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Legislation + Regulation

President Obama Likely to Address U.S. Energy Demand

And that will probably include lighting, too.

Calling energy efficiency America’s “cheapest, cleanest, fastest energy source,” President Obama’s energy plan targets a reduction in electricity demand of 15% from projected levels by 2020, including efforts to make all new buildings 50% more efficient and all existing buildings 25% more efficient.


With a clear mandate and Democrats holding a strong majority in both houses of Congress, Mr. Obama is in a position to see his energy plan become law fairly quickly.

Lighting will play a major part in achieving these goals both as a critical part of any effort to upgrade the efficiency of a building and as an appliance regulated by efficiency standards

The potential problem here is that policy makers, not being lighting people, do not always make decisions that reflect human needs for good lighting. Despite the strong lobbying efforts of some of the larger lighting manufacturers, it seems like the lighting community too often finds itself reacting to policy set by others instead of shaping policy themselves.

In the January issue of Illuminate, a magazine I produce as a supplement to Architectural Products, I called for the funding of an industry lobbying organization to represent the interests of good lighting to policy makers such as code-making and standard-setting organizations, state and Federal governments, regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, and other industry groups such as the U.S. Green Building Council.

This organization would not belong to one particular interest in the lighting industry but span multiple organizations to make sure there is broadest possible representation.

For more information (PDF) about President Obama’s energy plan published when he was then candidate Obama, click here.


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