Incandescent 75- and 100-watt bulbs have already been phased out and now the popular 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs will soon be gone as well. Going forward, Americans will have to use halogen, LED, compact fluorescent or high efficiency incandescent bulbs to light their homes.
The phase-out is a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 signed into law by President George W. Bush. Though the law is supposed to benefit consumers, shoppers may find it hard to appreciate energy cost savings when the upfront cost of a standard incandescent bulb is significantly cheaper than the more efficient alternatives.
On Jan. 1, it will become illegal to manufacture or import these traditional light bulbs.
For instance, according to a CNN report, a 40-watt LED bulb costs about $7.50 compared to 50 cents for a traditional 40-watt bulb. However, over the course of a year, the traditional bulb will consume $7 worth of energy compared to $2 for the LED.
"In two years, you pay off that bulb," Mark Voykovik, national light bulb merchant for Home Depot told CNN. Consumers, so far, seem unconvinced. LED bulb sales at Home Depot, despite the long-term savings, remain in the single digits and the same is true for Lowe's, CNN reported.
Middletown launched a city-wide Home Energy Solutions promotion earlier this year and will be continuing the promotion through the end of December. For every Middletown resident who signs up for a HES assessment before Dec. 31, $25 will be donated to the Middletown Tree Planting Fund by the HES vendors, New England Conservation Services and Victory Energy Solutions.
Middletown’s Urban Forestry Commission manages the city’s tree planting program.
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Fox News reports Home Depot has a six-month stockpile of incandescent 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs. After that, consumers will have to adjust to the new type of bulbs. The Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a "light bulb law" fact sheet to help consumers understand the changes and has introduced new bulb labeling to help bulb buyers find the product that best meets his or her needs.
Do you prefer standard incandescent bulbs to high-efficiency bulbs? Do you plan to stock up on bulbs before they are phased out completely? Let us know in the comments below.