Consumer Groups Outraged by Trump Administration’s Assault on Energy Savings from More Efficient Lighting Products

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 5, 2019                                                        Contacts:
National Consumer Law Center: Jan Kruse, (617) 542-8010
CFA: Mel Hall-Crawford, 805-245-0523

Washington, D.C. – The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) expressed great disappointment in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) action to roll back lighting efficiency standards adopted in January 2017 for a wide range of bulbs not previously covered by any standards. The enhanced standards were scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020.

“The rollback of energy efficiency requirements for several light bulb types, such as three-way, globe-shaped and various decorative lights, will cost consumers $14 billion dollars cumulatively or $115 annually per household by 2025. I had hoped that this administration would have shown an understanding of the value of energy efficiency for consumers, businesses and our economy, but unfortunately it refuses to see the light,” said Mel Hall-Crawford, director of Energy Programs at CFA.

“Low-income households will suffer from the agency’s rollback. If a low-income renter moves into an apartment where much less efficient bulbs were installed, that tenant will be needlessly saddled with higher, less affordable electric bills,” said Charlie Harak, managing energy attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

The groups submitted comments to DOE this past May making the case that DOE’s proposal was ill-conceived and would cause consumers to unnecessarily spend billions of dollars on wasted energy. CFA and NCLC will now explore available options, such as litigation, to spur the continued progress of lighting efficiency. “Consumers have benefited enormously from appliance efficiency standards. Energy dollars saved — whether in the residential, commercial or industrial sectors – provide greater benefits elsewhere in our economy.  This rollback of the 2017 lighting standards is ill-conceived and misguided — it unnecessarily robs consumers of savings on their energy bills,” concluded Hall-Crawford.