While negative effects caused by the government shutdown ripple across the country, its impact on lighting industry is, at this time, minimal.
The only tangible disruption so far is with Energy Star®, which is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program. The Energy Star website and social media accounts are not being updated during the shutdown and its online tools, plus the Energy Star hotline, will be unavailable until the government reopens.
Despite this, EPA-recognized certification bodies, laboratories, and accreditation bodies are not affected by the shutdown.
Jacki Swiernik, Lighting Engineer at EPA-certified lab Intertek, says they are certifying as normal. “The only difference with the shutdown is that we can’t upload certificates of compliance to the EPA website, so everyone will have show these certificates to third parties to prove that they are certified.”
American Lighting Assn. Director of Engineering and Technology Terry McGowan says that he doesn’t foresee any immediate industry problems from the shutdown.
“The major glitch so far is the Energy Star Annual Partners' Meeting,” McGowan explains. “We'll know Friday if it is to be cancelled and that will affect NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Assn.) plans to discuss a ‘lighting road map’ as well as the usual lighting updates by Energy Star.”
McGowan also says its too early to figure out what the Department of Energy (DOE) will do in respect to the ceiling fan rulemaking, but it appears that DOE contractors are proceeding as normal with work on the possible regulations even though the agency is also shutdown.
ALA President Dick Upton says that although this DOE shutdown will give ALA more time to prepare and think about responses to the potential ceiling fan regulations, the fact that Congress isn't in session is hindering other industry issues.
"With all of the focus on the budget, Congress is having a heck of a time focusing on other subjects, like the Internet Sales Tax bill, that we would like to see addressed. Now, the chances for anything to progress with this before the new year are remote."