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.
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.
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.
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.