It looks as though energy efficiency is still a big priority
for municipalities and countries across the globe. We've already detailed energy-efficient LED
lighting efforts put forth by Raleigh, NC. We've also discussed how Australia and the European Union (EU)
plan to get rid of incandescent light bulbs by 2009. The United States is also
moving towards ushering out inefficient lighting with H.R. 1547, which was
published on March 15, 2007.
The bill (PDF),
which was submitted by California representative Jane Harman, indicates that
light bulbs which have an overall luminous efficacy of 60 lumens per watt
(lm/W) will be prohibited by January 1, 2012. The energy requirements get
progressively steeper every four years. On January 1, 2016, the requirement
will grow to 90 lm/W and will reach 120 lm/W by 2020.
A traditional 100W tungsten incandescent light has an
overall luminous efficacy of 17.5 lm/W. A 23W
compact fluorescent (100W equivalent) has an overall luminous efficacy of 60
Exemptions could be made by the Secretary of Energy for
certain applications where it wouldn't be feasible to use energy-efficient
lighting. These include applications related to military, medical or matters of
If an exception is made by the Secretary of Energy, that
still doesn't give entitle the recipient to a free pass to continue using
outdated technology. The exemption will only be in effect for two years after
which the current enacted requirement will have to be adhered to.
The bill also notes that consumers and businesses will be
given incentives to encourage the use of energy efficient light bulbs.