Press Release

Press Release AG Healey Sues Trump Administration for Rolling Back Energy Efficiency Standards for Light Bulbs

Weakening the Standards Will Cost Consumers Billions Each Year in Lost Electricity Savings
For immediate release:
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for AG Healey Sues Trump Administration for Rolling Back Energy Efficiency Standards for Light Bulbs

Chloe Gotsis

BOSTONMassachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general and the City of New York in suing the Department of Energy (DOE) over its final rule rolling back money-saving energy efficiency standards for a variety of commonly-used light bulbs.

The DOE’s final rule excludes many types of common “general service” light bulbs, including those used in recessed and tracked lighting, sconces, and bathroom lighting fixtures, from meeting heightened energy efficiency standards. The lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, challenges the agency’s final rule that will delay the adoption of energy efficiency goals, undermine state and local energy policy, increase consumer and environmental costs, and increase dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants.

“The Trump Administration wants to roll back commonsense energy standards that save consumers money on their utility bills and reduce air pollution,” AG Healey said. “We are suing to fight this illegal and wasteful rule and to protect Massachusetts families and our environment.”

Today’s lawsuit follows comments the coalition submitted to DOE in May 2019 that urged DOE to maintain the stricter, environmentally-sound definitions for general service lamps and incandescent light bulbs that were established by the Obama Administration in 2017 under the Energy and Policy Conservation Act (EPCA), and not to revert to older definitions that exempt these commonly-used light bulbs from highly beneficial efficiency standards. The current requirements prohibit retailers from selling light bulbs that do not meet the minimum standard of 45 lumens per watt. 

The final rule will cost consumers $12 billion each year in lost electricity savings by 2025, or $100 per household per year.

The lawsuit is being brought to challenge DOE’s final rule that weakens energy efficiency standards in violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and is arbitrary and capricious and unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act.

The coalition also submitted comments today opposing DOE’s related proposal to not amend (and strengthen) energy efficiency standards for common pear-shaped incandescent light bulbs. According to DOE’s own analysis, adopting strengthened energy standards for these light bulbs will save consumers $4.2 billion.

Joining AG Healey in filing today’s lawsuit are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, and the City of New York.


Media Contact for AG Healey Sues Trump Administration for Rolling Back Energy Efficiency Standards for Light Bulbs

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.