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DoE Promotes Solid-State Lighting

Photonics Spectra
May 2007
Anne L. Fischer

The US Department of Energy (DoE) is stepping up efforts to promote solid-state lighting, an emerging technology that has the potential to save energy. It has created the Solid-State Lighting Technical Information Network, through which it will funnel product testing information, Energy Star specifications and other literature. The goal is to increase awareness of the technology among target markets, which include builders, lighting contractors and building owners.

The DoE has selected two organizations to partner with in carrying out the network’s mission. Their frameworks of groups, businesses and public agencies involved in energy conservation will provide suitable channels for the department.

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency Inc. is a Boston-based nonprofit group that promotes the manufacture and purchase of energy-efficient products and services. Its goal is to promote structural and behavioral changes that result in increased adoption of energy conservation technology. Among its members are utilities companies, environmental groups, research organizations and state energy offices in the US and Canada.

The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), a nonprofit group based in Lexington, Mass., promotes energy-saving technology in homes, buildings and industries in the northeastern US through advocacy and sharing of expertise among collaborators. It works with ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs from Maine to New Jersey, coordinating research, strategic marketing and incentive programs to increase consumer demand for Energy Star products.

According to Ed Schmidt, director of regional initiatives for NEEP, the organization will initiate projects to inform targeted agencies and officials about the emerging role of the technology in energy conservation. It will work to facilitate the introduction of market-ready solid-state products as they evolve.

The DoE’s earlier effort to market compact fluorescent technology was undermined by poor-quality products, according to James Brodrick, solid-state lighting portfolio manager at the department. With the new network, the department instead will start with manufacturers and share test data with them.

The network is running a demonstration program in conjunction with the Federal Energy Management Program to equip some buildings with solid-state lighting that has had photometric testing. The response to this program has been high, with about 60 sites already onboard, Brodrick said.

The DoE also is implementing workshops as part of its outreach effort. The goal is to assess how solid-state lighting can best be brought to market to provide both energy efficiency and user satisfaction.

More information on the DoE’s Solid-State Lighting Technical Information Network can be found at www.netl.doe.gov/ssl.


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