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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more stringent criteria for expanded the categories of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL) under the ENERGY STAR label.
CFL products under the ENERGY STAR label — which include new categories for CFLs that contain less mercury, new candelabra products, and more rigorous testing procedures — are expected to save approximately $30 billion in utility costs over the next five years, according to DOE.
In addition to the expansion of eligible product categories for CFLs, the new criteria limits, for the first time, the amount of mercury that CFLs can contain to less than 5 milligrams for most bulbs, expands the program to include candelabra-based CFLs, incorporates a third-party testing program for all bulbs effective in November of 2008, tightens lamp color requirements, and adds high-heat testing requirements for reflector products.
Revised ENERGY STAR criteria for CFLs takes effect December 2, 2008 - 270 days from issuance of criteria. The criteria for CFLs were last updated in 2003.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) welcomed the announcement.
"Our CFL companies and NEMA staff have worked with DOE and other stakeholders for over two years on the new ENERGY STAR specification for CFLs,” says NEMA President and CEO Evan Gaddis. “Following on the new federal requirements for energy efficient lighting approved in the recent energy bill, this raises the bar even higher and represents another important step in the transformation of the lighting market toward more efficient sources.”