California Assembly Member Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), the chair of the Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce Committee, has announced that he is introducing legislation, the “How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb Act,” which bans the sale of incandescent light bulbs in California by 2012.
“Incandescent light bulbs were first developed almost 125 years ago, and since that time they have undergone no major modifications,” Assembly member Levine said. “Meanwhile, they remain incredibly inefficient, converting only about five percent of the energy they receive into light. It’s time to take a step forward – energy-efficient bulbs are easy to use, require less electricity to do the same job, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and save consumers money.”
According to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a nonprofit organization that focuses on energy policy, replacing a 75-W incandescent light bulb with a 20-W compact fluorescent would result in the same amount of light but would save 1300 pounds of carbon dioxide and save customers $55 over the life of the bulb (while the life of one 75-W incandescent bulb is roughly 750 hours, the life of a compact fluorescent is a 10,000 hours). Meanwhile, incandescent bulbs use 750 kWh over 10,000 hours, while compact fluorescents use only 180 kWh.
In addition, a utility can give away compact-fluorescent lamps more cheaply than it can fuel its existing power plants, which is why Southern California Edison, for example, has given away more than a million such lamps.
“Electricity-saving technologies may not be glamorous, especially when compared with the idea of a shiny new power plant, but the facts are that there are hundreds of electricity-saving innovations now on the market that if fully used throughout the United States, would significantly decrease the electricity the country now uses,” Levine said. “The time has come for this legislation, and what better state to lead the charge than California.”