isn’t very good at turning electrical energy into light. These standards will finally phase out energy-wasting bulbs across the country.” 

Prior to the Trump administration’s decision to stop the transition to more energy-efficient lighting, the U.S. was set to ban most incandescent lightbulbs by 2020, a process that began in 2007 during the George W. Bush administration.  

The new standards are not set to take effect until January 1, 2023, for manufacturers and will be effective for distributors and retailers seven months later – in July 2023.

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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