If you haven’t already heard, incandescent light bulbs will be phased out by 2012. Consumers will have to purchase light bulbs that are 25 to 30 percent more efficient than the old model. This will include compact fluorescent lights or light emitting diode bulbs. Whichever bulbs end up being the better choice is yet to be seen, but what is being seen is some backlash.

Some consumers are angry about the change saying that they might start stockpiling incandescent lights before they are no longer available. The main reason is because incandescent lights are less expensive than current energy-saving bulbs.

On the flip side, those in favor of the incandescent ban say consumers will save money in the long run, reaping financial benefits with their electricity bill.

Does any of this sound familiar?

The same uproar occurred when the government raised the minimum efficiency on air conditioners from 10 to 13. Not only were some contractors incensed, but their customers had a very difficult time understanding why they were being forced to pay more when they needed a new system installed.

This new light bulb debate is just one more example of how our country’s energy needs, and priorities, are going to continually change. As humans, we don’t like change. And let’s face it, the shape of the incandescent bulb is iconic. In fact, the design hasn’t changed since Edison invented it. The new energy-efficient bulbs with their squiggly design just looks strange to some people. As Stephen Colbert said on a recent episode of the Colbert Report, the compact fluorescent lights look like a pig tail. Who wants to install a pig tail?

But we’ve been down this road before. Change is inevitable…and good. The HVAC industry will (hopefully) continue to change for the better. We might miss the old look of our products, but we have to remember that we’re going to get an energy savings that benefits our pocket book and the energy grid.