The Biden administration's Department of Energy finalized efficiency standards on a number of product types that will eventually affect commercial real estate, although not for a few years. They will apply to new products and do not require wholesale retrofitting.

The most closely covered one is the lightbulb standard, which is the final product of a long gestation. In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act, signed by President George W. Bush, strengthened an executive order that sought greater energy efficiency. The law, passed by Congress, required, among other things, new standards for lightbulbs. They effectively would have made non-LED lighting types, like traditional incandescent and halogen, obsolete.

There were calls for exceptions by the lighting industry. The Obama administration decided in 2017 to not exempt some popular types of bulbs. When Donald Trump was elected and took office, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association sued the DOE over the standards, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The Trump administration settled the suit and agreed to revisit the issue. Under the Biden administration, when the DOE reconsidered the standards, the NEMA requested more time to implement the plan.

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