The Biden administration put the final nail in the coffin for the incandescent light bulbs on Tuesday, closing the door on a legislative path that began in 2007 with the Energy Independence and Security Act. This law required the Department of Energy (DOE) to examine whether a new energy efficiency standard of 45 lumens per watt should be set or amended. It was supposed to be in effect by January 1, 2017, but the Trump administration appealed the rules.
The Biden administration took up this issue again in April 2022 and issued a rule requiring the minimum standard efficiency of 45 lumens per watt, which came into effect in July. The DOE allowed a gradual transition so retailers wouldn’t be stuck with light bulbs they couldn’t sell. The enforcement of the ban is done in a “fair and equitable manner”.
The new regulations are estimated to save consumers nearly $3 billion per year on their utility bills and reduce carbon emissions by 222 million metric tons over the next 30 years. That’s equivalent to the emissions of 28 million homes in a year.
There are exceptions to the ban. These include appliance lamps, black light lamps, bug lamps, colored lamps, general service fluorescent lamps, marine lamps, marine signal service lamps, mine service lamps, sliver bowl lamps, showcase lamps, and traffic signal lamp.