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ENERGY STAR™ Announces Changes to LED Program

ENERGY STAR™, a long-standing fixture in the energy efficiency industry, recently announced plans to sunset their LED specifications. The proposed change means that lighting fixtures, including lamps, luminaires, and ceiling fan light kits, would no longer qualify for ENERGY STAR certification. The new guidance will not go into effect until the end of 2024, but those in the lighting industry are already discussing the impact this will have. While there are still many unknowns about what will happen in the two years leading up to the policy change, here’s what we know so far.

The official memo from ENERGY STAR detailing the plan came in mid November of 2022. Reasons for the upcoming changes include the prevalence of LED products and the decreases in the cost of these products since the program initially began. ENERGY STAR’s LED program helped to build the reputation of LED products as an energy efficient alternative that didn’t sacrifice quality, but these products have become common enough to not require as much additional support. 

Should these changes go into effect on the timeline stated, new products will stop being accepted into the ENERGY STAR lighting program at the end of 2023, with the label itself being ended on lamps, luminaires, and ceiling fan lighting by the end of 2024. Within UtilityGenius and Encentiv widgets, the primary categories impacted will be downlighting and screw-ins.  However, the organization also requested feedback on the change. The official end date for feedback was January 6th of this year, but concerned parties may reach out to the contact information in the memo if they still wish to express their opinion. No official announcement has been made about the policy’s initial reception, nor any word on how that may influence the future implementation. 

Many in the lighting industry are wondering what this change will mean for them in the coming years. First, ENERGY STAR is not the sole certifier of energy efficiency lighting products. The DLC has not announced that there will be any changes to the products that they certify in line with the ENERGY STAR changes. Most notably, lighting fixtures, which make up a large portion of commercial and industrial rebates, are not impacted by this proposal. While the retirement of the ENERGY STAR LED catalog is a major change, it does not mean the end of lighting rebates.

If and when the ENERGY STAR policy changes go into effect, utilities would likely end rebate programs for any sunset products. The end date for program support would be determined by the Department of Energy in line with key dates in the ENERGY STAR sunsetting process, though there may be a grace period offered once more details are in place. 

Given there are still two years until the proposed changes would go into effect, many of these details will be solidified in the near future. More will be known once any feedback ENERGY STAR received is released to the public. Our team will be keeping track of announcements as they’re made to make sure you have the most up to date information to prepare yourself and your business for incoming changes. 

Riley Knavish
Riley Knavish
Product Marketing Specialist, Encentiv Energy

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