Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is BGE working with ENERGY STAR®?
BGE has always sought ways to help our customers save energy and money while helping to protect the environment. Educating everyone about the benefits of ENERGY STAR helps us achieve that goal. ENERGY STAR also provides complimentary resources, which BGE is using to enhance our programs.
2. What does ENERGY STAR certified mean?
ENERGY STAR is a nationally recognized, joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It helps us all save money and protect the environment through use of energy-efficient products and practices. Next time you’re looking for new household products, look for the blue ENERGY STAR label. This symbol means the product or service meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and DOE.
For more information on ENERGY STAR, please visit www.energystar.gov/faqs.
3. I hear incandescent bulbs have been phased out. Is that true?
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (the “Energy Bill”), signed by the president on December 18, 2007, required that all light bulbs use 30% less energy by 2014. The phaseout of less efficient products started with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and ended with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014. By 2020, all bulbs must be at least 70% more efficient—effectively equal to the efficiency of today’s CFLs.
It’s not entirely accurate to say “incandescent bulbs will be phased out” because the standards set by the bill are technology neutral; that is, the standards do not favor one technology over another. The next generation of incandescent bulbs could satisfy the requirement for 30% increased efficiency. Other lighting technologies, such as CFLs, halogens and LEDs, can meet the new requirements and have already taken the place of many incandescent bulbs in retail.
Several types of incandescent bulbs are exempt from the law:
- Specialty lighting (such as refrigerator bulbs)
- Reflector bulbs
- 3-way bulbs
- Shatter resistant
- Vibration service
- Rough service
- Colored bulbs (such as “party bulbs”)
- Bug lights
- Plant lights
In addition, the law applies to the sale of bulbs, but not to the use of the existing stock of bulbs.
With lighting accounting for approximately 20% of the average household’s energy bill, the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that compliance with this law could cut the nation’s overall electric bill by more than $10 billion a year.