Governor Lamont Announces Opposition to Trump Administration’s Rollback of Light Bulb Standards
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes today announced their opposition to plans by the Trump administration to roll back energy efficiency standards that are scheduled to take effect in 2020 for light bulbs used in U.S. homes and businesses. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule yesterday exempting roughly half of all light bulbs, including candle and globe shaped bulbs, from the new energy efficiency standards. DOE also proposed a rule to exempt typical pear-shaped bulbs from the standards. Combined, this will create higher energy use and higher energy expenses for homes and businesses.
“The Trump administration’s decision reverses one of the best tools we have for saving consumers money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Governor Lamont said. “Lighting standards are a commonsense step that’s widely supported by manufacturers, consumers, and environmental advocates alike. Connecticut will not stand by while the federal government fails to protect consumers and the environment. We plan to join the growing number of states passing legislation that makes these standards state law and locks in these savings permanently.”
“The Trump administration has actually made it harder, not easier, for the majority of Americans to afford their electricity,” Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “We will work closely with the governor and the legislature to ensure that Connecticut has strong efficiency standards in statute.”
The governor proposed legislation in the 2019 legislative session that would have codified an efficiency standard for lightbulbs in Connecticut law, but the bill did not pass. The proposed lighting standards were projected to save the average Connecticut household an additional $155 in electricity bills per year by 2025, or $219 million per year in aggregate. While LEDs can cost about $2.30 more on average, their annual energy cost savings significantly outweigh this incremental increase upfront. DOE’s actions, if fully implemented, will increase electricity energy consumption by 1,053 GWh by 2025 (equivalent to about 4 percent of Connecticut’s overall electric demand) and increase annual carbon emissions by 227,000 metric tons per year. Five other states—California, Colorado, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington—have already passed this standard into state law.
Connecticut law currently requires a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gases below 2001 levels by 2030, and 80 percent reduction by 2050. Yesterday, Governor Lamont signed the third executive order of his administration, which further commits the state to develop strategies to achieve a zero carbon electric grid by 2040.