EPA to Remove ENERGY STAR Rating for Lighting
LED Lighting Moves from Revolution to Evolution

On November 22 2022 the manager of the ENERGY STAR program at the EPA released a memo requesting feedback for the proposed sunsetting of Energy Star ratings for lighting products and ceiling fan light kits. The current timeline will remove the rating by the end of 2024.

The program has considered the evolution of energy efficient LED lighting and has come to the conclusion that the market now enforces at least the minimum efficiency required in the specification. The program notes that the transition from traditional incandescent to LED has taken place over the last 20 years and now has moved into everyday use.

With significant energy savings, LED lighting can currently replace nearly all conventional light products. The market share of LEDs is substantial and expanding, replacing less effecient technologies. The LED "revolution" has transitioned into a "evolution" as the market changes significantly.

Under certain circumstances, EPA makes the determination that an ENERGY STAR
specification for a particular product category should be sunset rather than revised. Some or all of the following factors play into such a decision:

• Additional, cost-effective efficiency gains are not available or anticipated
• A standard exists or is forthcoming at the current ENERGY STAR level that will serve as a
backstop so efficiency gains are maintained.
• The market has evolved such that the product type is being discontinued

Expected Sunset Timing

The anticipated sunset date is the end of 2024 with no new products being added after the end of 2023. This will also end government rebate programs for the replacement of traditional lighting with LED.

End of Rebate Programs

Energy Star Rebate programs have been a significant force behind the adoption of ENERGY STAR certified lighting for nearly two decades, providing their consumers with much-needed long-term energy savings through efficient rebates. In weighing the certification expenses necessary to obtain the ENERGY STAR designation, manufacturers have taken into account the ubiquity of utility lighting subsidies, according to EPA.

Utility program enrollment has been falling recently as a result of the expectation that new federal criteria will be implemented. Now that the backstop has been activated, it will be more challenging for utility program administrators to defend the continuation of their discounts. According to EPA, fewer utility programs may be able to continue providing free bulbs to income-eligible consumers through 2023, while some may be able to continue offering rebates on ENERGY STAR lighting through the end of 2024. 

Sunsetting Process

The sunsetting process will include:

  • The end of verification testing
  • The Qualified Products List (QPL) stops accepting new applications (proposed: December 2023)
  • Utilities will not give rebates for ENERGY STAR qualification after a specific date
  • Products manufactured after a certain date will no longer be marked as ENERGY STAR (proposed: December 2024)
  • The QPL and other Lighting Program information will be removed from the ENERGY STAR website
  • Because the DOE rules apply only to lamps, the sunsetting process may be different for lamps than for luminaires.

EPA Feedback

EPA values stakeholder feedback on this proposal. Stakeholders who have any questions or want to discuss their plans to discontinue labeling may contact lighting@energystar.gov.

EPA to Remove ENERGY STAR Rating for Lighting
Brand Lighting, Joshua Berkowitz 26 December, 2022
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