DOE Finalizes Repeal of Light Bulb Efficiency Regulation for Lightbulbs Commonly Used in Recessed Lighting, Track Lighting, Bathroom Vanities, and Decorative Fixtures

The Department of Energy (DOE) finalized its repeal of regulations issued in 2017 that would have expanded the number of light bulbs subject to energy efficiency standards. These energy efficiency standards were scheduled to go into effect in January 2020 (82 Fed. Reg. 732282 Fed. Reg. 7276). Those regulations redefined the term “general service lamps” so that the efficiency standards would apply to additional types of bulbs–including candle- and globe-shaped bulbs, candelabra-based bulbs, and reflector bulbs used in ceiling fixtures or track lighting. Commentators have noted that these standards would have affected almost half of the six billion light bulbs used in US homes and businesses. The DOE has also proposed to eliminate energy efficiency standards for pear-shaped A-lamps—the other half of lightbulbs. The ASAP and ACEEE estimate that “eliminating the 2020 standards for all light bulbs would cost US consumers up to $14 billion annually…[and] increase annual climate-change emissions by about 38 million metric tons per year…”

The final rule will go into effect on October 7, 2019.