HomeWeatherBiden administration considers stricter lightbulb regulations in push towards more energy-efficient LEDs

Biden administration considers stricter lightbulb regulations in push towards more energy-efficient LEDs

The Department of Energy will hold a public meeting next month regarding a possible return to Obama-era lightbulb regulations, the US agency announced on Tuesday.

The regulations would broaden the range of lightbulbs to include cone, globe and candle-shaped bulbs and are part of the Biden administration’s effort to increase energy efficiency. Donald Trump’s government, unlike that of his predecessor, had exempted such bulbs, arguing that consumers shouldn’t have to pay more despite the benefit to the planet.

The DOE proposal to change bulb policy comes in the wake of a devastating climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – predicting even more dire environmental consequences in the next few decade if drastic change is not taken – and a Biden commitment to battle the climate crisis.

A separate report on Tuesday from Reuters claimed that the president’s administration was considering a total switch by 2050 from aviation use of fossil fuels to sustainable fuels.

LEDs are often more costly than incandescent bulbs but, according to the DOE website, “LED is a highly efficient lighting technology and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States. Residential LEDs … use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.

“Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30billion at today’s electricity prices.”

While new regulations could be a further step in the right direction, a recent study from climate change centres at Yale and George Washington Universities showed that, while Americans may be more vocal than active about their commitment to climate responsibility, they have started to make smart choices in their homes.

The survey, conducted in March, found that a whopping 89 per cent of respondents said they use energy-efficient lightbulbs in their homes, while 52 per cent said they’d deliberately purchased an energy-efficient kitchen appliance.

Americans seem to be becoming more aware of the amount of energy expended by heating and cooling systems, too, with 62 per cent responding that they set their thermostats to 68 degrees or cooler in the winter at least some of the time and 54 percent setting their thermostats to 76 degrees or warmer in the summer.

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