The Department of Energy (DOE) first came after incandescent light bulbs. Now, it’s put light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in its crosshairs. 

On April 12th, 2024, the DOE announced finalized energy efficiency standards for LED light bulbs raising the bulb’s efficiency level from 45 lumens per watt to 120 lumens per watt. This regulation was first proposed in 2022. These new standards, pending no legal challenge, would go into effect by July 2028 and solely apply to new bulbs, yet cover general service lamps including most compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The DOE claims consumers will cut their light bulb use by 17% and save $27 billion in energy costs and 70 million metric tons of CO2 emissions (or the equivalent of nine million homes) across 30 years. 

The DOE previously touted LED light bulbs as bulbs that waste less energy and endure for long periods but changed its tune.

The Washington Times reported the average cost of LED light bulbs, under this new standard, will rise from $2.98 to $5.68—a 91% price increase. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) analyzed these costs further and found that “99 percent of LEDs available today” wouldn’t comply with the new DOE rule. The total conversion cost for manufacturers, however, is $430 million.

Inside Lighting, an industry publication, called this a “significant leap” but warned about the adverse impact on manufacturers and consumers. 

“Meeting the new efficacy standards of more than 120 lumens per watt may prove to be a formidable task for manufacturers of certain LED lamps. These standards challenge the balance between lamp efficacy, color quality, and design complexity,” the publication warned. “While these standards promise efficiency, questions about the potential impact on the quality of light and other important related factors may arise within the industry.”As my IWF colleague Makenna McCoy noted, net-zero policies that target commonly owned appliances and features will incur higher costs and little to no environmental benefit:

Make no mistake: these household appliance regulations won’t lower costs but will have the opposite effect by stifling innovation and limiting consumer options. They were not passed for the sake of consumer well-being, but rather as part of the Biden administration’s aggressive climate agenda to achieve “a net zero economy by 2050” and the push to electrify.

The White House can’t gaslight its way to forcing full electrification onto consumers. Americans don’t like having choices—be it their stoves, cars, or lightbulbs—dictated to them by the government. The average American household will pay over $9,000 to meet the Department of Energy’s extreme electrification demands. Net zero isn’t economically or environmentally sustainable.

Independent Women is exposing the Department of Energy’s over 15 proposed or finalized regulations that would make your home cost more to run, repair, and replace. This blog is in a series called “Secretary Granholm—Hands Off My House.” To learn more and take action, visit OUR ACTION CENTER. Be sure to check out the interactive “Secretary Granholm’s House of Horrors” to see how the rules could affect appliances in your home.