No Lights Out Yet to Energy-Draining Bulbs

December 22, 2011

To save money, the government is no longer forcing homeowners to save money.

Let me explain.

Over the summer, Chicago Real Estate Forum wrote about the phasing out of those old, energy-hogging incandescent light bulbs starting in 2012.

The new standards would have required all new bulbs be at least 27 more energy efficient than the ones that have been around since Thomas Edison invented them. By 2020, light bulbs would be required to use 60 to 70 percent less energy, which would save Americans an estimated $12.5 billion in energy costs each year.

But the old bulbs have gotten a reprieve.

Last week, when Congress came up with a deal to avoid a government shutdown, that deal included a stipulation that the Department of Energy cannot spend any money enforcing the new energy-efficient standards for light bulbs.

But don’t worry, you can still save energy and money. While CFL and LED bulbs initially cost more to purchase, they use much less energy and last much longer, thereby saving you in the long run.

And, while the new standards won’t be enforced, the industry is still moving forward, and many of the leading manufacturers of light bulbs are getting rid of the energy-guzzling old in favor of the environmentally friendly new.

The new standards aren’t dead, just shelved. Congress said it will revisit enforcing the new mandates next October.

But you can save as much energy as you want to in your own home.

“With the new budget provision, the law is still in effect, but the Department of Energy cannot spend money to enforce it. Law-abiding companies will follow the law. Less scrupulous companies will take advantage of the lack of enforcement, selling products that waste energy and increase energy costs for consumers,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

“We hope that as more and more consumers use the improved-efficiency incandescent bulbs and discover that fears about the standards are unjustified, pressure to extend the enforcement moratorium will decline.”

Categories: Energy Efficient

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