Government takes initiative in producing energy efficient lighting

As part of President Barack Obama's strategy to make the nation more energy efficient, the Department of Energy (DOE) has announced several initiatives aimed at switching commercial and residential lighting over to more environmentally friendly alternatives.

On June 7, the DOE announced it would invest in three projects that will produce innovative lighting technologies throughout the country. In total, the DOE will allocate $7 million to lighting companies in California, Michigan and North Carolina so researchers can work to develop cleaner ways to utilize and produce LED lighting.

The DOE also issued a mandate that will suspend the sale of T-12 fluorescent lighting starting in July. T-12 lightbulbs, a form of tube lighting known for humming when powered, were once very common in commercial and industrial spaces, but these products were found to be less energy efficient than other alternatives.

"Partnering with private industry, the [DOE] is driving innovation in new, more efficient lighting products and boosting our national competitiveness in manufacturing," said U.S Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, in a press release from the DOE.

Cree Inc. of North Carolina was awarded funds to design an easily integratable LED lighting fixture that could be used in homes and businesses. California based KLA-Tencor was granted money to develop a system of quality control for LED lightbulb production, while k-Space Associates of Michigan will manufacture the new fixtures.

The DOE says these initiatives will reduce energy costs over time for businesses and homeowners. Those looking for more ways to save on energy bills should seek a home inspection or commercial inspection to determine the best steps they can take to create long-term savings.