Don't Dim the Lights on California: Tell Congress Not to Repeal Energy Saving Lighting Standards!

On Monday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a measure to repeal federal lighting efficiency standards that benefit consumers by requiring that  the common light bulbs we use in our homes use about 30% less energy. These lighting standards which are already in effect in California would be preempted by this House proposal– taking about $100 per year out of the checkbooks of every U.S. household. We need to stop them in their tracks.

True to form, California has been leading the way on clean energy. This time, California implemented federal energy standards a year early- and getting the jump on savings for California households.  Once fully implemented, the standards will save Americans about $12.5 billion a year – that’s equivalent to reducing the need to build as many as 33 new power plants.

Of course, California has a long history of leading the nation in energy efficiency- and there is a reason why: these policies have brought about billions of dollars in benefits and millions of jobs.  While the popularity of efficiency has ebbed and flowed in Washington, California has kept pace of energy efficiency progress-- and the benefits have kept coming. 

Leading in lighting efficiency is no different- Californian are already saving money on their energy bills and Californians are at work innovating next generation, highly efficient lighting products. 

Recently, a few politicians in Washington have gotten the idea that common sense energy efficiency standards for lighting make a good political football.  And that the Federal energy efficiency standards passed in 2007 (with bipartisan support- and signed by President G.W. Bush), should be repealed before they can start saving any more people money.  Those behind the bill falsely claim that the standard would “ban” incandescent light bulbs or force people to use CFLs- neither claim has any merit.

But they don’t stop there! The legislation would also force California to roll back its successful implementation of this standard and preempt any state action to tap the benefits of more efficient lighting.  California’s success is a thorn in the side of these politicians- since we are already saving money and, remarkably, no one here seems to mind. 

Congress has better things to do than keeping California from lighting the path to a more efficient economy.  Californians and all Americans should tell their congressperson on Monday not to roll back efficiency standards — and not to put the lights out on California leadership.

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