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Upton Measure to Upgrade Energy Efficiency Standards for all Light Bulbs Now Law

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Location: Washington, DC

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Upton Measure to Upgrade Energy Efficiency Standards for All Light Bulbs Now Law

President signs energy package that includes Upton's measure - current incandescent bulbs are highly inefficient with only 10% of energy consumed by each bulb is for light

Shortly after 10:30am this morning, the President signed an energy package, H.R. 6, into law that included Congressman Fred Upton's measure to upgrade the country's lighting industry from obsolete, inefficient incandescent light bulbs to higher-efficiency bulbs. Upton joined President Bush for the signing ceremony at the Department of Energy. Upton, top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, and Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) led the effort to promote energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bipartisan measure, supported by both environmental and industry groups, was a component of H.R. 6 which passed the House yesterday by a vote of 314 to 100, clearing the final hurdle before heading to the President this morning.

"Current incandescent bulbs on store shelves are obsolete and highly inefficient - only 10% of the energy consumed by each bulb is for light with 90% wasted on unnecessary heat," said Upton. "Today's incandescent bulbs employ the same technology as the bulbs Thomas Edison first created over 120 years ago - and it is well past time for the light bulb to catch up with 21st century technology. This common sense, bipartisan approach partners with American industry to save energy as well as help foster the creation of new domestic manufacturing jobs. By upgrading to more efficient light bulbs, we will help preserve energy resources and reduce harmful emission, all the while saving American families billions of dollars in their electric bills - and the benefits will be as easy as a flip of the switch. Every home will be on the front lines in the effort to reduce pollution and save energy, and we will be successful one light bulb at a time."

Across the nation, the environmental and economic benefits of more efficient bulbs will be substantial. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, more efficient bulbs will help the United States:

* Avoid the construction of 14 coal-fired power plants;
* Reduce global-warming emissions by at least 51 tons of carbon annually; and
* Save consumers $40 billion in reduced energy and other costs from 2012 to 2030.

The measure sets technology-neutral performance standards to replace today's inefficient 100 watt incandescent bulb by 2012 and phase out the remaining inefficient incandescent bulbs by 2014. By 2020, the measure requires that light bulbs be at least 3 times more efficient as today's incandescent bulb, paving the way for the use of the super-efficient LEDs that will light our future. The bill gives the Department of Energy (DOE) the authority to craft a rule to give the lighting industry the flexibility to sell a range of bulbs. The rule must save as much energy as a flat requirement that all bulbs be 3 times more efficient than today's bulbs. If DOE fails to act, the flat requirement will automatically become law. The bill also requires that DOE find ways to minimize the amount of mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs and provides incentives for high-efficiency lighting to be manufactured in the United States.

The transition will result in the annual phasing-out of the production of 2 billion inefficient incandescent bulbs. Upton and Harman worked very closely with industry and environmentalists to craft common sense legislation that seeks to clean up the environment, all the while protecting American jobs.

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