U.S. Energy Bill Phases Out Incandescent Light Bulb

by | Dec 18, 2007

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The energy bill, which passed the Senate last week and which the U.S. House could pass as early as today, will phase out incandescent light bulbs in the next four to 12 years in favor of compact fluorescents, halogens, and LEDs, USA Today reports.

Under the measure, all light bulbs must use 25 percent to 30 percent less energy than today’s products by 2012 to 2014. The phase-in will start with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. By 2020, bulbs must be 70 percent more efficient.

“The amount of energy that’s being saved by the light-bulb standard alone is more than has been achieved since 1986 for all appliances combined,” Earl Jones, senior counsel for General Electric, said in a Bloomberg article. GE recently announced that it was restructuring its lighting business to help the company respond to demands for more energy-efficient products, directly affecting the companies ability to manufacture incandescent light bulbs.

With the phase out, the U.S. would cut light bulb electricity use by 60 percent by 2020. The light bulb standard alone will cut Americans’ electric bills up to $18 billion annually, according to Philips Electronics North America estimates.

Ireland will ban incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy-saving alternatives from 2009, making it the first country to take specific steps towards implementing a European Union pledge to switch to energy-efficient lighting by the end of the decade.

Over the next 10 years, China, which makes 70 percent of the world’s lightbulbs, has agreed to phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient ones.

Australia has announced it would phase out incandescents and Greenpeace has asked India to follow Australia’s lead.

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