California's Clean Lighting Bill:
Why NJ Businesses Should Take Note

In the context of environmental and sustainability initiatives, California has long held the mantle of leadership; typically setting the pace for the rest of the nation to follow. California’s newest legislation (AB 2202) aims to reduce the environmental impact of mercury by prohibiting the sale of certain types of fluorescent lighting products. The legislation has significant implications for California consumers and businesses; and we should be paying close attention.

California Bill AB 2208: A Forward-Thinking Legislation

AB 2208 is primarily aimed at reducing the environmental impact of mercury-containing lighting products. AB 2208 will prohibit the sale and distribution of compact and linear fluorescent lamps, consequentially directing consumers toward LED technology or other energy-efficient lighting solutions. The regulation will go into effect starting January 1, 2024 for screw or bayonet-base type fluorescent lamps, and expand to include pin-base type and linear fluorescent lamps on January 1, 2025.

Implications for Business Owners and Property Managers

Potential challenges for business owners and property managers will likely revolve around the logistics of implementing new technology, cost considerations, and preventing operational disruptions for building occupants. Transitioning to LED lighting systems can be a costly investment, but the reduced energy consumption directly translates into lower utility costs as well as eligibility for tax incentives, such as the Section 179D tax deduction.

New Jersey property managers should view this legislation as a sign of things to come and include these considerations in their budget forecasting.

Examples of California Leading the Way

California’s track record in setting environmental regulations that eventually spread to other states is well-documented. For instance, California’s early adoption of stringent vehicle emissions standards in the 1960s paved the way for nationwide clean air regulations through the Clean Air Act. California’s energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings have often served as a model for other states as well.

What New Jersey Businesses and Property Managers Should Take Away
  1. Inevitable Adoption: Historically, California’s environmental regulations have been a harbinger of what’s to come nationwide. Property managers in New Jersey should anticipate similar regulations being introduced in their state sooner or later.
  2. Cost Savings: Transitioning to energy-efficient lighting, such as LED, offers significant utility cost savings. Reduced energy consumption translates directly into lower utility bills. The extended lifespan of LED compared to traditional lighting systems can help to reduce maintenance costs.
  3. Environmental Benefits: Embracing sustainability not only reduces costs but also contributes to a positive environmental impact. Energy-efficient lighting reduces greenhouse gas emissions, making properties more attractive to eco-conscious tenants and clients.
  4. Improved Lighting Quality: Energy-efficient lighting systems like LEDs provide superior light quality, enhancing the comfort and productivity of building occupants.
  5. Tax Incentives: Transitioning to LED lighting can make property owners eligible for tax incentives, such as the Section 179D tax deduction, potentially offsetting the initial costs of retrofitting.
HRG is available to assist NJ businesses with energy efficiency capital planning. Staying ahead of the curve allows businesses to stay ahead of demand-driven cost surges, and realize savings from lower energy bills sooner.

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