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BREAKING: Top 4 Must-Watch EISA LED Issues – DOE Clarifies LED Rules
September 5, 2019 •Matt Bowgren
The 45 lm/W backstop has not been triggered. This is one of the key clarifications published as the Department of Energy (DOE) moved forward to withdraw the revised definition of General Service Lamps (GSLs) which were set to take effect January 1, 2020 as part of the rulemaking process required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). The DOE submitted their final ruling in July for EO 12866 regulatory review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and it was officially published in the Federal Register on 9/5/2019. There were several key clarifications from the published final ruling and a separately published proposed determination.
The final ruling restores the original definition of GSL, removing the following five categories of lamps: reflectors (BR, MR, PAR, etc.); candelabra base; five specialty incandescent lamps including rough service, shatter-resistant, 3-way, high lumen (2,601-3,300 lm), and vibration service; T-shape lamps that use no more than 40 W or have a length of more than 10 inches; and B, BA, CA, F, G16-1/2, G25, G30, S, and M-14 lamps of 40 W or less. To be clear, numerous other published articles have failed to mention that globe or candle-shaped lamps of 40 W or less are affected by this ruling – not all globe and candle-shaped lamps which were previously widely available as 60 W incandescent lamps.
In addition to not triggering the 45 lumens per Watt (lm/W) backstop requirement, the final ruling also makes it clear that states do not have individual authority to preempt federal regulation of covered products with their own energy conservation standards. Also, California and Nevada are named specifically in the ruling: “Therefore, all states, including California and Nevada, are prohibited from adopting energy conservation standards for GSLs.”
The DOE also submitted a proposed ruling on General Service Incandescent Lamp (GSIL) standards stating that the current energy conservation standards, which makes halogen technology the standard, will not be amended since the only currently available more efficient incandescent technology, Halogen Infrared Reflecting (HIR) lamps, are not economically feasible. This is another area where currently published articles make a misleading jump in logic. The DOE has not made a determination for all GSL, only GSIL which is a subset of GSL. If the 45 lm/W standard will be imposed, it could be applied to all GSL or any specific category of lamp deemed necessary and feasible.
The key outcome of this proposed ruling is not what is widely reported, that standards for energy efficient light bulbs have been reversed, but that DOE must consider the 45 lm/W target separately. The DOE states that fact on page 90 of the proposed ruling, saying “…DOE must consider a minimum standard applicable to GSLs of 45 lm/W. 42 U.S.C. 6295(i)(6)(A)(ii) DOE will make that determination and will consider a 45 lm/W standard in a subsequent document.”
Previously, we offered guidance about the top 4 issues for energy efficiency programs to prepare properly for the uncertainty around EISA LED regulations in 2020. While this update solidifies the previous guidance, utilities and their program implementers should continue to have a risk management plan covering four important fronts:
What is the DOE doing?
What are manufacturers doing?
What are retailers doing?
What are state regulators doing?