A recent consumer survey by marketing group EcoPinion indicates that many Americans believe the 2007 EPACT legislation banning certain inefficient light bulbs is a good thing. It is a good thing because it forces manufacturers to improve technology in an area where they otherwise had no reason to improve. Incandescent light bulbs were likely a dependable recurring source of revenue because they constantly needed to be replaced. They were also a victim of the status quo; as long as they provided the light people were used to, people didn't seem to care whether they were efficient or not.
Now with more information available to more people, it seems attitudes are changing. The report by EcoPinion, called "Lighting the Path Forward to Greater Energy Efficiency" shows that two-thirds of respondents (extrapolated as two-thirds of Americans) think it is a good idea for old inefficient incandescent light bulbs to be replaced by new energy efficient light bulbs. Out of the respondents who do not think this is a good idea, the majority were older than 55 years old.
The survey also asked which energy efficient technology, if any, was used by respondents. Two-thirds had purchased at least one compact fluorescent light bulb
. If price were not an issue, most respondents would choose LED light bulbs
, with only 12 percent of respondents indicating they would choose old inefficient incandescents.
These results are encouraging. Even though there are certain people in politics who would like to see the lighting legislation overturned, it looks like it will remain. The ban on inefficient light bulbs is not an affront to personal liberties. It is a way to spur innovation in an industry that otherwise may not have had any motivation to do so. It's not unlike the government requiring new vehicles to reach a certain gas mileage.