...and it is a ban with the clear intention to favor CFL sales...
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007/Title III/Subtitle B/Section 321
"The Secretary of Energy shall report to Congress on the time frame for commercialization of lighting to replace incandescent and halogen incandescent lamp technology"
So the intention is clearly stated.
"BACKSTOP REQUIREMENT— if the final rule [not later than January 1, 2017] does not produce savings that are greater than or equal to the savings from a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lumens per watt, effective beginning January 1, 2020, the Secretary shall prohibit the sale of any general service lamp that does not meet a minimum efficacy standard of 45 lumens per watt"
Even the Dept of Energy itself, albeit reluctantly, talks of a second stage ban in this regard: that this
"may qualify as an outright “ban” on certain general service lamps"
The Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy confirms:
"The second tier of efficiency improvements becomes effective by 2020,
essentially requiring general service bulbs to be as efficient as today's CFLs"
(efficiency being a relative word, energy efficiency of course not being the same as performance efficiency, whether with fast cars or bright light bulbs!)
So, contrary to what Americans are being told:
Federal US (like EU) regulations are not just about banning simple regular incandescent light bulbs, they are also about banning incandescent technology itself for ordinary common light bulbs.
1. Setting a standard that does not allow certain products is of course the same as banning them.
2. Setting energy efficiency standards that (by 2020) does not allow any of today's known or indeed announced ordinary incandescent bulbs - including the Halogens that are usually around 20 lumen per watt, maxing at around 25-30 lumen per watt - is the same as banning them too.
3. To say that if I climb Mount Everest then I can smoke a cigarette,
does not really mean that I can smoke a cigarette...
As it was in the EU, so now in the USA:
The pro-regulation propaganda machine is being rolled out to reassure American consumers - and their political representatives - that the popular light bulbs (8 out of 10 bought) won't go away, that they will still have "lookalike alternatives".
This has recently taken a new frenzy, following the launch of Congressman Joe Barton's repeal ban bill for a vote next week.
The USA Natural Resources Defense Council blog can do as a typical example:
"Supporters of the repeal falsely claim that lighting efficiency standards will ban incandescent light bulbs. But as Rep. Upton knows well, this is claim is simply untrue. Indeed, it’s a whopper. Advanced incandescent bulbs that meet the new efficiency standards – but look and provide light just the same as old-fashioned light bulbs -- are on the market..."
Standards are therefore set for regular household bulbs that no known incandescent - Halogen or otherwise - can meet,
and even if they could, they would hardly be made, as incandescent technology is admitted to be unprofitable for the major manufacturers (the industrial politics is covered here).
The further issue,
that keeps being forgotten,
is that energy standard requirements change product characteristics.
See http://ceolas.net/#cc21x regarding buildings and cars as well as washing machines, TV sets etc apart from light bulbs.
So, for example, a fuel efficient car may be lighter, flimsier, less safe, or slower and more poorly accelerating then the equivalent without fuel efficiency standard.
Similarly, replacement-type Halogen bulbs are still different from common simple incandescents in light quality etc, apart from costing much more for marginal savings, which is why they are not popular either with politicians or consumers:
If people really take up this "offer" to keep using incandescents that are less energy efficient than CFLs or LEDs the national energy savings would be even less than otherwise.
Post-ban EU shows what happens:
The temporarily allowed Halogen type replacements are only available in certain shops - and then only in in limited ranges - following the same bland promises from politicians there.
CFL and to a lesser extent LED sales are massively pushed in general stores, "to save people money", regardless of whether people like them or not (and liking a product does not mean one still can't appreciate other products, for their advantages).
So, people are denied the use of a cheap, safe, useful lighting technology
(and pushed to use questionably safe alternatives),
- an incandescent technology that easily achieves the brightness that is so difficult and expensive with CFLs and LEDs,
- and that also in transparent bulbs finds attractive uses that frosted CFLs and LEDs find impossible to emulate, among many other incandescent advantages.
Note thereby the particular irony that 100W bulbs are the first to be banned,
with their simply and easily constructed bright omnidirectional performance,
and indeed a warmth that in most temperate climates is another advantage (a heat effect ridiculed by government spokesmen until they talk about it's "bad effect" on air conditioning cooling - political logic, if you will).
energy savings are the main reason for energy usage standards.
The supposed amount of energy savings are in fact not there, and even if they were,
there are much better and more relevant energy savings in electricity generation and distribution as well as consumption.
Given that the need to save electricity for paying consumers can be questioned in the first place, there is nothing to defend these federal regulations.
The final irony,
is that consumers as a whole will hardly save money
– regardless of what the energy savings are.
That is not just in having to pay more for the light bulbs as an initial cost (or being forced to pay for them, via taxpayer CFL programs),
but also because electricity companies are being subsidised or allowed to raise rates to compensate for any reduced electricity use, as already seen both federally and in California, Ohio etc, and before them in the UK and other European countries.
More on how consumers are being duped: