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25-Year-Old Buys Lifetime Supply of Incandescent Bulbs

25-Year-Old Buys Lifetime Supply of Incandescent Bulbs

25-year-old Kevin Szmyd, a software developer from New Hampshire, has figured out a way to beat the Department of Energy’s crackdown on incandescent light bulbs.

Szmyd bought a lifetime supply before the ban took effect on August 1. That turned out to be about 3,500 bulbs at a cost of $1,700.

Back in 2007, Congress passed the energy efficiency standard, but it was never really enforced, even during the LED lighting boom. But, on April 26th of this year, the Department of Energy released a new statement, explaining that it will begin its enforcement of General Service Lamp standards. The fines could become significant, stating, “Any person who knowingly violates any provision of may be subject to assessment of a civil penalty of no more than $542 for each violation. As to § 429.102(a)(1)with respect to failure to certify, and as to § 429.102(a)(2), (5) through (9), each unit of a covered product or covered equipment distributed in violation of such paragraph shall constitute a separate violation. For violations of § 429.102(a)(1), (3), and (4), each day of noncompliance shall constitute a separate violation for each basic model at issue.” The Department of Energy added, “Generally, the Department seeks the maximum civil penalty against manufacturers and private labelers that knowingly distribute in commerce products or equipment that violate the federal energy or water conservation standards. DOE believes the maximum penalty is both appropriate and necessary, as such violations directly undermine the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) regulatory regime and prevent consumers from realizing the energy and cost savings intended by the energy conservation standards program.”

But, if you bought the incandescent bulbs before the August 1 deadline, you can keep and use them. Szmyd’s research leads him to believe the stockpile will last 75 years.

Szmyd belongs to a Facebook group called “Antique Incandescent Lamp/Light Bulb Collectors” which appears to focus on collecting rare light bulbs made decades ago. He said he bought the bulbs on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and eBay.

Critics of the 2007 energy efficiency standard say it damages a competitive lighting market by providing unfair advantages to energy-efficient products. The DOE says Americans will save $3 billion and cut carbon emissions by 222 metric tons every year just by switching to energy-efficient lighting.

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