EDISON, N.J. – At a press conference held at the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Barry Edison Sloane, Thomas Edison’s great-grandson, condemned the Trump Administration’s rollback of lightbulb efficiency standards. They were joined by Ed Potosnak with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

“My great-grandfather, Thomas Edison, believed that all inventions, including the lightbulb, could and should be improved over time. In fact, he had over 20 patents on the incandescent lightbulb: each one an improvement. Thanks to new technology, the newer lightbulbs are more energy efficient, lessen our carbon footprint, and save consumers money – innovations he would have championed,” said Barry Edison Sloane.

 “It’s unacceptable that the Department of Energy now intends to disregard commonsense innovations that have already been embraced in 80 countries and the U.S. for over a decade. Edison would have agreed that, given the urgency climate change presents, this kind of action is like throwing gasoline on our burning house. I think my great grandfather might have had something to say about this, like, ‘Who’s the dim bulb who came up with this idea and why?’” 

In 2007, Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed into law, lightbulb efficiency standards that required manufacturers to begin producing lightbulbs that use less energy.

In 2017, the Obama Administration updated the guidelines to require additional bulb types – including three-way reflector, globe-shaped, and candelabra-style bulbs – adhere to the same efficiency standards as pear-shaped bulbs.

But, in February, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced it would disregard this update. It is estimated that the rollback would increase consumers’ electricity bills by $12 billion a year by the year 2025.

 “This reckless rollback will lead to years of unnecessary electricity generation and carbon emissions – just to power inefficient and outdated lightbulbs. Trashing this important standard will also increase consumers’ electricity bills by allowing inefficient products to remain on the market, something that is absolutely unnecessary,” Congressman Pallone said.

In March, Mr. Pallone held a hearing in his Committee’s Energy Subcommittee on the Department of Energy’s inaction on efficiency standards and its impact on consumers and climate change. Mr. Pallone serves as the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The New Jersey congressman pointed to 37 electric utilities which sent a letter to DOE opposing the lightbulb rollback. 

 “Federal light bulb standards may seem like a small thing, but in fact they have enormous impacts on our wallets and our environment. These senseless attacks on smart and widely effective energy efficiency programs only further advances dangerous deregulatory attacks on our economy and environment,”  said Mr. Potosnak.