Biden Targeting Lightbulbs in Climate Agenda Push

Biden Targeting Lightbulbs in Climate Agenda Push

President Joe Biden, joined by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, delivers remarks on energy during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Oct. 19, 2022. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Naveen Athrappully

Naveen Athrappully

4/13/2024

Updated: 4/13/2024

The Biden administration is targeting lightbulbs as part of its climate agenda, setting energy efficiency standards that only LED bulbs can meet.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) finalized energy efficiency standards for general service lamps (GSL) on Friday, requiring that the efficiency level of bulbs be raised from 45 lumens per watt to more than 120. GSLs include the most common types of residential and commercial lightbulbs. A higher lumen per watt output indicates that the bulb can convert more electrical energy into light, resulting in lower energy consumption.
The new standards can be met by a “broad variety of widely available LED bulbs,” the DOE stated. However, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) cannot meet the standards, the agency said, while noting that the market is already transitioning away from such bulbs.
DOE claimed that LEDs offer lower electricity consumption and longer lifespan compared to CFLs. Incandescent light bulbs were already effectively banned by the agency last year.
The rules go into effect from July 25, 2028, and are applicable to newly manufactured or imported lightbulbs. Manufacturers are obligated to comply with the efficiency standards from this date. The rule does not apply to lightbulbs that are already manufactured or are in use.
DOE claims the new rules “are expected to save American families $1.6 billion annually on household energy costs, significantly cut energy waste, and slash harmful greenhouse gas pollution.”
“Over 30 years, DOE projects these updated standards will save Americans more than $27 billion on their utility bills and cut 70 million metric tons of dangerous carbon dioxide emissions—equivalent to the combined annual emissions of over 9 million homes.”
The agency calculates total energy savings from the efficiency standards over three decades to be around 4 quadrillion British thermal units. This represents a 17 percent energy savings from lightbulb use, DOE said.
“Making common household appliances more efficient is one of the most effective ways to slash energy costs and cut harmful carbon emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.
“Under President Biden and as directed by Congress, DOE is following the lead of lightbulb manufacturers, helping American families flip the switch on massive energy savings through strengthened energy efficiency standards.”
While the Biden administration is pushing stringent energy efficiency standards claiming monetary savings for American households, electricity costs have surged under the current administration.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index of electricity for urban consumers has risen by nearly 30 percent under Biden.
In a Bankrate survey from October last year, 72 percent of Americans said they saw “higher-than-usual” electricity bills during the past summer. Over half the respondents said paying electricity bills strained their finances.

Biden’s Crackdown on Home Appliances

In August 2023, the DOE banned any normal bulb that generates less than 45 lumens per watt, which effectively outlawed incandescent light bulbs, creating a surge in demand for these bulbs.
In an interview with The Epoch Times, Tino Carrejo, a lighting specialist at the Light Bulb Depot in Austin, said he saw “a dramatic increase in people wanting the old bulbs, no doubt.”
According to Mr. Carrejo, customers cited several reasons why they wanted incandescent bulbs, including light sensitivity to newer LED lights and traditionalists who preferred to keep the old-style illumination in their homes.
“There isn’t a day that goes by where a customer doesn’t come into our store asking for the incandescent bulbs,” he said. “A lot of those in the older generation prefer the same lighting they remember growing up with.”
The April 11 rules issued by the DOE are part of a “suite of energy efficiency standards advanced by the Biden-Harris Administration,” the agency said.
In October last year, DOE listed several appliances they intended to target over a one-year period with stringent energy standards—general service lamps are part of the list.
Other appliances include ceiling fan light kits, consumer water heaters, direct heating equipment, consumer boilers, fans and blowers, electric motors, furnace fans, microwave ovens, clothes dryers, and air cleaners.
The DOE’s energy efficiency standards have already targeted pool pumps, battery chargers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, and gas stoves. The crackdown on home appliances has triggered intense reactions from lawmakers.
“First, the Left comes for gas stoves and washing machines. Now, the Biden administration wants to take away your water heater. What else will they take in the name of their socialist agenda?” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said in a July 24 post on X.’
Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-Okla.) raised concerns about the DOE’s energy efficiency standards on ceiling fans. In a letter to Ms. Granholm, she said the push to regulate appliances amounted to “significant overreach of the federal government.”
Such “heavy-handed regulations” would drive up prices, limit consumer choice, and impose burdens on many small businesses, she stated.
The Biden administration is also targeting the housing sector with its energy reduction, pro-environment push.
In an April 5 blog post for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the institute who specializes in environmental policy, said that the Biden administration is putting “climate agenda above home affordability.”
He specifically criticized the DOE’s “Decarbonizing the US Economy by 2050: A National Blueprint for the Buildings Sector” proposal which he says “includes a host of recommendations for homebuilders likely to put the dream of home ownership further out of reach for many families.”
“The Blueprint calls for environmentally-friendlier but very likely costlier construction materials. Normally homes would be built with the most affordable materials consistent with quality. But under the administration’s ‘whole of government’ obsession with climate change—of which DOE’s Blueprint is the latest addition—there is an aggressive push towards ‘lower embodied carbon materials,’” he wrote.
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Naveen Athrappully

Naveen Athrappully

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Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.

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