White House opposes mandating switch to specific energy efficient lightbulb
China plans to replace some 50 million incandescent lightbulbs in government buildings this year in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions but the United States has no plans to mandate such a change, a top White House official said on Wednesday.
While a fluorescent lightbulb may cost four times as much as an incandescent lightbulb and lasts 10 times longer, the industry is working on new technology that could be even better, said James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
“Our perspective in general is that it’s better to set a performance requirement through new building codes than dictate specific technologies and approaches for achieving that performance because it varies stunningly from building to building and geographic area to geographic area,” he told the Reuters Global Environment Summit.
“It’s one of these ‘be careful because you might block innovation,'” Connaughton said of the decision not to favor a country-wide swap. “So we have favored standards-based approaches based on performance.”
Still, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday kicked off its “Change a Light” bus tour that will go to 10 cities to ecourage every U.S. household to change one standard light bulb for an Energy Star bulb, saving $600 million in energy costs annually and preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions spewed from more than 800,000 cars..
Legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year that would bar the government from buying lightbulbs that were not energy efficient.
— Photo credit: Hyungwon Kang