Great news for LED’s as the Biden administration weighs reinstating an energy efficiency standard for luminaires

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Great news for LED’s as the Biden administration weighs reinstating an energy efficiency standard for luminaires

In recent months we have seen huge wins for green technology in the United States. This is thanks to the Biden administrations sharp pivot from the Trump administrations climate destructive stance on efficiency standards.

In April this year, on Earth Day, President Biden convened with 40 world leaders for a virtual Summit on Climate. During this, Biden pledged that by 2030, the nation would slash its carbon pollution by 50-52 percent compared with 2005 levels. This ambition represents America’s new “Nationally Determined Contribution” under the goals of the Paris agreement, an important step in tackling the climate crisis.

The Trump administrations detrimental stance on energy efficiency

Back in 2019, the Trump administration turned its deregulatory focus to light bulbs, scrapping a rule that would have phased out incandescent light bulbs, in a bid to “protect consumer choice”.

This choice came under high levels of scrutiny as energy-saving light bulb standards both save households money on electricity bills and cut climate change emissions.

A number of harmful actions such as this one taken during the Trump administration are now under review, including several concerning energy efficiency, starting with changing the process the Department of Energy uses to set national energy standards.

How does the UK compare?

EU regulations are here to stay Post-Brexit

Whilst there aren’t any regulations relating directly to LED manufacturing within the UK, the industry does still benefit from EU legislation, most notably the EU’s Eco-design Working Plan which is expected to leave a lasting effect on the industry post Brexit.

The Eco-design Directive and its eco-design requirements for light sources and separate control gears have been found to be effective legislative tools for improving energy efficiency and sustainability of products. This has required manufacturers of luminaires to reduce the energy output of their products, resulting in the effective ban on halogen bulbs, which have been phased in over the past 6 years.

In addition to this, there are several examples of indirect industry assistance in place within the UK supporting the switch to more efficient LED bulbs, for instance, the new Super-deductions tax scheme for qualifying energy-saving technology, as announced in the latest government budget. Other indirect industry assistance includes the Green Growth Fund, in addition to many local sources of regional support to purchase industry goods such as the  London Energy Efficiency Fund, Business Energy Efficiency Anglia programme and the Manchester Business Growth Hub.

The industry is also likely to indirectly benefit from strict government policy support aimed at reducing carbon emissions in alignment with Net-Zero targets. This in turn helps to drive a sustainable agenda amongst companies as well as with the public. This means that despite less efficient alternatives for LED luminaires still existing in the UK market, such as compact fluorescent light, they are often far less favourable than LEDs.

If you want to know more about the EU’s decision to ban Halogen fittings click here to find out more.

UK & EU Climate Targets

The UK is still slightly ahead of the EU in terms of climate change targets, with the UK recently announcing emissions cuts of 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels. The EU has also recently announced new, impressive carbon reduction targets, pledging to cut their CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 also compared with 1990 levels.

Such targets set out by the UK, EU and USA are substantial but necessary steps in limiting global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius), the widely recognised threshold for preventing catastrophic damage from climate effects.

Within these targets, it is widely recognised that efficient LED lighting and controls are a necessary step in reducing carbon emissions. This has been exemplified in an LIA UK Lighting Sector Strategy report. According to this report, lighting consumes 18% of all electricity in the UK, however through the implementation of effective lighting controls and energy-efficient lighting this could drop from 4 to 7 per cent, equating to a 75% reduction in consumption.

At Hilclare we have a range of LED lighting and controls solutions that can deliver significant benefits for your business in terms of both efficiency and energy savings.

If you would like to find out more about our smart, safe and sustainable energy solutions or would like to book a free site audit, click here.

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