Four Billion Points of Light: ACEEE Joins Market Lighting Initiative

March 14, 2007

Media Contact(s):

Wendy Koch, 202-507-4753, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Washington, D.C. — The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and other leading energy efficiency advocates joined Philips Lighting Company today in committing jointly to a major new initiative to advance high-efficiency lighting technologies in home and office applications. The coalition will work to shift the major residential, commercial, and outdoor lighting markets toward high-performance technologies by 2016. This initiative will focus on setting performance targets to encourage a wide range of consumer product choice while dramatically reducing energy use in lighting.

"ACEEE is pleased to help define this 'tipping point' in American lighting markets," said Acting Executive Director Bill Prindle. "This is the kind of transformational effort that we need to meet the unprecedented energy challenges of the 21st century. We look forward to refining the specifics and engaging more stakeholders as this initiative progresses."

The coalition will advocate public-private partnerships that encourage consumers and businesses to purchase more energy-efficient products, and public policies that set technology-neutral performance standards designed to phase out the least efficient products from the market. This will bring new products to the market while reducing consumer energy bills and at the same time helping to address America's pressing energy and environmental challenges.

ACEEE estimates that more than 2.2 billion lighting products are sold in the United States each year—about two-thirds of these, or about 1.5 billion, are general-service screw-in bulbs. As of 2005, only about 100 million compact fluorescent bulbs were estimated to be sold annually, about 7% of the total. There are some 4 billion screw-in light sockets in the U.S., most of which would be affected by this initiative. Thus, it will take a major shift in technologies and markets to get high-performance lighting into most of those 4 billion sockets. The coalition expects that compact fluorescent and high-efficiency incandescent/halogen technology will be the main technologies used in the early years of this shift, and that light-emitting diode (LED) lamps will come into the market during the 10-year period.

The coalition projects that the economic and environmental benefits from this initiative will be substantial. By the end of the 10-year transition period, it is estimated that efficient lighting will save consumers and businesses $18 billion annually on electricity bills, while deferring the need for up to 80 power plants. This initiative would also prevent the emission of more than 158 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2016.