Congressional legislation imposes funding limitations on 2012 incandescent lamp standards

Congress attached a provision to a budget bill that would restrict DOE funding to enforce the 2012 lamp efficiency standards, according to this Bloomberg report.

A press release from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., said, "NEMA remains committed to and supportive of the lighting standards established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). A rider related to light bulbs on the FY 2012 Omnibus funding bill does not repeal or adjust the standards themselves or their effective timeline. NEMA did not support the inclusion of this rider, which imposes funding limitations on the Department of Energy (DOE) to enforce the light bulb standards for FY2012. This raises numerous concerns:

•American manufacturers have invested millions of dollars in transitioning to energy efficient lighting as a result of the EISA 2007 provision. Delay in enforcement undermines those investments and creates regulatory uncertainty.

•The inability of DOE to enforce the standards would allow those who do not respect the rule of law to sell inefficient light bulbs in the U.S. without fear of enforcement, creating a competitive disadvantage for compliant manufacturers.

•EISA 2007 gave state attorneys general the authority to enforce the standards. A lack of DOE enforcement will create consumer confusion resulting from a patchwork of state enforcement and place manufacturers in an intolerable position due to uneven and potentially unpredictable enforcement.

"NEMA reiterates that EISA 2007 does not ban incandescent light bulbs. Consumers will have expanded lighting options that include energy-efficient advanced incandescent, compact florescent lights (CFLs), and new lighting technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs)."

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