New Standards Will Mandate Light Bulbs be More Energy Efficient

New energy standards for light bulbs take effect this year

The new standards don’t mean that the old incandescent light bulbs won’t be sold anymore. But they do say the old bulbs have to be more efficient. The rules go into effect for 100 watt bulbs first, and will require a bulb that puts out the same amount of light to only use 72 watts of power. Or, consumers can use compact florescent bulbs.

Steven Nadal is the executive director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. He says the bulbs will help consumers use less energy, which will result in lower electricity bills.

“It also helps slow the growth in electricity demand so less new power plants need to be built,” he said. “New power plants tend to be fairly expensive, they’re sometimes controversial as well, so we’ll need less new power plants as a result of this.”

Republicans in Congress passed a rider last month that will prohibit the Department of Energy from enforcing the standards for nine months. But Nadal says that shouldn’t matter. He says all major light bulb manufacturers have indicated they’ll follow the law anyway.

“They’ve invested to produce the new more efficient bulbs, and the law is still in place,” he said. “And these are major law-abiding companies. They don’t want to be breaking the law just because they know the policeman’s not looking.”

Nadal says the new incandescent bulbs are about fifty cents more expensive, but last longer.