DOE Finalizes Updated GLS Standards to Bolster Energy Efficiency and Save Americans Billions

lightbulb on blue background

(Credit: Canva)

by | Apr 16, 2024

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In a move aimed at enhancing energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has finalized congressionally mandated standards for general service lamps (GSLs), encompassing commonly used residential and commercial lightbulbs. This action, scheduled to take effect in July 2028 for newly produced bulbs, is poised to deliver significant benefits to American households and the planet.

According to DOE projections, these updated standards will result in annual savings of approximately $1.6 billion for American families on household energy costs. Moreover, they are expected to slash energy waste and cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Over 30 years, the DOE anticipates savings exceeding $27 billion on utility bills and a reduction of 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions—equivalent to the annual emissions of over 9 million homes.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm underscores the significance of enhancing energy efficiency standards, stating, “Improving the efficiency of common household appliances is among the most effective strategies for lowering energy costs and combating climate change.” Granholm emphasizes aligning these efforts with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.

This initiative represents the latest step by the Biden-Harris Administration in advancing appliance efficiency per Congress’s directives. It forms part of a broader strategy to deliver substantial savings to consumers while reducing environmental impact.

The updated standards will see a notable increase in efficiency levels, with the most common lightbulbs required to achieve over 120 lumens per watt. This aligns with the ongoing transition towards more efficient and long-lasting LED bulbs, already embraced by both the lighting industry and consumers. Compliance with these standards will be mandatory for manufacturers starting July 25, 2028, ensuring that newly produced or imported general service lamps meet the specified efficiency criteria.

These standards build upon previous legislation, such as the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which set minimum efficiency levels that energy-inefficient incandescent bulbs cannot meet. The focus on LED technology reflects market trends towards superior energy efficiency, longer lifespans, and reduced environmental impact compared to conventional bulbs like compact fluorescents.

To further empower consumers to reduce energy costs, the DOE offers resources such as the Energy Savings Hub, an online platform designed to provide access to clean energy tax credits and rebates. Through initiatives like these, consumers can make informed decisions to lower their energy bills and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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