Skip to comments.Congress tries to turn off lights on bulb mandates
Posted on 07/11/2013 8:06:53 AM PDT by thackney
Texas Republican Michael Burgess just won another round in his fight against federal standards that could force consumers to abandon inefficient incandescent light bulbs for more expensive LED and fluorescent alternatives.
The House voted Wednesday to adopt an amendment by Burgess that would bar the Energy Department from using any funds to implement efficiency standards for light bulbs, six years after Congress first mandated the change.
The provision in a 2007 energy law was designed to encourage manufacturers to produce more energy efficient light bulbs; although it didnt rule out traditional incandescents, they would need a redesign to qualify under the new standards.
In response, manufacturers rolled out new bulbs that require less electricity, and over time, they have revamped them to have more aesthetic appeal.
LED and fluorescent models offer the promise of electricity bill savings over time and fewer lightbulb changes, since they have a longer lifespan. LED lights can last more than a decade. But some consumers criticize the quality of the light and the occasionally bulkier bodies of the newer alternatives, which may look garish poking out of chandeliers and other fixtures.
Burgess complained that the price of the replacements still hasnt dropped, with some models fetching as much as $50. The technology is still years off in making light bulbs that are compliant with the 2007 law and at a price point that the average American can afford, he said on the House floor.
He cast the 2007 mandate as Big Brother intruding into the living rooms and light fixtures of everyday Americans.
If the new energy-efficient light bulbs save money and if theyre better for the environment, we should trust our constituents to make the choice on their own toward these bulbs, he said. Let the market decide. We should not be forcing these light bulbs on the American people.
Burgess amendment was adopted by a voice vote, the same fate in the past two years. It was added to a broad spending bill that doles federal dollars to the Energy Department. The measure now heads to the Senate, which has its own competing version.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, noted that American lighting manufacturers have committed to abiding by the standards, even if the Energy Department is barred from enforcing them. As a result, she said, Burgess proposal ends up giving an edge to foreign manufacturers producing old-school incandescents.
The only benefit of this ill-informed rider is to allow foreign manufacturers who may not feel a similar obligation to import non-compliant light bulbs that will not only harm the investments made by U.S. companies, but place at risk the U.S. manufacturing jobs associated with making compliant bulbs, she said.
And Kaptur stressed that the incandescent light bulb lives on, in newer, more-efficient designs.
As a result of the 2007 law, manufacturers already are making a variety of new energy-saving bulbs for homes, including more efficient incandescent bulbs, she said on the House floor. These bulbs look like and turn on like the bulbs we have been using for decades, but are upwards of 28 to 33 percent more efficient. And thats good for everyone.
Previously, the design of incandescent light bulbs had changed little since it was first introduced more than a century ago.
Pass 5 bills like this every day. Force the democrats to be the party of “NO”.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio
A dim bulb.
No thanks. I'll stick with the 1/3 priced incandescents.
Pass 5 bills like this every day.
We’re lucky if we get one bill a month like this. GOP is too busy squandering its majority status in the House to think about doing anything meaningful.
A little known fact is that when heating the home incandescent lights are much more efficient. The “wasted” energy produced is diverted simply into heat, which reduces proportionately the need for other energy to heat the building. Like other forms of electrical heat light bulbs are 100% efficient.
OTOH, when cooling the home the “waste” heat of the incandescent bulbs must be removed by the AC system, making the bulbs even less energy-efficient than usually proclaimed.
So incandescent bulbs are much more efficient on an annual basis in MN than FL.
The revenue falls.
Then taxes fall.
Then the power companies request permission to raise rates to compensate for the falling revenues.
The regulators will then grant the rate increase because of the falling tax revenues.
There you have it. We will be screwed once again.
In reality, LED and spiral fluorescent lamps ARE much more efficient than incandescant lamps, in terms of power consumed vs. lumens produced. LED’s are the ultimate conclusion for lighting, with low power consumption, little heat output, and very long life with proper design, exceeding virtually every other light source. The only hangup is color temperature, and up front cost. The first is being tackled as we speak, with LED’s that mimic daylight white, the second is scale of economy. Of course, these observations are purely from an engineering standpoint, without being viewed through a political lense.
Absolutely. It wasn’t inefficient when we were living in Alaska.
Today outside of Houston, Texas, that inefficiency is at least doubled as my AC has to run to take that heat back out of the house.
When it snows, there are more wrecks with the new curly light bulbs.
They do not put out enough heat to melt the snow, and you can not see the traffic lights.
CFLs, on the other hand, are crony capitalism at its finest. Phillips and other manufacturers basically bribed legislatures to mandate the use of these dangerous and inferior (though higher-margin) devices for a few years until the economics of LEDs closed their window of opportunity forever.
I socked up on the cheap yellow warm bulbs and use them in the cooler months, say October to ~ May. That way I wont run out soon.
The low wattage whitish bulbs are not bad for the warm sunny summer months here,
GWB signed that light bulb ban BTW.
I call BS. CFLs are pretty cheap. Not as cheap as incandescents, but they are cheap if you aren't looking for something fancy like dimmable, daylight 300 watt equivalent bulbs.
LEDs are dropping with 40 watt replacements under $10. Unfortunately 75 watt replacements are still out of my price range and I can't find any 100 to 150 watt replacement LEDs yet.
I love the LEDs I've put in so far, but they aren't bright enough yet.
The ban on incandescent light bulbs is a disrespect to Thomas A. Edison.
They should have never tried to take away our choice in buying bulbs. Liberalism is about taking away choices.
LEDs have for decades been able to produce any color temperature desired. If that were not the case no LED monitor or Led TV would even have been sold.
It only takes the manufacturer to introduce the right combination of RGB leds to produce the desired color temperature.
Replace our leaders, not our lightbulbs.
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