AG Nessel sues Department of Energy for rollback of lightbulb energy efficiency standards


LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is suing the Department of Energy for the rollback of energy efficiency standards for light bulbs.

Nessel joins 16 other attorneys general in a lawsuit that alleges the rollback of energy efficiency requirements for certain light bulbs would prolong the implementation of energy efficiency goals, undermine state and local energy policy and increase consumer and environmental costs.

Roughly three billion of all lighting fixtures and lamps in U.S. households contain some version of the bulbs affected by DOE’s rollback.

“At a time when our federal government seems hell-bent on dialing back every protection designed to ensure a safer and cleaner future for our nation, it is the role of our state attorneys general to fight back,” Nessel said. “In the face of the very real threat of climate change, we must move forward, not backward. We will fight this every step of the way.”

The lawsuit comes after the attorneys general submitted comments on the rollback proposal in May. They said the DOE should continue with the environmental definitions and restrictions laid out in the 2017 Obama Administration. Those definitions expanded the classification of general service lamps (GSL) to include seven previously unregulated types of light bulbs. By including those types of bulbs as GSLs, the 2017 definitions fall under the congressionally imposed GSL minimum standard of 45 lumens per watt applicable on January 1, 2020.

The rollback finalized on Sept. 5 removes those light bulbs from the GSL efficiency, costing consumers $12 billion each year in lost electricity savings by 2025, or $100 per household per year.

In addition to Attorney General Nessel, the coalition includes the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington

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