Consider the irony: A state known for its mile-high neon billboards and slot machines with their flashy displays has taken up the fight for greater lamp efficiency. This month, Nevada state lawmakers voted to join a multistate rejection of Trump administration action on lamps.
In February, the Department of Energy announced a plan to rescind an expansion of efficiency standards for lamps that was scheduled to go into effect in 2020. The expanded standards were adopted two years ago by the Obama administration. The expansion favors the growth of LED lamps, which are highly efficient. It will further accelerate the phase out of incandescent and halogen lamps, which are not.
Several other states, including Vermont, Washington and Colorado, have already adopted legislation committing to the expanded Obama-era standards. Nevada now joins their ranks.
Efficiency proponents applauded the move. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Nevada legislation will save Nevadan’s more than $85 million in electric bills.
The Obama administration ruling expands a 2007 standard adopted by the Bush administration, which would phase out A-lamps, the traditional pear-shaped incandescent bulbs. The expansion applies that standard to other varieties of lamps, including globes, reflectors, and candelabras.
By themselves, individual lamps might seem inconsequential in the larger battle for greater efficiency across the energy sector, but the impact of the Bush-era standard and its expansion by the Obama administration is hard to ignore. According to ACEEE and its partner, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, approximately 3 billion A-lamps draw power from sockets in American homes. Bulb shapes affected by the standards the Trump administration wants to roll back account for 3 billion more.