Energy Conservation & Efficiency

Choice is simple, time to do away with fluorescent bulbs

Lawmakers consider bill to phase out fluorescent light bulbs.

fluorescent light bulb
Image by Agnieszka from Pixabay | Pixabay.com

MASSPIRG urged lawmakers to to phase out fluorescent light bulbs at a state legislative hearing Monday before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.

Deirdre testifying before the TUE committee on clean lighting bill.

Photo by malegislature.gov | Public Domain

An Act Relative to Clean Lighting, H.777 and S.538 filed by Rep. Josh Cutler and Sen.Susan Moran, would phase out the sale of most fluorescent bulbs by 2025. By transitioning to efficient LED bulbs, we can avert needless health risks, save families and businesses money on utility bills, and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s long past time to flip the off switch on fluorescent bulbs,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG’s legislative director. “This bill sheds light on an unnecessary source of mercury pollution in the environment and gives us the opportunity to eliminate it.”

Fluorescent light bulbs illuminate our offices, garages and basements but they contain mercury and use far more energy than newer alternatives. Mercury is a potent and persistent neurotoxin that the World Health Organization counts among the ten chemicals of most concern to public health. LEDs, which are mercury-free, are much safer.  California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont have already passed laws phasing out the sale of fluorescents.

“This law is a win-win for Massachusetts, saving residents and businesses money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of toxic mercury exposure and contamination,” said Rep. Cutler, (Duxbury).

“Phasing out obsolete bulbs will significantly reduce our exposure to chemicals such as mercury that have shown to have severe negative impacts on our public health and our environment,” said Sen. Moran, (Falmouth). “This bill will also lead to improved efficiency in our homes and places of work, taking a vital step forward in Massachusetts’ journey towards net-zero carbon emissions.”

See press release and fact sheet on the bill.

Pictured: MASSPIRG’s Deirdre Cummings joined by Josh McClenney, Appliance Standards Awareness Project at legislative hearing on bill to phase out fluorescent light bulbs. Cummings showing fluorescent vs cleaner more efficient LED light bulb.

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Energy efficiency

Turning up the heat in our homes shouldn’t turn up pollution

The Department of Energy has proposed the first meaningful update in over 30 years to efficiency standards for furnaces and boilers.If adopted, these standards will not only lower energy bills for millions of Americans, but they will also reduce the pollution that’s warming our planet.

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