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Industry News
DOE Issues Recovery Act Buy American Waiver For CFLs
February 15, 2010

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) issued long-awaited waivers for several lighting products from the Buy American requirements that apply to manufactured goods to be used in projects funded by EERE under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”).

The EERE document, a copy of which is attached to this message, includes a waiver for screw-base and pin-base compact fluorescent lamps (with the exception of pin-based CFLs longer than 10 inches). The waiver excludes the plug-in CFLs longer than 10 inches since these products are made in the U.S.

EERE agreed with the lamp industry and determined that CFLs covered by the waiver are “non-available” for the purposes of the Buy American requirements, which means they not made in sufficient quantity in the U.S. to meet demand. The document will be published formally in the Federal Register at a later date.

The effect of the waiver is to allow all screw-base and all pin-base CFLs shorter than 10 inches made outside the U.S. (e.g. in China) to be used in EERE Recovery Act projects, including lighting retrofit projects under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

NEMA staff has worked in close consultation with EERE staff on this issue over the past several months. This waiver should be a great benefit to Section companies and should provide clarity to contracting officers for EERE Recovery Act projects.

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