DOE comments on Energy Star takeover by EPA

DOE is still not sure what will happen to the Energy Star for SSL program under EPA control, although the criteria adoption process for outdoor lighting and replacement lamps will continue.

As reported by LEDs Magazine several weeks ago (see News), DOE and EPA have signed a partnership agreement that transfers the responsibilities for the Energy Star program, including solid-state lighting, from DOE to EPA.

Jim Brodrick, lighting program manager for the DOE, has provided an update on the situation in his weekly Postings email.

Brodrick confirmed that DOE will no longer have an active operational role in Energy Star. A transition plan is being developed, and this looks likely to be formalized before the end of the year.

He also says that it is not clear yet what will happen to the Energy Star for SSL program under EPA control, adding that Energy Star played "only a minor role" in the DOE's overall commercialization support efforts for SSL, which will continue.

However, according to a New York Times Blog article, Senator Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate energy committee, does not see this as the end of the story. "I’m going to ask the agencies to go back and take into account the views of the Congress and external stakeholders," he said.

The following quotes are taken directly from Jim Brodrick's Postings email (see Footnote):

“Regarding solid-state lighting, at the behest of Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA) and other industry stakeholders, an agreement has been reached with EPA to continue the criteria adoption process for outdoor lighting and replacement lamps.

“The final timetable for adoption will probably hinge on the transition plan and whether EPA will agree to employ the criteria that DOE approves following the current vetting process.

“It is still unclear whether the Energy Star SSL Program will continue as introduced by DOE, or if significant changes will be made by EPA. I’m sure that information will be transmitted directly to Energy Star Partners by EPA once additional decisions are made.

“While Energy Star was a component of, and a welcome addition to, the DOE SSL Program, it played only a minor role in our overall commercialization support efforts. These efforts will continue in full-force and I don’t see our relationship with the industry and its stakeholders substantially changing.

“We are in the process of expanding our Caliper, Gateway Demonstration, and Lighting Facts efforts as a way of broadening our commercialization support in an expanding industry. We will also be increasing stakeholder educational efforts, especially for those potential buyers not totally familiar with solid-state lighting.

“This expansion has been in process for some time and it will continue to be supportive of Energy Star if EPA chooses to remain on the same path created by DOE. We believe it is critical that the fundamentals of the technical work that DOE has helped established, like LM-79 and LM-80, remain a foundation of the Energy Star Program.

“However, in the future, that will be up to EPA to decide. The DOE SSL Program will not be in a position to provide technical support to EPA. Such support will have to come directly through EPA’s own channels.

“I would like to thank all of you that have provided support to the Department in its quest to establish and operate an Energy Star SSL Program that is conducive to the direction that most in the industry are taking.

“While DOE will no longer be directly involved in Energy Star operational activities, we will not cede our role in working with the industry and stakeholders in pursuing the most reasonable and productive approach to assuring the SSL market efforts are successful.”

Footnote

This Posting is one of a series of weekly Postings from Jim Brodrick, lighting program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy. Sent out electronically to more than 5,000 subscribers, these Postings provide updates on DOE solid-state lighting program events, as well as timely discussions of critical issues impacting the development and acceptance of solid-state lighting. We encourage you to share the Postings for educational, non-commercial use only. To add your name to the Postings mailing list, contact postings@lightingfacts.com.

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