Light is amazing. Not only is the lightbulb the international symbol for ideas and innovation, but lighting is one of humankind’s earliest technologies. From the first fires to candles to oil lamps, when Thomas Edison created the incandescent lightbulb in 1879, it was the best invention since—well, the lightbulb! However, though the bulb itself represented innovation, the incandescent technology used today is largely the same as in Edison’s time—hardly innovative.
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Tagged DOE, Energy Efficiency, energy efficiency programs, ENERGY STAR, high efficiency products, Innovation, LED, LED Lighting, Northeast, residential lighting strategy
According to NEEP’s Northeast Residential Lighting Strategy (RLS) Update, energy savings from efficient lighting continues to be the most cost effective measure for efficiency programs. In order to expand upon the savings from efficiency programs, ratepayer funded programs require robust support. The RLS update serves as a supplemental document to NEEP’s original 2012 Northeast RLS with current information, and not as a replacement. Continue reading
While Northeast efficiency programs have been continuously achieving robust energy savings goals, the landscape around them continues to change. When various incentive programs began in lighting, it was very easy to make significant efficiency gains. That’s because a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL or spiral bulb) uses 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb. Clearly, efficient lighting for residential homes was the low hanging fruit that provided quick and cost effective savings for utilities and other efficiency programs.
Today there still exists a great deal of savings through residential lighting, though the challenges are greater than at its inception. Because of limiting constraints like free ridership (meaning a consumer would have purchased this efficient bulb without program’s incentive dollars that lower the price and reduce the cost barrier), it has been harder to count the savings achieved through programs. Responding to this and a host of other issues, NEEP launched the “Northeast Residential Lighting Strategy (RLS)” project to address many of the challenges in attaining the remaining significant lighting savings still available in homes through 2020.
NEEP is working with Energy Futures Group to research and produce the RLS which will be a guiding document or roadmap that illustrates both lighting barriers and solutions. We convened a high level advisory panel comprised of industry experts to weigh in on the document’s development, ensuring that the needs of myriad stakeholders involved in bringing the highest energy efficiency lighting solutions to homes would be addressed. 2011’s Residential Lighting Workshop in Warwick, RI informed attendees of the current situation analysis and gave them the opportunity to ask questions of panelists, work in small groups, and offer feedback on the RLS.
Stay tuned for the final RLS due out in September 2011. This comprehensive document will highlight the value of collaboration amongst stakeholders in order to achieve these essential efficiency gains by outlining both short and long term actions, along with associated milestones through 2020. And since there are always changes that cannot be predicted, this will be a living document that will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis as the residential lighting market continues to evolve. To be sure, consumers will have to learn new ways to think about and buy lighting. But the good news is they now have many MORE options of high quality efficient and SUPER efficient lighting products for all their lighting needs!