Say good bye to the incandescent light bulb. Congress has banned them staring in 2012. Congress defends this blatant attack on consumer choice and the home is castle concept by sighting energy savings. Everyone talks about how much money and power everyone will save. Wrong!

  • Save Money? Nope. You’ll spend it all on the more expensive bulbs. So instead of a check to the utility it goes to the lighting industry. Same mothballs in the wallet for the consumer.
  • Save Power? Nope. If the fuel efficiency of cars is any indication, no power will be saved. Consumers will simply care less about turning off their lights. As cars have gotten better mpg, American’s simply drive more. The economic impact not some love of the planet is what drives these things. If making sure you turn off your lights only impacts your power bill $5 instead of $50… no one will bother. Increasing the power consumption back to the pre-meddling point. Sorry congress, market forces don’t change with your wims.

Sadly, when I first heard about this a few weeks ago, I asked “What’s next? Are they going to make it illegal to set my thermostat to low?” Little did I know just how quickly I would be proven right. California is trying to pass a bill to require radio controlled thermostats for “peak times” and “emergencies”. So what happens when California declares a “global warming emergency”? Wal-mart will sell out of window AC units that day. Though I probably shouldn’t point that out, or those will be banned before the emergency declaration.

UPDATE: Indications are that too many voters have taken noticed of this incantation of the bill. So expect a repeat of the immigration strategy – table the issue and then bring it back in a few months buried deeper in another bill.