For Immediate Release: December 30, 2010
Media Contact: Adam Gottlieb - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

New Law Requiring Improved Energy Efficiency
for Light Bulbs Begins Jan. 1, 2011

Consumers to Save Money with High Performance Bulbs

SACRAMENTO – A new federal law will start saving consumers money by improving the energy efficiency standard for incandescent light bulbs sold in California on or after January 1, 2011.

The standard – Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) – will save California consumers money with new bulbs that offer the same amount of light while using less power. Passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, EISA created new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. The law is designed to reduce energy use and associated pollution and make the United States less dependent on foreign sources of energy. While the country will adopt this standard on January 1, 2012, California was given authority to implement the national standards one year earlier to avoid the sale of 10.5 million inefficient 100-watt bulbs in 2011 which would cost consumers $35.6 million in higher electricity bills*.

Reducing energy use in California also results in improved environmental quality by avoiding the construction of new power plants and air pollution from burning fossil fuels.

The standard in California states that a 100-watt bulb manufactured on or after January 1, 2011 must use 28 percent less energy (i.e. a 100-watt bulb may not use more than 72 watts). The new 72-watt replacement bulb will provide the same amount of light (i.e. lumens), use less power, and cost less to operate.

New lighting technology has become more efficient than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. Approximately 90% of the electricity used by traditional incandescent bulbs is wasted as heat instead of visible light. Replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with more efficient halogen, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs will save consumers money while still offering same amount of light.

The new standard is technology neutral and allows consumers to choose among a variety of high-performance products for their replacement lighting. Additionally, it does not affect the existing supply of incandescent light bulbs stocked in retail stores or incandescent light bulbs already in use.

This standard builds on the California Energy Commission's long and successful reputation of saving consumers money though energy efficiency standards. Since 1978, California's appliance and building efficiency standards have saved more than $56 billion in electricity and natural gas costs.

For more information and Frequently Asked Questions, please go to: www.energy.ca.gov/lightbulbs/lightbulb_faqs.html or www.energysavers.gov/lighting

* Source: 2008 PG&E Case Study

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