Energy Conservation & Efficiency

MASSPIRG urges lawmakers to phase out fluorescent light bulbs

MA state lawmakers consider bill to phase out fluorescent light bulbs. Transitioning to safer, cheaper, more efficient LED bulbs.

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

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 caused by the mercury found within fluorescent light bulbs, save families and businesses money on utility bills, and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project,  phasing out the sale of fluorescents in favor of LEDs could generate Massachusetts $146 million in annual electricity bill savings by 2030, and avoid a total of 954,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050.

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. In addition, technological advancements in recent years have made LEDs more readily available and cost-effective. California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont have already passed laws phasing out the sale of fluorescents.

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

State Rep. Josh Cutler testifies before the MA Legislature’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities in support of the Clean Lighting bill.Photo by public | Public Domain

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