Up until now, a 2007 federal law tightening energy efficiency standards in the country has stayed mostly under the radar. But on New Year’s Day it became illegal to manufacture or import the most popular light bulbs in the country — the 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs perfected more than a century ago by Thomas Edison.
When stores sell out of their current stock of incandescent light bulbs, consumers will be forced to make the switch to LED, CFL or halogen. A previous phase in the law already put a halt to the manufacture or importation of the 75 and 100 watt models.
Missouri utility regulators have given approval for what Ameren Missouri calls the most aggressive energy efficiency plan ever in the state.
Under the plan approved Wednesday by the Missouri Public Service Commission, Ameren will invest $147 million over three years in several programs that seek to reduce electricity use by 800 million megawatt-hours.
The plan was part of a negotiated settlement among Ameren, PSC staff, consumer advocates and environmental groups.
The proposal is designed to promote energy efficiency while still allowing the St. Louis-based utility to earn a profit. It has an estimated price tag of $145 million and it would be paid by the utility’s customers, whose residential bills on average would be about $3 a month higher. But Ameren Missouri’s Warren Wood says if approved, customers would save money in the long run.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill was in St. Louis Monday as part of her state-wide energy tour.
The Democratic senator participated in a roundtable discussion at Washington University about the nation's energy future. At the table were some of Missouri's energy industry leaders, along with university administrators and researchers.
McCaskill says their feedback reinforced for her the need to keep all energy options on the table.
Missouri is lagging in its use of federal stimulus money intended to make homes more energy efficient for low-income residents.
Missouri received nearly $129 million in home weatherization funds for low-income residents under the 2009 federal stimulus bill. As of the end of January, just $47 million of that had been spent. That amounts to 37 percent of the total.