Monday, July 31, 2023

Goodbye Incandescent Light Bulbs: The Department of Energy Will Begin To Fully Enforce (including fines) The Rules

From Energy & Environment News, July 25:

Lights out for incandescent bulbs

The incandescent lightbulbs that have been illuminating American homes and businesses since Thomas Edison first unveiled them in 1879 are finally coming off U.S. shelves.

After years of political and regulatory fights over everything from the bulbs’ costs to their effect on former President Donald Trump’s face color, the Department of Energy is starting this month to fully enforce rules that phase out nearly all the products.

Along with prohibiting the manufacture, import and retail sales of most incandescent bulbs, the rules finalized last year authorize DOE to slap penalties of $542 on companies per each violation. That could mean millions of dollars in fines for large incandescent orders.

DOE enforcement is expected to further entrench U.S. market dominance for more efficient, light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs. Environmentalists and efficiency advocates, who have long touted the regulations as important for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, are now taking a victory lap.

“For the garden variety lightbulb, the era of the incandescent bulb has come to an end,” Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said in an interview.

The lightbulb regulations, which DOE says could cut 222 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, are part of a wave of Biden administration efficiency rules on home appliances ranging from gas stoves to consumer water heaters. DOE says “past and planned” efficiency rules under the administration will, over the next 30 years, cut $570 billion from U.S. utility bills and avert 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Industry representatives say the sweep of regulations on various appliances will spike upfront costs for consumers in the market for appliances. Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill argue the Biden administration is waging a back-door campaign to ban gas stoves and other appliances....


The twists and turns of this legislation and rule-making, including the repeal of the edicts for a short while in 2011, have been quite amazing. This is from 2007:

How Wal-Mart and the government are killing the incandescent light bulb.

And 2009:
America's On-Again, Off-Again Light Bulb Affair

2014's "Industry, Not Environmentalists, Killed Traditional Light Bulbs" on the U.S. light bulb law, the Energy Independence and Security Act, which led to a bit of an uproar, some hoarding and quite a few posts on Climateer Investing e.g.,

December 2011
For Sale Cheap--1MM 100-watts: "Congress overturns incandescent light bulb ban"

That'll teach me.
When the little voice in my head said "Go long 100-watts, they're the most popular" I should have remembered the Great Pork Fiasco of aught-eight when the Chinese threw open the doors to their Strategic Pork Reserve and I ended up eating BLT's for a year.

But no, instead the little voice says "If you buy 'em by the freight car load you'll make even more when the phase-out hits".
Fuckin' little voice.

Congressional negotiators struck a deal Thursday that overturns the new rules that were to have banned sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.

That agreement is tucked inside the massive 1,200-page spending bill that funds the government through the rest of this fiscal year, and which both houses of Congress will vote on Friday. Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, which heads off a looming government shutdown....

And 2006 at the beginning of General Electric's "Ecoimagination" branding:

Green-Conscious GE Develops Hybrid Lightbulb

One year after pledging to develop more energy-efficient products, General Electric Co. unveiled a product it is calling its most eco-friendly lighting source to date: the first-ever gasoline-electric hybrid lightbulb.

"With the price of gas escalating as its supply dwindles, now is the perfect time to introduce innovative lighting technology that only relies on this fast-depleting, nonrenewable resource for a portion of its power," GE chairman Jeff Immelt said in a statement released Monday....,f_auto,g_center,q_60,w_490/ptb2aqdvemhmrip86hde.jpg


There were still a few kinks to be worked out in the campaign.