CA Incandescent Ban, Green Building Codes Go Into Effect

by | Jan 5, 2011

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California put changing the light bulb on a fast track, implementing a law one year ahead of a federal standard, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, to ban the traditional 100-watt incandescent light bulb. The law goes into effect in all states starting in 2012.

By implementing the law one year earlier, the state says consumers will save $35.6 million in electricity and 10.5 million incandescent bulbs will not be sold.

California wanted to speed up the process in order to get on track with its other environmental goals, according to the CEC. The new year brings on the enforcement of CAL Green building codes that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalent) by 3 million metric tons equivalent by 2020.

Also in step with the upcoming change, retailer IKEA has stopped selling and stocking incandescent bulbs, the first retailer to halt the sale of all such lights, according to a news release.

This is well ahead of regulation, which does not impact the existing supply of incandescent light bulbs currently stocked in retail stores or incandescent light bulbs already in use. Also the phase-out does not yet affect lower wattage incandescent bulbs; similar efficiency standards will be applied to 75-, 60- and 40-watt bulbs over the next two years, according to the energy commission’s website.

IKEA reported results of a consumer survey conducted in December 2010, which found that 59 percent of Americans have already changed to energy-saving lights. Seventy-nine percent know that the bulbs will save money, although 61% are not aware of the legislation.

The IKEA survey found that 62% are not concerned about the disposal of old bulbs.

Available replacement bulbs are compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL), many of which contain mercury, or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that can cost as much as $20 each.

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