CFL bulbs could have competition beginning in 2012 after all

Some lawmakers, and presumably a sizable segment of the American people, do not appear as willing to embrace CFL bulbs and energy-efficient homes as it once seemed.

As part of next fiscal year's government spending bill passed last weekend, lawmakers removed funding from government mechanisms that would have enforced a ban on traditional incandescent light bulbs. The last-minute change effectively reverses a 2007 law that would have banished incandescent light bulbs from the shelves of American merchants, beginning with the 100-watt model, next year.

Even though the law was enacted in 2007 during George W. Bush's presidency, some Republican prominent lawmakers have been targeting it for years. They say it prevents consumers from being able to use incandescent light bulbs if they would like to.

"The American people want less government intrusion into their lives, not more, and that includes staying out of their personal light bulb choices," Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said.

Experts point out that many light bulb manufactures have already modified their production strategies in anticipation of the incandescent bulb ban. Congressional defunding is unlikely to deter manufacturers from producing primarily CFL bulbs, although consumer demand will ultimately dictate what types of bulbs they produce the most of.

Various studies have shown that CFL bulbs can save a homeowner $65 annually in energy costs due to the bulb being more energy efficient. If you are a homeowner who has transitioned to CFL bulbs but is still trying to find innovative ways to further reduce your monthly energy bill, you should contact a Washington, D.C. home inspector who can conduct an energy audit. This home inspection can reveal cost-effective, long-term solutions to energy problems and set you on a path toward achieving complete energy efficiency.