NYS Seal


Oral Testimony by Invitation Only


Environmental Issues Related to Lighting Alternatives


To examine environmental and energy efficiency issues related to lighting technology alternatives

Monday, June 4, 2007, 10:00 am
Roosevelt Hearing Room C
Legislative Office Building/ 2nd Floor
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12248

According to the United States Department of Energy, energy consumption for all lighting in the U.S. is estimated to use about 22% of the total electricity generated. Consumers and businesses spend approximately $58 billion a year to light their homes, offices, streets, and factories. Most residences still use traditional incandescent light bulbs, which convert approximately ten percent of the electricity they use to produce light with the remaining 90 percent converted to heat. According to Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy used in the average home can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car.

Energy efficient lighting alternatives, such as compact fluorescent bulbs, or "CFLs", have made inroads into home lighting systems in the last few years. While CFLs are more expensive to purchase than traditional incandescent lamps, they use two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer, with an average life span of five years. It is estimated that a compact bulb saves $30 or more in energy costs before it burns out. However, CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury and should be treated as household hazardous waste and recycled. In addition, criticisms of current technology include the quality and spectrum of light provided by CFLs, the time it takes for the bulbs to reach full brightness and the availability of specialized bulbs such as dimmable lights and candelabra bases.

Legislation has been introduced in several states, including New York, which would ban incandescent light bulbs by a certain date or require the use of more efficient alternatives, effectively banning the sale of traditional incandescent light bulbs. Other measures would make the use of energy efficient alternatives mandatory by governmental entities.

The purpose of this hearing is to solicit information to assess the environmental, energy efficiency and economic impacts of switching from traditional incandescent light bulbs to more efficient lighting alternatives. This information will help New York's policymakers to determine appropriate State actions regarding requirements and/or restrictions on the sale, use and disposal of light bulbs. The Committees will invite witnesses representing a wide range of interests including government officials, public interest groups and members of the scientific and academic community to assist in this effort.

Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only and limited to 10 minutes duration. 15 copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact person listed on the reply form. In order to further publicize the hearing, please inform interested parties of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Robert K. Sweeney, Member of Assembly
Chairman, Committee on Environmental Conservation

Paul D. Tonko, Member of Assembly
Chairman, Committee on Energy


Persons invited to present testimony at the public hearing on Environmental Issues Related to Lighting Alternatives to be held on June 4, 2007 or who wish to submit written testimony, are requested to complete and return this reply form by May 30, 2007 by mail or fax to:

Alex Roth
Principal Legislative Analyst
New York State Assembly
Program & Counsel Staff
Capitol/ Room 520
Albany, NY 12248
e-mail: rotha@assembly.state.ny.us
(518) 455-4363
fax (518) 455-5182

(It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.)

box I plan to attend the public hearing on June 4, 2007 concerning Environmental Issues Related to Lighting Alternatives to be conducted by the Assembly Committees on Environmental Conservation and Energy.

box I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 15 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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