advanced SSL technologies. To that end, DOE was authorized to create an industry alliance (NGLIA) that consists of private, for-profit firms that are competitively selected to represent, as a group, U.S. SSL research, development, infrastructure, and manufacturing expertise. DOE may give preference to participants in the Industry Alliance in issuing competitive grants awards under the NGLI. DOE signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with NGLIA in February 2005 in which NGLIA will provide a manufacturing and commercialization emphasis for the NGLI. In order to facilitate this function, NGLIA members are provided a 1-year non-exclusive license to commercialize patented technologies resulting from the Core Technology Program. Most of the participants in the Core Technology Program are small businesses and universities who would retain the intellectual property rights in their federally funded inventions under the Bayh-Dole Act. Accordingly, DOE sought and obtained a determination of an exceptional circumstance that exempts DOE-funded SSL discoveries from the Bayh-Dole Act, as provided by 35 U.S.C. §202(a)(ii) of the statute. This determination will remain valid for 10 years, to 2015. Some of the leading researchers in the field of LED and OLED lighting have stated to the Committee that they have declined to apply for DOE funding because of this Bayh-Dole exemption.
FINDING: DOE’s waiver of Bayh-Dole for projects funded by the SSL R&D program is discouraging some universities and small companies from participating in the program.
RECOMMENDATION 2-4: The Department of Energy should consider ending its waiver of Bayh-Dole for SSL funding.
EPACT (92) gave DOE the authority to amend energy efficiency standards for covered general service fluorescent lamps and incandescent reflector lamps, and DOE later received a court order to complete the rulemaking by 2009. In July 2009, DOE published a final rule (DOE, 2009a). Its requirements came into effect starting July 14, 2012. In September 2011, DOE initiated another rulemaking on general service fluorescent lamps and incandescent reflector lamps with the aim of increasing the minimum efficacy requirements for these types of lamps by a few percent (DOE, 2011d). The final rule is projected to be published in April 2014 and become effective in April 2017. As a result of National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) comments to DOE regarding this rulemaking,5 DOE issued a report in 2011 acknowledging that in the medium term, there are projected to be shortages in the global supply of certain raw materials needed to produce such lamps as would comply with the 2009 rule (DOE, 2011f). Recently, DOE has issued waivers to manufacturers of T8 fluorescent lamps to ease the problem of these shortages, although a solution for the medium and long term is still being developed by industry even as it is developing SSL technology.
Federal voluntary programs have also played a key role in the improvement in lighting energy efficiency over the past two decades. In 1991, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Green Lights Program, a partnership to promote efficient lighting systems in commercial and industrial buildings (EPA, 2009). In this program, EPA partnered with public and private organizations to promote the use of more energy-efficient lighting. The program involved developing a plan for organizations to follow, required annual reporting of energy savings, and provided a set of free technical and marketing tools for participating organizations to help them transition to more efficient lighting.
In the mid-1990s, EPA merged the Green Lights Program into the ENERGY STAR® program. The latter program was started by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary labeling program designed to promote energy efficient appliances and other end-use products (GAO, 2010). Although ENERGY STAR® did not initially include lighting, luminaires were added in 1997, CFLs in 1999, solid-state luminaires in 2007, and integral LED lamps in 2009 (Baker, 2011). ENERGY STAR® became a collaboration between EPA and DOE in 1996 (GAO, 2010). EPA plays the primary role and has responsibility for setting performance levels, overseeing partnership agreements, product qualification determinations and listing, and monitoring and verification of the ENERGY STAR® performance criteria. DOE is responsible for the development and monitoring of test and measurement procedures, although in the lighting sector, industry has generally been proactive in developing the applicable test procedures.
ENERGY STAR® previously allowed manufacturers to self-certify compliance with ENERGY STAR® requirements, but it is now tightening the standard to require thirdparty certification of test data prior to ENERGY STAR® qualification and labeling (Baker, 2011). EPA requires that a product be tested by an EPA-recognized laboratory, which then submits the test data to an EPA-recognized, third-party certification body, which certifies that the product meets the ENERGY STAR® specifications. Once the product has been certified and displays the ENERGY STAR® label, the certification body conducts off-the-shelf verification testing (at manufacturers’ expense).
The current specifications for lamps receiving an ENERGY STAR® certification provide approximately a 75 percent savings in energy use versus a standard incandescent lamp. While the current ENERGY STAR® approach is
5 Personal communication with Clark Silcox, NEMA General Counsel.