House bill aims to exempt LED lights from new DOE adapter rules

Power adapter
Power adapter | Contributed photo
LED light manufacturers are seeking relief from Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), will hold a legislative hearing next week to discuss new legislation that would provide such relief.

The bill is authored by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and aims particularly at the Energy Department’s standards for external power supplies -- more commonly known as power adapters. Such power adapters generally come in the form of a block in the middle of a power cable and are intended to convert energy from AC to DC voltage.

The power converters, such as those that come on most laptop charging cables, have been targeted by the DOE, as well as energy regulatory bodies around the world, as they often draw electricity from the grid, even if the appliance it connects to isn’t in use. The DOE initiated higher efficiency standards for converters in 2014 in an effort to cut down on unnecessary strain on the environment and the nation’s power infrastructure.

As the DOE rules go into effect this year, Ellmers’ bill intends to exempt LED and organic LED lights from the mandates that would require more efficiency. Ellmers bills the legislation as pro-consumer and pro-manufacturer, providing relief to the industry before the rules go into effect.

“This legislation is a win for manufacturers in Kentucky, North Carolina  and across the country, Whitfield and Ellmers said in a joint statement. “It provides them with the clarity they need to ensure hard-working American consumers have continued access to the best lighting technology on the market.”


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