Vermont Business Magazine Vermont and six other states filed a motion Monday to intervene in a lawsuit to defend federal efficiency standards for light bulbs. In March, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Energy (DOE), challenging the DOE’s new energy efficiency regulations for light bulbs.
“Energy efficiency makes sense. Not only for our environment but for Vermonters' bottom line,” said Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan.
The challenged regulations were finalized under the Obama Administration and issued on January 19, 2017. They broaden the definition of lamps (light bulbs) to include incandescent light bulbs under more stringent energy standards. The new regulations are expected to save approximately 27 quadrillion BTUs (quads) of energy cumulatively over thirty years. This is expected to save consumers $120 billion and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1400 million metric tons. By moving to intervene in the lawsuit, Vermont will act to protect these regulations and the substantial benefits they provide in Vermont and across the United States.
The motion was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Other joining states are California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The motion argues that the states have a “compelling interest in defending the Lamp Rules as a means for conserving energy, saving costs and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.” During the rulemaking period for these rules, the Vermont Public Service Department and Efficiency Vermont submitted comments supporting the rules and offering suggestions to make them even stronger.
This action follows two others by Attorney General Donovan to preserve gains in energy efficiency. In late March, Vermont joined a challenge to DOE’s delay of efficiency standards for ceiling fans. In early April, Vermont joined a 60-day notice of intent to sue letter, aimed at DOE for failing to finalize standards for other products as required by law.
Vermont AG: Apr 18, 2017