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Industry News
NEMA Announces Consensus Legislative Proposal On Outdoor Lighting Standards
November 3, 2009

In a press conference held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced ground-breaking consensus legislation, which will, for the first time ever, set federal efficiency standards for pole-mounted outdoor lighting.

Making the announcement were Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM); Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR); Representative Jane Harman (D-CA); Representative Fred Upton (R-MI); Evan Gaddis, NEMA President and CEO; Steve Nadel, Executive Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; and Lane Burt, Manager, Building Energy Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council.

The consensus proposal is the result of input from lighting manufacturers, designers, energy advocates, and utilities.

“Installing more efficient lighting along our highways, streets and parking lots will better serve our nation’s long-term energy future,” said Senator Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. “This agreement is a big step to a more energy efficient future. All of the parties who helped negotiate it deserve our congratulations and thanks.”

This legislation creates three tiers for efficiency levels:

·         Tier 1, which becomes effective three years after enactment of the bill, sets minimum task lumen per watts (LPW) requirements based upon backlight, uplight, and glare (BUG) ratings.

·         Tier 2 standards, which will be established by the Department of Energy (DOE), must be published in a final rule by DOE no later than January 1, 2013, or 33 months after enactment, whichever is later.

·         Tier 3 standards will be established by DOE January 1, 2015, with an effective date of January 1, 2021.

According to Gaddis, this is the first time federal efficiency standards will apply to outdoor lighting applications; it is the result of achieving a consensus on an extraordinarily complex issue.

"NEMA salutes Senators Bingaman and Murkowski for their bipartisan commitment to reduce energy consumption through an open and thoroughly vetted consensus approach, which has produced a standard that will affect all Americans for the better—nearly every streetlight, roadway light, and parking lot light will aid in moving America toward more energy independence," Gaddis said.

The legislation will regulate two types of lamps that are primarily used outdoors. After January 1, 2016, high output double-ended quartz halogen lamps (a type of high-wattage incandescent lamp) must have a minimum efficiency of 27 LPW for lamps with a minimum rated initial lumen value of 6,000 and a maximum initial lumen value of 15,000. Also, 34 LPW is required for lamps rated with initial lumen value greater than 15,000 and less than 40,000.

After January 1, 2016, no general purpose mercury vapor lamp may be manufactured. These are the least efficient type of high intensity discharge (HID) lamp and can be replaced with other types of HID lamps or other lamp types. EPAct 2005 banned new mercury vapor fixtures and ballasts, so sales have already been declining. This new provision would complete the transition away from mercury vapor lamps.

The legislation will yield substantial energy savings. Approximately 22 percent of all the electricity generated in the United States is used for lighting, and outdoor lighting represents about 20 percent of that total. A 2007 DOE report estimated that outdoor lighting consumes more than 178 terawatt-hours annually. By 2030, this agreement will reduce carbon emission between 4.48 and 7.95 million metric tons annually, which is equivalent to removing between 3 and 5.4 million automobiles from the roads annually.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.

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