Yes, it is true. A law passed in 2007 under President Bush’s administration will phase out inefficient incandescent light bulbs including the old “favorites” beginning with the 100-watt in 1212 and the 75, 60 and 40 watt in 2014. And yes, an Easy Bake oven does use a 100-watt bulb. The law, known as the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) doesn’t actually ban incandescent bulbs nor does it mandate the use of compact florescent bulbs (CFL’s – the curly bulbs). What it does is require that current incandescent bulbs become 30% minimum more energy efficient, while providing the same amount of light (lumens).
The law is written to be technology neutral, setting a standard for energy efficiency. Current standard incandescent bulbs, which use the same technology as was used when they were invented back in the late 1800’s, are so inefficient that 90% of the electricity they use is wasted as heat – which explains why these bulbs make an Easy Bake oven work! By default, these bulbs will become “extinct” when the new law takes effect.
The bulb industry is working on upgrades and seems to have taken on the challenge. Several manufacturers are already selling incandescent bulbs that look like the “old ones” but meet the new energy efficiency standards. Many retailers are also on board. In fact, IKEA became the first US retailer, at the beginning of 2011, to stop selling incandescent bulbs, a year earlier than when the law goes into effect.
At a time when we are trying to lower our dependence on foreign oil and energy sources, ways that we can cut down on energy use, are important. According to the NRDC, “the transition to more efficient light bulbs will provide massive consumer, public health, and economic benefits, including:
• savings of $100 to $200 plus per year in the form of lower electric bills in each American household;
• energy savings equivalent to 30 large power plants; and
• reductions in carbon pollution of approximately 100 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, which is equivalent to the annual carbon pollution from more than 17 million cars.”
Currently, the South Carolina legislature is debating a bill that would allow old-fashioned incandescents to be sold and produced in South Carolina. Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Minnesota also considered similar bills but none were passed. California, on the other hand, has embraced the EISA 2007 and is putting it into effect in 2011.
Don’t we have bigger problems in this country than to try to stop positive programs that will make our air cleaner for our children to breath, save us money and help wean us off our dependency on fossil fuels?