GE Study: Consumers Buy Energy-Efficient Lighting for Benefits, not Looming Federal Efficiency Standards

Seventy-eight percent of people polled didn't know about mandate to switch

CLEVELAND, Ohio — (NYSE: GE)  A study commissioned by GE Lighting, a unit of GE Appliances & Lighting, indicates that knowledge of energy-saving benefits — not 2012 federal efficiency standards that begin to phase out less efficient lighting, such as standard incandescent bulbs — is the largest driver for adoption of new energy-efficient light sources, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) by homeowners and rent dwellers. Over half (52 percent) of the consumers who report plans to buy more CFLs in the future say the purchase of CFLs will be motivated by energy savings.

Three of four people (75 percent) polled were not aware of the pending 2012 federal legislation that will require manufacturers to make products that meet new minimum levels of energy efficiency.

“We're not sensing a rush by consumers to comply with the looming federal standards,” says Kathy Sterio, general manager of consumer marketing, GE Lighting. “There's a major shift to CFLs, but it's clearly is a matter of educated consumers choosing CFLs for their strengths.”

ENERGY STAR®-qualified GE Energy Smart® CFLs meet the new standards right now. GE Energy Smart CFLs consume as much as 75 percent less energy, give off much less heat, and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.

“Our marketing, advertising and packaging have espoused the value of energy-efficient CFLs for over a decade,” adds Sterio. “We've found that once people learn about the energy-saving benefits of CFLs and other technologies such as halogen or LED, they switch to them where it makes sense.”

Additional study findings:
  • 26 percent of consumers reported changing light bulb shopping locations due to economic constraints. They are gravitating toward low-price retailers, dollar stores and club stores.
  • 82 percent of consumers indicated they currently use CFLs in their homes (80 percent report current use of incandescent bulbs).
GE's Light Bulb Purchasing and State of the Economy Research was conducted in March 2009. It was an online study of 1,519 homeowners who reported having primary responsibility for light bulb purchases. The geographically balanced sample of respondents reported shopping for light bulbs at various types of retail outlets.

Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2014, federal government legislation aimed at reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will ban the sale of inefficient light bulbs. First to go are 100-watt incandescent bulbs (2012), then 75-watt incandescent bulbs (2013), and finally 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs (2014). GE has consumers covered each step of the way with a variety of alternatives such as CFLs and LEDs — available today — that already meet the new efficiency standards.