In a move that could prevent households across the country from saving billions of dollars in energy costs, the Department of Energy finalized a rule that prevents Obama-era efficiency standards for lightbulbs from taking effect early next year.
The efficiency standards, set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, sought to establish stricter energy efficiency regulations for some light bulbs, including a 45 lumen per watt minimum efficiency for incandescent light bulbs and higher efficiencies for LED and compact fluorescent bulbs.
By some estimates, the proposal could have saved individual households about $90 annually and reduced carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas that helps trap heat in the atmosphere, by 52 million metric tons.
“Lighting is a huge driver of greenhouse gas emissions in this country. Huge,” said Janet McCabe, director of the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University. “We can make a big difference in terms of climate change pollution if we get more efficient in how we light our buildings.”