EPA Releases New Energy Star Lighting Standards
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced new standards that light fixtures must meet in order to qualify for the coveted Energy Star label. As of October of 2011, light fixtures will need to increase efficiency by 30 percent more than the fluorescent-based fixtures that currently qualify under the plan.
Additional requirements will also need to be met by 2013 for light fixtures to continue to use the label, with qualifying models required to improve efficiency by another 10 percent.
Since 1992, the Energy Star label has been part of an efficiency program that was created to save consumers money on energy bills while also protecting the environment.
In fact, Energy Star light fixtures not only save consumers money by reducing energy consumption, but they also work to reduce the cost and hassle associated with a high rate of replacement, since they last at least ten times longer than traditional light bulbs.
Other EPA requirements for light fixtures to receive the Energy Star label include prompt startup and a high quality of light output. In addition, the EPA monitors the level of toxins that are produced during the manufacturing process for the fixtures and the materials that are used.
As an added bonus, the new standards will have a three-year warranty, which is well above standard practices in the industry. The new Energy Star requirements will also expand to include fluorescent and LED lighting that is held to the same standards of quality.
The Energy Star label is a market-based partnership that focuses on energy efficiency as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is currently found on more than 60 different types of products, including residential structures and other commercial and industrial buildings that are built to meet strict EPA standards.
In 2010, the EPA estimates that US citizens saved around $18 billion on energy bills and reduced greenhouse gasses equal to what would be saved if 33 million vehicles were removed from the roadways.