Department of Energy Finalizes 45 LPW Standard and Definitions

The long-awaited adoption of the 45 lumens per watt (lpw) backstop requirement by the Department of Energy (DOE) is over. Last night, DOE pre-published the final rule, making the 45 lpw requirement official. ALA welcomes the final rule and DOE’s discretion and leniency towards enforcement.

In the final rule, DOE concluded that the backstop was triggered because DOE failed to complete a rulemaking cycle that produced energy savings greater than or equal to a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lpw. Once the backstop becomes enforceable, sales of general service lamps (GSL) that do not meet the 45 lpw standard will be prohibited.

To enforce the backstop, DOE is employing a progressive enforcement approach. Enforcement will begin with manufacturers then gradually transition to retailers. Full enforcement of both channels is expected by late July 2023. DOE intends to seek the maximum civil penalty for violators (those knowingly distributing banned products in commerce), once full enforcement takes effect. Read the enforcement statement.

Below is a breakdown of the manufacturer enforcement timeframe:

The expected enforcement timeframe for retailers:

In addition to affirming the backstop, DOE has also pre-published a final rule amending and expanding the definitions of GSLs and general service incandescent lamps. The effective date of this final rule is 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, which would roughly be sometime in late June. These new definitions apply to the sales ban affiliated with the 45 lpw backstop. Read the amended definitions.

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