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Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Fluorescent Bulb Ban

Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Fluorescent Bulb Ban

Hawaii is just a governor’s signature away from becoming the next state to ban the sale of fluorescent light bulbs after both the state’s House and Senate passed new energy efficiency policies earlier this month, and the ban would begin on January 1, 2025.

House Bill 192/Senate Bill 690 says “The legislature finds that there have been many advances in the energy efficiency of lighting.  Fluorescent bulbs were promoted in the 1980s because they are up to thirty-five per cent more energy efficient than the incandescent light fixtures widely in use at that time; however, further advances have been made with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that are now up to eighty per cent more energy efficient than fluorescent bulbs and can last three to five times longer than fluorescent bulbs and thirty times longer than incandescent bulbs. The legislature further finds that all fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, a toxic pollutant that bioaccumulates in the environment, can pollute air and water, and causes harm to wildlife and human health.  The legislature notes that mercury-free alternatives exist for most of the thousands of products that contain mercury components. The legislature believes that LEDs are a better alternative because they do not contain any mercury, are more energy efficient, and are the cheaper life-cycle cost lighting option for consumers and businesses.  Phasing out the sale of mercury-containing bulbs in Hawaii will prevent additional toxic pollutants from being brought into the State’s ecosystem, reduce energy use, and save consumer dollars. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to prohibit the sale of certain fluorescent lamps in the State as a new manufactured product, with certain exemptions.”

Hawaii Josh Green appears ready to sign the bill into law.

It will make Hawaii the third state to ban fluorescent light bulb sales, following decisions by California and Vermont to pass similar bans. Colorado’s governor Jared Polis is expected to sign a fluorescent ban in the near future.

Lawmakers in Illinois, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New Jersey are currently debating fluorescent bans.

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