The production of energy-efficient light bulbs could be hurt by a new proposal. The Trump administration is looking to get rid of Obama-era laws that encouraged companies to make energy-efficient bulbs. If the regulations are rolled back, experts warn that less-efficient bulbs will increase energy bills and lead to additional pollution.
The bulbs in question were not originally included in President George W. Bush’s 2007 law, which pushed for more LED bulbs. These products include decorative globes, often put on display in bathrooms, three-way bulbs and candle-shaped light sources. In total, these products make up around 2.7 billion bulbs on the market today.
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The Obama administration attempted to place these specialty items under the 2007 regulations. But companies objected to the move and sued the government. According to NPR, President Trump hopes to reverse the Energy Department’s position on the matter by not requiring specialty companies to follow the same energy standards as other bulbs.
Experts, like Alliance to Save Energy’s Jason Hartke, believe the move does not make sense. Not only do these energy wasting bulbs drive up utility costs, but they are also terrible for the environment. In order to produce these specialty items, companies will have to waste enormous amounts of coal-powered energy for products that are inferior.
“I just don’t understand the rationale behind trying to turn back the clock,” Hartke shared. “There aren’t many people out there clamoring for outdated light bulbs that use four or five times as much energy.”
At the end of the day, the issue will likely end up in court, where a panel of judges will decide if rolling back energy policies is legal. Opponents of the move argue that the Department of Energy cannot reverse policies when it comes to energy standards.
While the government and environmentalists battle it out in court, people within the lighting industry claim that they have no interest in producing bulbs that are not energy-efficient. The industry knows that efficient light bulbs are the future and that consumers want products that are both good for the environment and their pocketbook.
Image via Geoffrey A. Landis and Kotivalo