Light Bulb Ban Opposed by Republicans Said to Save $12.5 Billion

Pulling the plug on a phase-out of traditional incandescent light bulbs, as a U.S. House bill requires, would jeopardize $12.5 billion in consumer savings by 2020, according to a study by efficiency-advocacy groups.

The average household’s energy costs would be cut by 7 percent or $85 every year when the standards are fully in place, according to the analysis released today in Washington.

The bill in the Republican-led House, which may be voted on next week, would block provisions in a 2007 energy law that effectively bans the 100-watt incandescent bulb next year and other versions subsequently. Representative Joe Barton of Texas is among Republicans who say the standards are government overreach akin to President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul.

Supporters say the energy law, signed by Republican President George W. Bush, will reduce air pollution by eliminating the need for 33 power plants while saving homes and businesses money. “Clearly, consumers, the economy and the environment will suffer if these standards are repealed,” Jim Presswood, federal energy policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, based in Washington, and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, a Boston Group co-founded by the council and NRDC, researched and wrote the report.

The 2007 law requires bulbs to be about 30 percent more efficient than the traditional incandescent, said Kyle Pitsor, vice president of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association in Arlington, Virginia. Lighting companies have already retooled their manufacturing plants to make products that comply with the law.

The association, which includes Fairfield, Connecticut- based General Electric Co. (GE), is lobbying against the push to prevent the light-bulb changes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at

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