Category: Legislation + Regulation

DOE Issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Request for Comment Pertaining to General Service Lamps 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice proposing to codify in the Code of Federal Regulations the 45 lumens per watt backstop requirement for general service lamps that Congress prescribed in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice proposing to codify in the Code of Federal Regulations the 45 lumens per watt backstop requirement for general service lamps that Congress prescribed in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended.

DOE proposes this backstop requirement applies because DOE failed to complete a rulemaking regarding general service lamps in accordance with certain statutory criteria.

Find product information for General Service Lamps including current standards and test procedures, statutory authority, waivers, exceptions and contact information.

DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this notice until 45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register. DOE will send a follow-up e-mail once the notice publishes to announce the closing date of the comment period. Interested persons may submit comments identified by docket number EERE–2021–BT–STD-0005, by email (GSL2021STD0005@ee.doe.gov), Federal eRulemaking portal.

As the backstop has the potential to virtually eliminate the majority of remaining incandescent general lamps–notably halogen A-lamps–it’s a very significant ruling.

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GLA Publishes Regulatory Guidelines to Aid Transition to Energy-Efficient Lighting in Emerging Economies

The Global Lighting Association (GLA) has published a document containing a recommended set of regulatory guidelines for general service and linear LED lamps. Based on international standards, they are intended for use by regulatory authorities in developing and emerging economies considering national legislation and associated regulations to accelerate the transition to energy efficient lighting.

The Global Lighting Association (GLA) has published a document containing a recommended set of regulatory guidelines for general service and linear LED lamps. Based on international standards, they are intended for use by regulatory authorities in developing and emerging economies considering national legislation and associated regulations to accelerate the transition to energy efficient lighting.

The Global Lighting Association’s Regulatory Guidelines are designed to not only drive energy savings, but also enable affordable and effective market enforcement, thereby protecting consumers and encouraging fair competition.

Click here to check it out.

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DOE Passes on New Energy Standards for Metal Halide Luminaires

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice of a final determination pertaining to energy conservation standards for metal halide luminaires, determining that existing energy conservation standards do not need to be amended.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice of a final determination pertaining to energy conservation standards for metal halide lamp fixtures (MHLFs).

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) prescribes standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including MHLFs. EPCA also requires DOE to periodically determine whether more-stringent, standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy savings.

In this final determination, DOE has determined that the energy conservation standards for MHLFs do not need to be amended because they are not economically justified.

The effective date of this rule is 30 days after the notice has published in the Federal Register.

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Senate Bill Recognizes Buildings as Infrastructure

The bipartisan infrastructure deal that passed the Senate on August 10 includes several key provisions that will help modernize the built environment.

The bipartisan infrastructure deal that passed the Senate on August 10 includes several key provisions that will help modernize the built environment. The Senate is expected to advance a second infrastructure bill through the Budget Reconciliation process this fall.

Key provisions that would improve the built environment, include:

  • Providing $3.5 billion in funding for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program, which increases energy efficiency and reduces costs for low-income households.
  • Authorizing $500 million in competitive grants to support energy-efficiency and renewable energy in schools.
  • Allocating $1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program.
  • Allocating $500 million for grants established from the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation Act (STORM Act), which mitigates hazards to reduce risks from disasters.
  • Providing $250 million in funding to establish the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program, which states could use to improve the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings.
  • Establishing a $225 million competitive grant program within the DOE’s Building Technologies Office to support cost-effective building code implementation.
  • Establishing a $40 million grant program to train individuals to conduct energy audits and surveys of commercial and residential buildings.
  • Developing building, training, and assessment centers through institutions of higher education and Tribal colleges to train architects, engineers, and other professionals about energy-efficient design and technologies, along with fostering additional research.
  • Allowing the Metropolitan Transportation Planning authorities to use federal funding to promote more walkable and multi-modal communities.

The Senate’s bill will now require a vote in the full House of Representatives, which is currently on recess through September 20. The legislation will also require President Biden’s signature in order to be enacted.

“To meet the challenges of the 21st century, our nation’s infrastructure funding needs to move beyond roads and bridges to include schools, hospitals, homes and more, especially as buildings contribute nearly 40 percent of worldwide carbon emissions,” said American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2021 President Peter Exley, FAIA. “This bipartisan legislation represents an important step toward improving our nation’s buildings. However, we urge lawmakers to ensure greater funding for building improvements is included in the Budget Reconciliation package. By doing so, we can make meaningful progress on reducing the built environment’s impact on climate change.”

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DOE Issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on General Service Incandescent Lamps

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) pertaining to definitions for General Service Lamps (GSL).

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) pertaining to definitions for General Service Lamps (GSL).

On January 19, 2017, DOE published two final rules adopting revised definitions of general service lamp (GSL) and general service incandescent lamp (GSIL), and other supplemental definitions, to go into effect January 1, 2020. Before that date, on September 5, 2019, DOE withdrew the revised definitions of GSL, GSIL, and the other supplemental definitions.

Upon further review and consideration, DOE now proposes to adopt the definitions of GSL and GSIL and the associated supplemental definitions set forth in the January 2017 final rules. This would effectively discontinue the regulatory exemptions for rough-service lamps; shatter-resistant lamps; three-way incandescent lamps; vibration-service lamps; reflector lamps; T-shape lamps of 40 W or less or length of 10 inches or more; and B, BA, CA, F, G16–1/2, G25, G30, S, M–14 lamps of 40 W or less.

Click here to learn more.

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DOE Publishes a Request for Information Pertaining to the Backstop Requirement for General Service Lamps

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Federal Register notice re-evaluating its prior determination that the Secretary of Energy was not required to implement the statutory backstop requirement for general service lamps (GSLs).

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Federal Register notice re-evaluating its prior determination that the Secretary of Energy was not required to implement the statutory backstop requirement for general service lamps (GSLs).

Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended, if DOE fails to complete a rulemaking in accordance with certain statutory criteria, or if a final rule for GSLs does not produce savings that are greater than or equal to the savings from a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lumens/W, the Secretary must prohibit the sale of any GSL that does not meet a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lumens/W.

This request for information (RFI) solicits information from the public regarding the availability of lamps that would satisfy a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lumens/W, as well other information that may be relevant to a possible implementation of the statutory backstop.

• DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this RFI until June 24, 2021.
• Interested persons may submit comments identified by docket number EERE–2021–BT–STD–0005, by email (GSL2021STD0005@ee.doe.gov), Federal eRulemaking portal, postal mail, or hand delivery/courier.
• Find product information for General Service Lamps including current standards and test procedures, statutory authority, waivers, exceptions and contact information.

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DOE Publishes a Final Determination Pertaining to Standards for Fluorescent Lamp Ballasts

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently published a Federal Register Final Determination notice pertaining to standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts, determining that current energy conservation standards do not need to be amended.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently published a Federal Register Final Determination notice pertaining to standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts, determining that current energy conservation standards do not need to be amended.

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including fluorescent ballasts. EPCA also requires DOE to periodically determine whether more-stringent standards would be technologically feasible and cost effective, and would result in significant energy savings. DOE conducted this review as required and determined existing standards do not require an update.

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Congress Considers the Energy Act of 2020

Congress is now considering the Energy Act of 2020, which contains numerous provisions related to energy production, distribution, and more-efficient end use. Looking at the highlights, I didn’t see anything directly related to lighting. I’m hoping at least the Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction will get another extension.

Congress is now considering the Energy Act of 2020, which contains numerous provisions related to energy production, distribution, and more-efficient end use. Looking at the highlights, I didn’t see anything directly related to lighting. I’m hoping at least the Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction will get another extension.

Check out the highlights in the Senate version here.

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LightingEurope Calls for Adoption of UV-C

LightingEurope is advocating the installation of UV-C disinfection technologies as part of the European Union’s Renovation Wave (part of the EU Green Deal) and the application and enforcement of existing safety rules and standards.

LightingEurope is advocating the installation of UV-C disinfection technologies as part of the European Union’s Renovation Wave (part of the EU Green Deal) and the application and enforcement of existing safety rules and standards.

“Our challenge is to switch regulator’s perception of UV-C beyond special applications to mass market solutions for buildings and transport, where the concentration of human activity raises the risk of contamination,” says Lionel Brunet, President of LightingEurope. “As LightingEurope, we have the responsibility to engage in UV-C as part of our actions to renovate lighting. Our aim is to educate authorities and the market on the industry guidelines and standards already in place and to promote the uptake of UV-C solutions.”

To support is advocacy, LightingEurope published a Position Paper on the benefits of using UV-C disinfection to combat COVID-19and is reaching out to European regulators.

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Environmental and Energy Groups Threaten to Sue DOE Over Inaction on Efficiency Standards

Six environmental and consumer groups have warned the U.S. Department of Energy that they will sue the agency if it does not meet its legal responsibility to review and update overdue energy efficiency standards for 26 consumer and commercial products—including some of the largest energy users, such as air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators, and clothes dryers—within 60 days.

Six environmental and consumer groups have warned the U.S. Department of Energy that they will sue the agency if it does not meet its legal responsibility to review and update overdue energy efficiency standards for 26 consumer and commercial products—including some of the largest energy users, such as air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators, and clothes dryers—within 60 days.

The notice of intent to sue DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette said the agency is required by law to review and where appropriate, update efficiency standards for each product according to deadlines prescribed in the Energy Policy Conservation Act (EPCA) authorizing the national appliance and equipment standards program. The letter was signed by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council); Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity (with Earthjustice as their counsel); Consumer Federation of America; the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants (MUPHT) (with National Consumer Law Center as its counsel); and Public Citizen. DOE has missed deadlines for reviewing efficiency standards for 17 products under EPCA, which requires DOE to review a standard every six years and update it if warranted. Here are the products and deadlines:

Separately, DOE failed to finalize six standards after proposing an efficiency standard improvement. In most cases, the standards must be finalized within two years. The standards and finalization deadlines:

The DOE also missed the April 26, 2019 deadline for updating dedicated outdoor air systems, computer room air conditioners, and VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air conditioners and heat pumps as EPCA requires within 18 months of more stringent standards being set under ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, which provides minimum requirements for energy-efficient building designs except for low-rise residential buildings.

EPCA allows private groups to sue the DOE over standards after providing 60 days’ notice of intent to do so. When the agency under President George W. Bush missed 22 standards, NRDC and MUPHT sued in 2004, leading to a landmark consent decree that set new, binding deadlines for each standard. Under President Trump DOE has consistently missed deadlines. The agency’s unlawful failure to review and update the energy conservation standards for these 26 products is unacceptable and must be addressed by the court.

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