The US Department of Energy and the Biden Administration have proposed a lightbulb efficiency standard that could save millions in energy costs and help reduce carbon emissions.
The DOE proposal would require lightbulbs to have a minimum efficiency specification to be sold and would likely move the market completely toward LEDs. The DOE found that new standards would result in $3 billion of energy cost savings and reduce carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over 30 years.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that each month the standards are delayed results in an extra $300 million in energy costs and 800,000 tons of carbon emissions. The ACEEE says the latest data shows that 30% of light bulbs sold in the United States in 2020 were incandescent or halogen incandescent bulbs.
The new rule would require lightbulbs to have a 45 lumens per watt standard. The DOE says that LEDs use 75% less energy and last up to 25-times longer than traditional lightbulbs.
Lighting is a major component in the energy use of buildings.
Latest findings from the Energy Information Administration show that while 2.5 million commercial buildings used LED lights by 2018, the year of the report, which was five-times higher than in 2012, 68% still used standard fluorescent lighting. The number commercial buildings that used LED lighting increased from 9% in 2012 to 44% in 2018.
LED lighting is the focus of many energy saving projects as well.
A program in New York City called the NYC Carbon Challenge calls for building owners to pledge to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions. As part of the program, real estate management company Beam Living has installed more than 13,000 LED lights, as one example.
The DOE also proposed rules earlier in 2021 to include more types of lightbulbs in efficiency rules.