[Please note: all of the statistics and images in this post are courtesy ENERGY STAR (www.energystar.gov) and the 2012 Energy Star Lighting webinar presentation. Click on images to enlarge.]
Did you know that lighting accounts for more household energy expense than washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators combined? Lighting alone makes up 12-20% of an average household’s energy bill. These are not insignificant numbers, and Energy Star is aggressively seeking to raise the bar on efficiency of light fixtures and products.
Considering that the average American home has about 30 light fixtures, Energy Star estimates that households with the newly proposed qualified lighting systems will save $200 annually on electricity.
The benefits of energy efficient lighting extend beyond finances, of course. There are also positive environmental and political benefits. Most people have heard of the stricter governance of light bulbs, which hasn’t exactly banned incandescent bulbs, but has set higher standards on bulb efficiency (for which the incandescent industry has yet to reach). The standards were put into place as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, under President Bush.
With the tide turning away from the relatively inefficient incandescent bulbs, the options for compact fluorescent lights, new halogen incandescent bulbs and LED lights have grown. As the field of offerings gets bigger, Energy Star has stepped in with a labeling system to help consumers easily identify bulbs by the amount of light needed, the warmth of light preferred and the energy used.
Check out the new bulb labels:
Energy Star has also begun to qualify light fixtures, so consumers can make educated decisions about their overall lighting needs – much as we are able to currently do with our appliances. According to the webinar, ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures:
- Are third party certified
- Use approximately 75% less energy
- Produce approximately 75% less heat
- Last 6-50 times longer than non-Energy Star qualified fixtures, and
- Typically must include a 2-3 year warranty
The style options are vast. With over 32,000 models currently qualified, there is a full array to meet nearly every home style.
We’ll be exploring each aspect of the Energy Star Homes V3.0 here on the blog. In the meantime, kudos to Energy Star and the EPA for continually raising the standards – especially in such achievable and affordable steps.