Energy + Environment, Legislation + Regulation

U.S. DOE Proposes Major Increase In General Service Lamp Efficacy Requirements

Earlier this week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) proposed a new energy efficiency standard for General Service Lamps (GSL). The new standard would impact an enormous variety of lamps, including A-lamps (CFL & LED), directional R & PAR lamps, and LED tubes (TLEDs).

Right now it is still a proposal, but odds are good that some version of the proposal will become binding regulations in the US. Canada has a policy of trying to harmonize their appliance energy efficiency regulations with the US DOE, so it is also likely that Canada would eventually follow any final standard that DOE enacts. My initial evaluation of DOE’s proposal is that:

  1. A basic 60W equivalent CFL with 900 lumens, integral ballast, and no standby mode would be required to meet 125.9 lm/W. This would effectively eliminate nearly all medium base CFLs from the US market.
  2. A basic 4′ T8 LED tube (Type B) with 1,920 lumens and no standby power would be required to meet 161.9 lm/W. This is close to the efficiency level of these TLEDs, today.

By my reading of DOE’s proposal, this new GSL standard would become effective in mid-2027, in 4.5 years. The DOE proposal above will likely eliminate CFLs from the US market by mid-2027. If finalized, this DOE proposal will further accelerate LED replacements for CFLs, and significantly increase efficacy requirements for TLEDs from the current 45 lpW “backstop” up to near 160 lpW, depending on the type and lumen output of the TLED.

The full DOE Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) can be found here.

  • Derek Cowburn December 22, 2022, 6:13 AM

    Bravo! That “backstop” was embarrassing.


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