A DOE Standard Could Phase out CFLs

DOE proposes light bulb standard

EE News, February 12, 2016. Image credit: suvajit

DOE issued a proposed rule this afternoon for light bulbs that would likely lead to the phaseout of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), analysts say.

The rule has been under discussion for more than a decade. It was affected by a “light bulb rider” on appropriations legislation from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) that blocked DOE from spending any money to enforce or implement incandescent light bulb efficiency standards.

The new rule, therefore uses a standard for incandescent bulbs already established by Congress in 2007 as a default, said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.

It also sets a second, higher efficiency standard for LEDs and CFLs — not affected by the rider — that essentially means LEDs will be the light bulb of choice in the future, he said, as they are the only technology that can meet the standard.

It’s significant because it essentially says “after 2020 CFLs are going to go away,” he said.

As of 2020, incandescent bulbs must achieve 45 lumens per watt, as required by Congress under the 2007 law.

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