Whereas, Congress, in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), established efficiency standards for light bulbs as it has for many other appliances and equipment; starting in 2012 (2011 in California) new light bulbs will have to use 25% to 30% less energy; and

Whereas, traditional incandescent light bulbs are based on a 125-year old technology that wastes up to 90% of the electricity consumed as heat, and the transition to lamps that use 25% to 30% less energy, as required by EISA, is expected to substantially reduce CO2 emissions; and

Whereas, lighting accounts for approximately 22% of total U.S. electricity usage, and the light bulb efficiency standards, when implemented, should produce substantial energy savings; and

Whereas, traditional incandescent light bulbs will not meet the new efficiency standards, but new lighting technology exists and new options are being brought to market to meet growing demand, including more efficient incandescents, halogen incandescents, compact fluorescents (CFL) and light-emitting diodes (LED); and

Whereas, to ease the move to more energy efficient lighting, EISA established a scheduled phase-in of the efficiency standards for light bulbs starting with the highest wattage bulbs. The transition schedule is as follows: 100 watt – January 2012; 75 watt – January 2013; 60 watt and 40 watt – January 2014; and

Whereas, NASUCA has a long history of supporting appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards, including, most recently, Resolution 2008-05, which states that increased energy efficiency standards for lighting should be actively promoted, and Resolution 2009-2, which states that NASUCA continues its long tradition of support for the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency programs as a means to reduce customer utility bills, help mitigate the need for new utility infrastructure, and provide important environmental benefits; and

Whereas, appliance and equipment efficiency standards are among the most cost-effective means of achieving energy efficiency, leading to reduced energy bills for residential and business consumers, emissions reductions, job growth, improved reliability, and reduced demand pressure on energy prices; and

Whereas, because many consumers are not aware of the efforts to phase out less energy-efficient incandescent light bulbs and may be confused by the unavailability of incandescent light bulbs, it is imperative that consumers be fully informed about the new lighting options and the potential energy efficiency long-term cost-savings of each type of lighting option; and

Whereas, consumers may have questions regarding the disposal of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that contain minimal amounts of mercury, or the disposal of other energy-efficient light bulbs; and

Whereas, within the next year, packaging on light bulbs will be designed to help consumers choose among the different types on the market – traditional incandescents, halogen and other efficient incandescents, CFLs, and light-emitting diodes (LED); and

Whereas, for the first time, the label on the front of the package will compare light bulb brightness as measured in lumens, rather than watts, along with the estimated yearly energy costs for the particular type of bulb; and

Whereas, the transition to new light bulbs, coupled with the change in labeling from watts to lumens, could increase consumer confusion and frustration; and

Whereas, in order to achieve a successful transition to more energy-efficient light bulbs, a national education and outreach effort is needed to bring awareness and information to consumers about new light bulb efficiencies, labeling standards, and cost benefits;

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that NASUCA supports efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy, other governmental bodies, manufacturers, retailers, utilities, and other entities to educate consumers and the public on the transition to energy and cost-efficient light bulbs, new labels based on lumens instead of watts, and proper disposal of CFLs;

Be it further resolved, that NASUCA authorizes its Executive Committee to develop specific positions and take appropriate actions consistent with the terms of this resolution. The Executive Committee shall advise the membership of any proposed action prior to taking action if possible. In any event the Executive Committee shall notify the membership of any action pursuant to this resolution.
Submitted by Consumer Protection Committee
Approved June 28, 2011
San Antonio, Texas