DOE awards Philips $10 million for creating a $50 “green” light bulb

posted at 6:00 pm on March 12, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Department of Energy competition: $10 million

Philips “affordable” “green” light bulb: $50

The opportunity to expose the DOE’s inefficiency yet again: Priceless.

The lights are on, but nobody is home at the Department of Energy, which recently awarded Philips $10 million as a part of a competition to spur companies to create an affordable “green” light bulb. Philips’ award-winning light bulb costs consumers $50. So affordable. Fox and Friends has the story:


In 2007, Congress passed a law — and President G.W. Bush signed it — that established energy efficiency standards that effectively made the incandescent light bulb obsolete. The infamous “light bulb ban” became a symbol of government overreach and the 2010 incoming House GOP majority made it a top priority to repeal it. While those fearless Republicans haven’t yet managed a complete repeal, they did at least recently push through a half-measure that prevents the administration from spending any money to enforce the standards. So, there’s that.

As this story illustrates, though, the DOE still finds plenty of creative ways to interfere in the marketplace. Under the guise of a “competition,” the Energy Department has effectively subsidized the creation of this undesirably expensive light bulb and wasted taxpayer dollars in the process. As Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess says in the video, “It just underscores the difficulty that we have in getting any kind of efficiency out of the Department of Energy, let alone energy efficiency.” Well said, sir.

Apparently, Philips offers a rebate for purchasers of the light bulb. Is the rebate for $49.21? Because incandescent bulbs are about $0.79 a bulb. These “green” bulbs better last about 63 times longer than incandescent bulbs to make their purchase “affordable.”


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