Legislation to phase out fluorescent lighting advances

Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Bill will save more than $1.5 billion on utility bills, avoid 2.2M metric tons of C02 emissions, and avoid 419 lbs of mercury pollution by 2050

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to phase out fluorescent lighting (HB2363) passed through the Illinois House Energy and Environment Committee on Tuesday. If the bill becomes law, fluorescent lighting would be replaced over time with highly efficient LED bulbs, saving Illinois consumers more than $1.5 billion on utility bills, avoiding 2.2M metric tons of C02 emissions by cutting energy waste, and avoiding 419 lbs of mercury pollution by 2050, according to analysis by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.

“Passing the Clean Lighting Act is a clear winner – it will save consumers money, cut energy waste, and remove a persistent neurotoxin from the Illinois waste stream,” said Illinois PIRG State Director Abe Scarr. “Members of the Illinois General Assembly should jump at the opportunity to save their constituents money and protect our environment.”

If the bill becomes law, Illinois would become the 9th state to pass similar policies. With a clarifying amendment filed at the hearing, there is no known opposition to the legislation.

The utility bill savings of replacing fluorescent lights with LEDs are clear and overwhelming: A typical small office could see $900 a year in savings and an average school could save $3,700 per year.

“Over the course of the last ten years, LEDs have become widely available and cost effective replacements for fluorescent bulbs,” said Josh McClenney, state policy associate with the Appliance Standards Awareness Project.  “This legislation will save families and small businesses millions on their utility bills. It’s a common sense policy.”

Three in four fluorescent lamps are improperly disposed of, leaving those who work in our waste streams potentially vulnerable to overexposure. The 419 pounds of mercury that could be kept out of the Illinois waste stream is enough to contaminate more than 20 billion gallons of water.

The bill has until April 19th to be passed by the full Illinois House for consideration in the Illinois Senate.

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