Transition to Efficient Light Bulbs Bolsters Companies, Creates Jobs

A new report shows how the transition to more efficient light bulbs is benefiting Ohio’s manufacturing economy, as an example of what can happen across the US.

Ohio has 1500 manufacturing jobs in efficient lighting, with the potential for much more and has over 105,000 green jobs.  

"Better Bulbs, Better Jobs," produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), discusses state and federal policies that are helping to create a market for advanced lighting technologies and includes seven case studies of Ohio companies driving the industry.

"If you weren’t watching, it might be a surprise to learn that Ohio is a world leader in developing energy efficient lighting," says Dylan Sullivan, staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council and a co-author of the report. "There is huge potential for this industry, but we need to retain Ohio’s smart policies to secure future growth. Rolling back the policies that strengthen the market for these innovative products means rolling back jobs just starting to come online all over the state."

A recent American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) study finds that federal lighting and appliance efficiency standards were responsible for creating 340,000 U.S. jobs, including 12,600 in Ohio, in 2010.

  • In October 2010, GE hired over 100 people to manufacture high-efficiency lighting products.
  • LSI Industries employs hundreds of people making LED lighting fixtures and other high-efficiency lighting products. Its created the fixtures that are lighting NYC’s George Washington bridge.
  • Advanced Lighting Technologies employs 120 people to make interior capsules that boost next-generation incandescents’ efficiency.
  • TCP Lighting supplies compact fluorescents and other high-efficiency bulbs to big box retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and Sears. It’s bringing back some of its manufacturing jobs from China for its new manufacturing plant.
  •  GE employs 700 engineers and designers who are envisioning and designing the efficient lighting products of the future.

    In 2008, Ohio passed an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS), which requires utilities to achieve cumulative energy savings of 22% by 2025.

    That standard helps utility customers save energy and creates jobs. J&M Electrical Supply, which implements lighting efficiency upgrades, has seen them double over the past two years. J’s Service Lighting is so overbooked for lighting retrofits, they’ve had to limit customers to a 45-mile radius.

    In a recent poll by Consumers Union and NRDC, 85% of Ohio voters said they use energy-efficient light bulbs and 60% ssupport the federal standards.

    The growth of Ohio’s efficient lighting industry is part of a larger state and national trend. In the US, the  energy-efficient economy grew at an annual rate of 3.4% from 2003-2010, outperforming the rest of the economy during the recession, according to the Brookings Institution.

    Nationwide, the transition to more efficient lighting means:

    •   Electric bill savings of over $12.5 billion per year
    •   Energy savings equivalent to 30 large power plants
    •   Reduced pollution, including a 60% reduction in mercury emissions from power plants and prevention of approximately 100 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution per year

    "Better Bulbs, Better Jobs: Case Studies in Ohio’s Energy Efficient Lighting Industry": 

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