Light Bulb Ban to Take Effect: What to Know

Back in 2007, Barack Obama, who was then running for president, pledged to sign legislation to phase out incandescent light bulbs. The Energy Independence and Security Act was signed by President George W. Bush before he left office, therefore he really got there before Obama.

Obama made changes to the law that he thought would eventually result in the phase-out of the bulbs when he became president.

The prohibition was lifted in 2019 under President Donald Trump.

Four years later, Obama’s former vice president and current president of the United States, Joseph Biden, is bringing his former boss’s goal to fruition.

Biden introduced new energy-saving rules in 2022 that aimed to phase out incandescent lights. The Department of Energy estimates that LED bulbs consume 75% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. Also, because they can live up to 25 times longer, households won’t need to buy bulbs as frequently. The government estimates that it would prevent 222 million tons of carbon pollution and save $3 billion in utility bills.

The Energy Department warned producers about the prohibition so they could get ready once the administration made the announcement last April. If it is breached, there could be fines of $542 for each light bulb.

Just 47% of families switched to LED bulbs.  Although there may be savings, not everyone is pleased with the change. The prohibition has drawn complaints from many disgruntled customers who claim it is another another example of big government in action.

Consumer advocacy groups argued last year that the rule amounts to regulatory involvement in the market and that incandescent bulbs should continue to be readily available for customers who choose them. They explained that while LED bulbs are more effective, they are less effective and more expensive for some purposes, such as dimming. Additionally, they claimed the Energy Department’s conclusions about climate change were speculative and predicated on assumptions.

Retailers in the US will no longer be able to sell incandescent bulbs after July 31.




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