U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office – Information Resources
Text-Alternative Version: L Prize™: The Race for Super Efficient Light Bulbs
Below is the text-alternative version of the L Prize™: The Race for Super Efficient Light Bulbs webcast.
Moderator: We're very happy to have as our speaker today Kelly Gordon of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Mary Matteson Bryan of PG&E and Liesel Whitney-Schulte of Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. Welcome to Kelly, Mary, and Liesel.
Kelly, please begin.
Kelly Gordon: Thank you, everyone, for joining the webcast today to learn more about the L Prize Competition: The Race for Super Efficient Light Bulbs. I'm Kelly Gordon. I'm with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and PNNL provides lead technical support to the U.S. Department of Energy's Solid-State Lighting Program.
What I'd like to do today is provide you some background on the L Prize Competition and the origins of the competition, describe what it is and what the requirements are, and talk about how energy efficiency programs and utilities from around the country are getting involved as partners with DOE in the program.
I'm going to be joined by Mary Matteson Bryan and Liesel Whitney-Schulte today. And they will be able to speak to why and how partners are getting involved in this program.
Solid-state lighting really is transforming the lighting landscape in our country. And as part of this development of this technology, the L Prize Competition was actually created in legislation last year. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 calls out the "Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prizes" which we have shortened to "L Prize," and the idea here is to replace with energy-efficient solid-state lighting technology two of the most commonly used incandescent light sources: the 60W A19 screw in light bulb and the PAR 38 Halogen reflector flood.
The legislation also mentions a 21st Century Lamp category, and it provides for cash prizes for the first products that are able to meet these requirements of the competition. It really provides an opportunity to save significant energy and greenhouse gas emissions. That was the intention behind the establishment of those prizes.
Solid-state lighting continues to develop very rapidly. As DOE's Research and Development Portfolio indicates, there are more than 50 projects currently underway, and this runs the gamut from basic science research in materials and new product development in core technology, and we see great progress being made in that program
Each year, DOE updates its projections of the performance of solid-state lighting technologies in close cooperation with the industry and publishes those in the multi-year program plan. Now this is a snapshot from the March 2008 industry targets, shows laboratory projections for the performance in terms of lumens per watt each year, and then additional curves that would show commercially available products in both the Cool White and Warm White technologies.
As of August, we're getting as high as 70 lumens per watt in commercially available LEDs in Warm White colors. So things continue to progress very rapidly.
And this is kind of the background in which the L Prize idea has emerged as putting forward a technology race to encourage manufacturers to produce very-high efficiency lighting products that can really have an impact on energy use in our country.
So what has happened with L Prize to date? Well, obviously, there was a legislation. There was also a nine-month development process that DOE engaged with an active steering committee on. And this included four California utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and San Diego Gas and Electric. And they provided the benefit of their many years of experience in promoting energy-efficient lighting technologies and caring out programs that really produce energy savings.
As a part of this process, the technical requirements and evaluation criteria were developed for the L Prize program. We had a launch event at Light Fair in May. And there was a Federal Register announcement in June. And the picture you see on this slide is of the ____ documentation for the program, including all of the rules and the evaluation criteria.
At the event, this was a well-attended event. The trade press was in strong attendance. The many utility programs participated in that event, which took place on the LIGHTFAIR floor. David Rodgers, who's the Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Energy, spoke there at the event, and was joined by representatives of the four California utilities.
Now since that time, several other energy efficiency programs and utilities have joined as partners with DOE. Nevada Power, Efficiency Vermont, and Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, representing the focus on energy programs, have also signed MOUs with DOE and are providing valuable input into the program, and I will certainly say more about the role of partners in the program.
So now that L Prize has been developed, the rules and the criteria are in place. Now what do we do? Because this contest is somewhat unlike other design competitions and technology ____ that the DOE has run in the past in that there's no fixed deadline. We don't know exactly when products will be ready, because it's a matter of when the technology is ready to meet the very high performance requirements that have been laid out in the legislation.
So basically, at this point, we need to get prepared, and that involves several things: inviting additional partners to come into the program with DOE that efficiency program and utilities; we're finalizing test procedures and preparing the testing lab capacity – this is a very important part of the program; we're making the logistical arrangements – we'll be dealing with thousands of lamp samples when the entries start to come in; and establishing a technical review committee – this is one of the things that DOE was directed in the legislation to be able to assemble a committee of experts to review the entries and test results; we also have an ongoing communications program in place – we want to keep people informed of what is happening with the competition and be able to kind of watch this technology race as it unfolds.
So what are the requirements? And on the technical certification, the basic requirements were laid out in the energy legislation. For the 60W incandescent replacement lamp, it requires a luminous efficacy of 90 lumens per watt. That's very high compared to incandescent, for example, which is about 15 lumens per watt. Good quality compact fluorescent yields about 60 to 70 lumens per watt, so this is well beyond the efficiency of compact fluorescent lamps.
They have to have greater than 25,000 hour life, useful life, and better than 90 CRI. The PAR 38 Halogen has to have 123 lumens per watt and at least 1,350 lumens, and again, with the similar life and color requirements.
So those are sort of the bare bones requirements laid out in the legislation. Now in the program plan, we've added additional details for quality, for performance, and for mass manufacturing, because the intent is to have products that will be mass manufactured and that will be successful in the marketplace.
The overall objective, of course, is to realize energy savings and real benefits for consumers and users. So looking at what is the highest potential energy savings here, we ran some numbers, and if every socket were converted to an L Prize winning product, we would have 34 terawatt hours of electricity saved and avoid more than 5 ½ million metric tons of carbon emissions. So these are very significant potential energy savings that could result. When you're thinking about all of those light sockets that are out there using standard incandescent light bulbs, this could have a significant impact on lighting electricity use.
What are the submittal requirements? Now of course, manufacturers have to have a product that they are confident can meet the stringent technical requirements, but what else do they have to do? Well, we aren't actually going to require that they can levitate the light bulb, but here's a nice photograph. But we do require that they put – that they submit 2,000 lamp samples, and this has to be from a continuous production run. They also need to provide a manufacturing compatibility plan that would indicate at least 250,000 unit capacity in the first year. And the LED chips that are used in the products need to be produced in the United States, and that is something that is called out in the legislation.
Now how are we going to know these products really meet the requirements that have been laid out in the program? There's going to be a rigorous product evaluation process that will include performance and lifetime testing conducted by independent laboratories. It will include field assessments in collaboration with utilities and other partners. It will include some stress testing under extreme conditions, and I'll say more about each of these. But the purpose of all of this evaluation, and this is going to take the better part of a year to evaluate these products, the purpose is to detect and address product weaknesses before market introduction, to avoid problems with long-term market acceptance.
So a little bit more on the testing. We will be doing photometric testing according to the new LM-79 test procedure that is published by the Illuminating Engineering Society. That allows us to measure luminous flux, intensity distributions, chromaticity and color characteristics, power factor and other attributes that are important to the performance of the lamp. We'll be testing 200 samples out of those 2,000 that are required to be submitted. We'll be using an integrating sphere, and in some cases, a goniophotometer.
Lumen maintenance will also be a very important attribute that will be tested because that really is what defines useful life of LED products. They tend to degrade very slowly over time, rather than having an abrupt failure, although that can happen as well. But we'll be looking at lumen maintenance, with a useful life definition of as the point where output has dropped to below 70 percent of initial output. So we will be conducting at least 6,000 hours of testing on these lamps. 200 samples. They'll be a 45 degree C environment, so that's a pretty high temperature environment, and the metric we'll be using is – the shorthand for it is L70/C95/B10. Now what does that mean? L70 refers to 70 percent lumen maintenance. C95 is a 95 percent confidence interval, and B10 refers to no more than 10 percent of samples falling below the 70 percent lumen maintenance over the 25,000 hour life. So it's a statistical measure that allows ______ with 95 percent confidence that 90 percent of samples would make it to 25,000 hours, still about 70 percent lumen maintenance. We will also be looking at color maintenance to ensure that there isn't a shift in the visible color over time.
As I said, we will be doing some stress testing on these products. It will be a smaller number of samples, so not the 200 that we'll be doing with the longer-term testing. And the idea here is to subject them to some extreme conditions; maybe this is high temperature, even a higher temperature environment, a high humidity conditions, which can be problematic for LEDs, frequent switching, voltage fluctuation, electro-magnetic interference, a variety of conditions that would help us to identify failure modes and potential problem applications. So the expectation is not that they would be able to survive under these difficult conditions to the same level, but it would help us identify where there may be problems and weaknesses, and identify potential solutions.
As I said, field assessments will be a very important role for partners, the utility and energy efficiency programs. These are the people that really have the contacts with customers and facilities, and the opportunity to try out new products in those facilities and see how they really do. Laboratory results are very important. How it actually performs in the field and how people like it is equally important. So we want to do some field assessments that would look at actual energy use, lighting system performance, reliability, customer acceptance, cost effectiveness, and look in a variety of different types of facilities and do some focus group testing with retailers, builders, and consumers.
So one of the things that we're asking partners and potential partners to think about relatively early on is, "What kind of field assessment projects might you want to get involved in?" And we don't expect that all partners will want to be involved in field assessments or that there will be enough samples to go around. But we do want to have a good geographic spread, a good variety of different types of facilities involved, so think about the types of facilities – residential, commercial, outdoor, applications. Special attributes that you might want to evaluate, including dimming, color characteristics, control of compatibility, different use patterns. And think about what access agreements will be needed with customers and try to get things prepared so that when the time comes, when these products are in the door and we're at such a point where it's time to do field assessments, you can be ready to activate those clients.
We will need partners to identify the lamp quantities that are needed, and so that will be taken from approximately 1,500 available samples for field-testing.
So what really is in this program for partners? So efficiency programs and utilities that are interested in getting involved in this – why might you want to do this? And I know that Mary and Liesel will talk a little bit more about this, but I think what it comes down to is the value of the product evaluation and the testing that is going to be done. It really allows you to benefit from that information, that confidence in the products and products that can make it all the way through this testing process, which is going to take some time and be rather rigorous, that increases the confidence that your program can have in promoting these products.
And what do we ask of partners? What exactly does a partner do? Well, DOE invites all partners to sign a memorandum of understanding. This is a short document, less than two pages, which is really kind of like a handshake. It doesn't commit the company to specific actions or to specific investments, certainly. It is a statement of cooperation with DOE to work together, to evaluate lighting products, and to promote those that save energy and provide an economic benefit. So we invite you to sign the memorandum of understanding. We invite you to participate regularly in meetings, and that is an expectation. The group meets every other month, typically by conference call, and also to help recruit other partners. It's – it is only going to strengthen the success of the program, and the attractiveness to manufacturers to get involved in making these products if we have a broader distribution of programs and partners who are ready across the country to promote products that can meet these requirements.
Partners also provide review and input on technical and testing issues, may carry out product field assessments, and the expectation is that all partners will promote winning products through energy efficiency programs.
Now we know that utility and efficiency programs take many different forms. Everybody has their own set of measures that they undertake to promote energy efficiency. That can include everything from incentives to collaborative marketing and promotions, partnerships with local retailers, demonstrations, education, a variety of things. But we would expect that all partners would include successful L Prize winners in their energy efficiency programs.
So we would encourage you, if you are a utility or an energy efficiency program or implementer, to become a program partner. And this is – this picture is from the launch event at LIGHTFAIR. That's Gene Rodrigues from Southern California Edison, encouraging people to get enthusiastic about the L Prize program and to join and to support the winning products. And we would encourage you to do so. Please do visit lightingprize.org for more information on this program, and that ends my comments. I'm now going to turn it over to Mary Matteson Bryan.
Mary M. Bryan: Thank you, Kelly. PG&E is certainly very excited to partner with Department of Energy on the L Prize competition, and I'm pleased to have the opportunity today to share our perspective.
I'm going to talk about three things. First, I want to provide some background on energy efficiency in California, and why California utilities are interested in being L Prize partners. Then I will talk about in some detail one of the specific ways that PG&E will support the competition, and that's providing the field assessments of products that have been entered. And finally, I will provide some details about what PG&E is doing with LED incentives now and how it's trying to support L Prize winners through these programs.
So first of all, energy efficiency in California. Why have California utilities signed on as L Prize partners? Well, first – the first and most important reason, of course, is energy savings. The promise of significant energy savings from winning products lead us to sign on early to be an L Prize partner. PG&E and other California utilities have been leaders in delivering energy efficiency programs for over 30 years – quite a long time. For PG&E alone, our customers have achieved tremendous savings from these programs. Since 1976, our customers have saved enough annual electricity to power over 20 million homes, enough natural gas to heat 22 million homes, and through these measures, we've avoided the emission of more than 135 million tons of carbon dioxide in our helping with our climate change challenge.
In California, energy efficiency again has been a key part of our statewide energy strategy for a very long time. And in fact, energy efficiency has been identified as the highest priority resource from meeting new demand in the state. The California Public Utilities Commission has developed what we call a "Loading Order" for meeting new demand, and utilities must follow this loading order. It requires utilities to first tap into all cost-effective energy efficiency. That's our first resource. Only after maximizing the delivery of energy efficiency will new generation be built. So as we're building the generation, we'll look first to renewable sources, and then only after that would we consider new fossil-fueled generation.
To provide a bit of perspective on the magnitude of these programs, we will be starting our new three-year cycle in 2009, which will run from 2009 to 2011. And the three investor-owned utilities in California, which are Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric, combined have a goal of delivering over 1,500 megawatts of energy savings. So essentially, we're going to avoid building three 500-megawatt power plants by energy efficiency instead.
In terms of investment, we're again very serious about these programs. And the three investor-owned utilities have requested over $3.7 billion to deliver these energy efficiency programs. So we're quite serious and quite aggressive on dealing with energy efficiency in California.
Also, specific to lighting, there's legislation that drives energy efficiency efforts in California. A recently passed state law, which is known as AB 1109, or some people call it the Huffman Bill, requires very aggressive statewide reductions in lighting energy consumption, as you can see. By 2018, which is just ten years away, we will need to reduce indoor residential lighting energy consumption by half, and reduce lighting energy use in commercial and outdoor applications by 25 percent. These are obviously very aggressive goals, and we would be looking to L Prize winning products to be part of helping us achieve these targets.
So clearly, PG&E and the California utilities are very strongly motivated to identify and deliver new energy efficient technology to our customers. Partnering on L Prize is one way we can do this. But also over the years, our customers have come to expect leadership and advice and guidance from us to help them manage their energy use, so this is another benefit from L Prize. We can continue to provide this leadership by participating as a utility partner in this competition.
We signed on early as an L Prize partner, as Kelly mentioned, and we participated on the steering committee during development of the details of the program. We're able to offer advice and guidance based on our extensive experience with delivery of energy efficiency programs. And we certainly hope that we and the other steering committee members have provided input that will maximize the potential for successful delivery of winning products to our customers. We want – need to get these winning products installed and in the hands of our customers.
Also, very importantly, PG&E is proud to be part of this nationwide collaboration around the L Prize. We certainly understand that the significant energy and climate challenges ahead of us as a nation, and we can meet these challenges best by working together. So we value the Department of Energy's leadership on a national effort to commercial solid-state lighting, and certainly the ability of the Department of Energy to bring together energy efficiency program providers from across the nation to support the L Prize would be of great value in its success.
So my second topic, one specific way that PG&E and the California utilities will be able to support the L Prize competition is by doing field assessments of the submitted products. In California, PG&E and the other California utilities, we all implement an emerging technologies program as part of our customer energy efficiency programs. The goal of our emerging technologies program is to identify and assess emerging technologies to accelerate market penetration and accelerate is key – we want to deliver these energy savings to our customers sooner than we would otherwise.
One of the main tools of these emerging technologies programs, and one that we would apply here to the L Prize competition is the field assessments. We really believe it's important to put these new emerging technologies to [?] in your work situations. We work with a wide variety of our customers to identify host sites for installation of these new technologies. We then get them installed in those customer facilities. We conduct detailed field evaluation, looking at energy savings, lighting performance. We want to determine if the products meet their performance plans.
We also evaluate other parameters, such as ease of installation, maintenance, and very importantly, how do the users like the new technology? Is it meeting their expectations? Does it meet their needs? Ultimately, the results from these field assessments help us support development of financial incentives for the technologies that deliver cost-effective energy savings.
Specific to the L Prize entrants, we will be coordinating with the Department of Energy and the other utility partners to determine the best locations for these field assessments so we can get a wide variety of different types of installations. Some of the possible host sites that PG&E is considering and are reaching out to already are hospitality customers, for instance, hotel rooms, bathrooms, hallways in hotel situations. Retails might most likely be a situation with a PAR38 replacement lamp could be tested in spot lighting applications.
We're also interested in possibly testing some in university or college dormitory situations. Many campuses have programs focused on greening their campuses. We have relationships with some of these in our territory, and we could work through these groups.
And finally, lighting showrooms might be a place where we want to test out some of these products, to install them and at different kinds of display models; they would have long hours of operations, a variety of types, we could test and we could get feedback from sales staff regarding how the customers like them.
And then finally, my third topic, I want to provide an overview of our lighting – LED Lighting Programs, and how we plan to support the L Prize winners through these programs.
PG&E has identified a number of ways where we could help promote and support winning products. And this list might certainly change and evolve if the competition [continues]. So these are just some of our initial ideas. Some of them Kelly mentioned earlier.
We would support collaborative marketing and promotion activities with the Department of Energy and the other L Prize utility partners. As I described earlier, we plan to conduct field assessments of the winning products, including we could bring together the customers and identify the customers for those assessments and provide the monitoring and case study development for the assessments.
We would also showcase the products through educational outlets, and we have a number of these in California. PG&E has the Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco; Southern California Edison has a similar facility in their territory; Sacramento Municipal Utility District has energy and technology center. All of these would be places where the public and lighting designers and architects, et cetera, could see these products.
And finally, we would support winning products with financial incentives. These incentives, of course, would need to be consistent with our criteria for new energy efficiency incentive programs, and they will need to meet any regulatory requirements that we have in place.
And we are currently working on incentives for selected LED applications. So we're already looking at various LED applications, where we provide incentives. Right now, we have four that we're looking at: refrigerated case lighting, recessed downlights, street and area lighting, and parking garage lighting.
As we near the end of our current 2006 – 2008 program cycle, we're in the planning stages for launching these LED incentives as part of our new 2009 – 2011 programs. We believe that this – our LED lighting programs will be a work in progress. We expect them to change based on technology advancements, changes to standards like [?] energy star program, and customer interest and needs. So we would look to add L Prize winners to this portfolio of LED lighting incentives.
As we have been working on developing these initial LED programs and tracking the development of solid-state lighting as a technology, there has been a number of challenges that we have confronted and identified. Certainly, variable product quality is one of them that we are very concerned about. We've certainly been tracking the results and we want to make sure that only quality products get into the hands of our customers.
High cost of these initial LED products is an issue. As I mentioned, we have regulatory requirements to spend our efficiency dollars only on cost-effective energy efficiency. We do have a test that we have to pass called the Total Resource Cost test, and when the energy efficient technology is expensive, it makes it difficult to pass this test. Obviously, we're anticipating that solid-state lighting prices will come down, and we'll have a little more flexibility with this metric.
Setting incentive levels has been a challenge. We want to provide enough financial incentives to help these products get in the market, but again, we need to meet our program requirements.
Rapid technology advancements – how will we keep our programs up to date as the technology continues to evolve and change?
And finally, customer education. We believe strongly that we'll all need to work to inform our customers, end-users and lighting designers, architects, and so forth as well on how to maximize the benefits of the solid-state lighting technologies.
And the key outcome of our working through these challenges is the decision we made to develop a standards-based approach to incentives for LED lighting. We will not provide incentives to all comers, but rather, we will have stringent product qualifying criteria for products that are eligible for incentives.
And we believe this will provide a number of benefits. It will allow us to maintain high quality for the products that we provide incentives for. We will allow us to support DOE's Energy Star program and other industry-standard test methods. And it'll send a signal to the market that quality matters.
And hopefully by adhering to this standards-based approach, the results we will have is that we will have high customer satisfaction, and very importantly to the utilities, we'll have persistent and reliable energy savings. And as I mentioned earlier, we are counting on these energy savings to allow us to not build additional generation.
Our support of the L Prize entrance fits perfectly with this strategy, we believe. The winning products will have undergone rigorous testing and validation, as Kelly explained, so we'll be able to promote these products with the assurance that they'll deliver these long-term energy savings, with a high level of customer satisfaction.
So to recap, energy efficiency is a major driver for our interest and support of the L Prize competition. California utilities are very actively involved in partnership with DOE and other utility partners. And we're very excited about the L Prize competition, and we're sure our customers will be just as excited to take advantage of the new technologies that are developed, so we're looking forward to supporting this competition as it moves forward.
And now, I'll turn it over to Liesel.
Liesel Whitney-Schulte: Thank you, Mary. I'm Liesel Whitney-Schulte. I'm with Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, and we're representing Focus on Energy programs, among other programs.
So who is WECC? Well, we're a non-profit that was established in 1980, and we administer and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy programs for utilities, as well as state and local governments across the Midwest, including the award-winning Focus on Energy program here in Wisconsin. Now Focus on Energy is a statewide energy conservation program. We serve virtually almost all customers throughout Wisconsin. We have multiple utilities that are signed on with the program.
Our mission is to champion innovative energy efficiency initiatives that deliver short- and long-term economic and environmental benefits to consumers, businesses and policy makers.
We work with a wide variety of customers. We work with residential, business, and renewable energy programs for single and multifamily homes; commercial, industrial, and agricultural programs; and school and government buildings programs.
We provide a variety of services to multiple, to all of our program partners, including education, technical expertise on different technologies, and financial assistance to both consumers, end-users, as well as to market providers.
Our programs serve over 15 million customers throughout the Midwest.
Promotion of LED technologies today, just in a nutshell, what we've done so far, we worked – we started out working with LED, the most common application was residential holiday lights. We offered a coupon to retailers that also businesses could take their projects through that, but it was mainly geared toward residential, and that was pretty successful. We have 17 retailers that have added extra product line and the introduction of LED to the general market.
At this point, we've taken a very cautious approach to white LEDs, as most white LEDs projects through our custom incentives. So we're basing it on product performance as well as energy efficiency. Most of the products that we've seen so far, the most successful projects have been for parking lots, parking garage structures. There have been a few canopy – controlling station canopies that have switched over to LED, as well as refrigerated case lighting, which has been very popular here.
We are starting to phase in prescriptive incentives. This year, we started offering, through Focus on Energy, we started offering prescriptive incentives for downlights that meet the DOE SSL standards. To date, these are the two products that we have seen that meet the qualifications and that have been submitted for incentives for end users. Both products seem to be performing very well. Customers are very satisfied with them, and we were able to do this – it was very, very important to be able to have both DOE SSL standards, to be able to fall back on, as the standard that – or performance that these products have to meet. It helps us weed out some of the products that we're seeing in the market.
[?] vendors have been coming out of the woodwork. We have people approaching us. I probably take – I'd say two to three calls per day from a combination of vendors, market providers and end users who are all looking for information on what we're doing with LED, and what we're offering for LED.
What we've done for the quality of these products varies just enormously. We've seen a few products that perform very, very well, and the best products usually have very good objective test data coming from an independent test lab that documents their performance, and uses those DOE standards, the performance standards, to establish how they're performing.
Replacement lamps are probably the item that I get the most calls about. And they're very commonly being promoted by distributors, but they typically have the least documentation. They're not very independent documentation. Most products come in with manufacturer data, and when we've tried to pursue those manufacturers to find out how these products were tested, most of them are not getting anywhere near some of the DOE standards.
And we decided – why did we decide to partner with L Prize? We saw this as a really important way to promote the development of quality LED products, and quality was key. You know, again, coming off of the DOE SSL standards, this was the perfect vehicle for us to mitigate risk.
It'd ensure that we stay up to speed on new and emerging offerings in the LED category by being part of this group and collaborative effort. It's been – it's been one of the interesting things about LED has just been how all of the different programs are very willing to share information, we're kind of in the same boat in some ways as other programs.
We don't operate on the same scale. None of our programs really operates on the same scale as some of the other partners that are signed up. We don't have a specific formalized emerging technologies program. We do approach them on a custom basis and look at them individually, but we don't have a formalized program for it. So having these standards has been extremely important for us in program development.
It also offers our program sponsors the opportunity to be part of this leading edge when it comes to LEDs, and it's virtually risk-free.
It's another reason to partner with L Prize is standards for quality, really raise the bar for the common lamp types. This is gonna push all products to become better, to become more reliable. The standards that they put in place are very, very impressive. When products do become available that should meet these criteria, we can feel very, very secure in offering incentives and being able to promote this, and so having those quality products means very little risk to our partners.
We've taken a conservative approach to LED, specifically in the residential market. There's been a lot of instant trust, a lot people approaching us with product. A lot of products have been – that we've seen that don't necessarily look like they're ready. These others are relatively immature, and we want to make sure that it's really, really ready before we jump into the market.
And we – and again, we're relying on the work the DOE is doing, and in collaboration with other programs to make sure that the – we're supporting the right products.
And we need quality reliable products before we can structure incentive offerings to offer any major incentives.
Our program – our plans for assessing products – we're very excited to be part of this because it does give us an opportunity to have some input. So as products become available, we don't expect that they'll be available for some time. It gives us some time to recruit test sites from a wide variety of customers that we serve; multiple application types, similar to what Mary had described; different end uses, different applications; an opportunity to observe the performance and then share that with market players, specifiers, engineers, even the distribution community, as well as our program partners.
We can your case studies on a local level that gives a little bit better information. It's great to see case studies from, you know, the coast areas, we look to the coast for leadership on these – regional data is much more valuable to our partners as well as to the market here.
And for the winners, we plan to do special promotions and incentives. We can work with builders, contractors, showrooms, retailers, and then on the commercial side, we'll definitely be working through distribution lists and suppliers and other candidate. We'll offer education for our market providers, to understand the difference between these products and anything else that they might be asked to sell. And they can differentiate which [?].
And that's pretty much the summary. I've put my contact information here. If you have specific questions about the technology side or the sort of hands on implementation, please feel free to contact me. If you have questions about policy and program information, Sara Van de Grift would probably be better to answer your questions.
And that concludes the presentation portion of this webinar.
Moderator: Well, thank you very much for an informative webcast. Kelly, Mary, and Liesel. And thanks to all of you, the U.S. Department of Energy appreciates your attendance today. Now for the questions. Kelly's gonna start us off. Kelly, take it away.
Kelly Gordon: Okay, we do have a number of questions that have come in, and I'm just going to answer them in the order they came in. The first one is, "What aesthetic requirements are there for the A19 type lamp? Is a frosted look acceptable?" And in the program documents, which you can access on the L Prize website, and that is LightingPrize.org, the specific requirements for the two categories are laid out. And it does specify that a luminous intensity distribution and product size that would be equivalent to an A19 bulb as defined in [?] standard and the specific document is given there. That is specified, so what – the intensity distribution has to be similar to a soft white A19 lamp, and that was also specified in the legislation. So it doesn't require or prohibit a frosted look, but it would have to have a similar distribution to a A19. Hope that answers that question.
The next question is, "I understood there is a maximum price that the bulb should cost at retail. Is that mandatory or just a suggested price?" There is no mandatory pricing. The program document, on page 7, does provide some price guidance. There's some target retail prices. There's even a chart that shows year by year the target retail prices, and those assume that that is to the consumer after any energy efficiency program incentives has been applied. So that guidance is provided in the document, but that is not a requirement. It's simply provided as market guidance.
The next question, "You said in the first part of the presentation, one of the submittal requirements is that the LED chip be manufactured in the U.S. Is that correct? Is this an absolute requirement, or will there be any percent of content as guidelines?" The program document again does specify that the LED chip, so the light-emitting portion, does need to be produced in the United States. Now it's anticipated that other components, perhaps, would be from other places, but the LED itself needs to be produced in the United States.
Let's see, for the next question, and I am going to kick this one to Mary and Liesel in turn, to answer, "How are L Prize partners supporting Best-in-class products that do not yet meet DOE standards?" Now I think both Mary and Liesel touched on that a little bit, but maybe you could just recap how you are currently supporting good LED products. Mary?
Mary M. Bryan: Sure. From PG&E's perspective, we are requiring that products meet product-qualifying criteria. So there is a DOE standard. We will only accept products that meet that standard. Where DOE doesn't have a standard, for instance, with refrigerated case lighting, we have worked with California Light and Technology Center and created our own product qualifying specifications.
So in all cases, we will have some product qualifying criteria that must be met. And again, we anticipate launching these incentive programs in 2009, so I know that DOE's considering additional Category A applications to add to Energy Star, and that would be another resource for additional specifications. Liesel, I'll turn it over to you.
Liesel Whitney-Schulte: My response is virtually identical. We are not really supporting products. If there's a category for products that there is a specification, a standard through DOE, [?] specs, then it's – we would not be offering incentives for it if it does not meet that criteria. So we are accepting products as, you know, as we come across them. They have an application that are submitted, but typically, we are expecting them to meet those criteria and apply to California programs for the applications that we're doing.
Kelly Gordon: Okay. Thank you very much. The next question is, "There are other options besides the traditional LEDs. Are the L Prize organizers open to these solutions?" Okay, I'm not – not sure exactly what would be encompassed there, but I can imagine that you have in mind other technologies. The energy legislation does specify solid-state lighting, and that is more of an umbrella term, which could conceivably encompass organic LEDs, perhaps polymer technologies, but essentially, whatever technology it is would have to meet the performance requirement. So it would be those technologies that would be capable of meeting the performance requirements as laid out.
The next question, "The specs on eligible bulbs seems strong, but will any consideration be given to the retail price of the products to ensure they are affordable to the real world users?" I think based on the input from our partners and certainly DOE's own perspective on the ultimate market success of these products, price is obviously going to be very important, and I think that's why we put that target price guidance into the document.
Now we realize that pricing is, you know, with new products and technologies, there are many, many factors that affect the retail price, and so we didn't want to set specific price levels and try to dictate the market that way, and then it would really be impossible. But we did want to provide some guidance and expectations that the price will be coming down significantly and rather rapidly over the first couple of years of introduction. So I think the ultimate success really is going to depend on having a reasonable cost proposition for users and for consumers, and I think that will be very much a part of the equation.
The next question, "Will the DOE partners only be promoting the L Prize winners? Essentially promoting a monopoly? Will the DOE be publishing more exact information on the stress testing?" Okay, that's two separate questions. "Will the DOE partners only be promoting L Prize winners?" Well, I'm going to provide Mary and Liesel a chance to answer that, too, but I guess my initial answer would be that there is going to be one winner identified – one – a first prize winner in each of the products categories, so you know this is a technology race, so the products, the company that can get there first, gets the big prize. But then there will be up to two additional products recognized in each products category that will also receive recognition as L Prize recognized products. If they have met the requirements of the program, those would also be eligible for promotion to the partners, federal procurement programs, et cetera. So I think there would be an ability to recognize more products through the program. And I won't speak for the partners, but I would anticipate that products that can meet these very high performance levels would be eligible for their program. Can I bounce that one to you, Mary, first?
Mary M. Bryan: Sure. Yes, essentially, we at PG&E and the California utilities cannot promote a single manufacturer's product. We can promote products that meet product-qualifying criteria. So we anticipate – and again, the exact details of how we would roll out a program will be determined as we get closer to having winners, but we would anticipate that the L Prize winners, multiple winners and any that can meet the very stringent specifications, we would promote with perhaps a higher incentive plan, the incentives we might have in place at that time for other kinds of LED products. And these – again, we do anticipate having LED incentives available, say, starting early next year. But the L Prize winners, if they provide additional energy savings beyond our standard incentives, then would be eligible for perhaps a higher incentive level. And certainly, we've also committed to work collaboratively with the Department of Energy and the other utility partners on marketing and promotion of the L Prize winners, separate from our other programs.
Kelly Gordon: And Liesel, did you have anything to add to that question, about promoting only the L Prize winners versus other products?
Liesel Whitney-Schulte: Again, it's a very similar situation. We're not going to promote one specific manufacturer. We will promote through marketing campaigns the winners and any efforts that are going on for marketing nationally for the winners. And essentially, both products would most likely be eligible for an additional bonus for the additional efficiency that's facilitated with them. So going forward, again, we're gonna look at the standards that are from DOE, for any products that would fall into this category, and the winners are – you know, they're going to be the first ones out there, so they're likely gonna reap the benefits from that.
Kelly Gordon: Great, thank you. There was a second part of that question. "Will the DOE be publishing more exact information on the stress testing, that the bulbs will be subjected to?" Yes, and at this point, what we've identified is a list of possible types of stress tests that will be undertaken, and we will be using several testing labs at universities to do some of this stress testing. And part of their job is to come up with ways to, you know, various [?] to subject the samples to and procedures for measuring that. So over time as those are developed, yes, those would be published.
The next question is, "Will these PowerPoint files be available to be downloaded?" In fact, the entire presentation, all three presentations together, in one PDF is already available on the DOE solid-state lighting website. If you go to netl.doe.gov/ssl – that's the main DOE solid-state lighting site and click on L Prize Webcasts, you can already get the slides there.
The next question, "The rules talk about maximum noise from the ballast, not the bulbs. Does this mean that the bulb can be noisy as long as the ballast isn't?" I don't think that's the intent. I think the intent of the rules is to avoid noise where it is most common to have some kind of audible noise coming out of the system, so – and that would be – normally be from the ballast, but certainly the intent is not that the bulb itself could have an audible [?].
"Will the PAR 38 high efficiency lights with more than 11 watts power requirement be considered?" No, that was the limits that was established in the legislation for that products category, would be that it was in 11 watts. So that is the definition for that [?] products category.
The next question, "Where can we find a copy of the memorandum of understanding?" That is available on the lightingprize.org website, that you can download and – or you can contact me at Kelly.Gordon@PNL.gov if you have more questions on the memorandum of understanding.
And last question is, "Is dimming required for L Prize products?" Yes, that was something that was identified as a high priority by the utilities partners, and one of the drawbacks or issues that has been recurring with the CFLs is problems with dimming capability, and so that is one of the requirements, that they would be dimmable, down to 20 percent of maximum output. They would also have to be compatible with at least three widely available residential dimmers.
I don't see any additional questions at this time.
Moderator: All right, then I think we'll go ahead and end the webcast by thanking all of you for participating in this webcast, brought to you by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thank you very much.
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