The Department of Energy (DOE) has quietly issued a proposal that could seriously undermine US energy efficiency standards for many appliances and products — everything from air conditioners and refrigerators to light bulbs and electric motors. Last month, it proposed a rule that would allow individual manufacturers to secretly opt out of testing requirements.
With the public comment period now closed on DOE’s proposal to rollback light bulb energy efficiency standards, the verdict is in. ASAP has been tracking DOE rulemaking work for about twenty years and we’ve never seen a DOE proposal generate opposition from such a wide range of stakeholders and from so many individual citizens.
The Trump administration will soon release a proposed rule on light bulb standards. The details are under wraps, but manufacturers have lobbied for an illegal rollback of strong standards with which they must comply beginning in 2020. Our new issue brief shows what’s at stake.
National standards that require appliances and equipment to be more energy efficient do more than save energy and reduce utility bills. They also spur economic growth and create jobs — a lot of jobs. In fact, our new report reveals that they created or sustained nearly 300,000 jobs in 2016 and are projected to support 553,000 jobs in 2030. These jobs benefit every US state.
A legal loophole has already denied American consumers expected energy savings from efficiency standards on fluorescent tubes. Unless it is closed, this loophole threatens additional missed savings, particularly for households and small businesses. General service fluorescent lamps (fluorescent tubes) are ubiquitous in U.S. commercial buildings but also common in homes.
With a little more than a year elapsed since President Trump’s inauguration, progress on federal appliance standards has slowed to a crawl, while state efforts are picking up steam. Although the administration affirmed or completed several important Obama-era standards during its first months, others remain in limbo.
Manufacturers are not just meeting, but beating new efficiency standards for commercial ice makers that take effect on January 28. This is good news for the restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, and other businesses that use ice makers since more-efficient equipment means lower utility bills.