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Thursday, September 27, 2007

UK starts phase out of 150W, 100W, 60W light bulbs
The Ban The Bulb campaign welcomes the combined efforts of the UK's government, energy companies, retailers and manufacturers to phase out the most wasteful designs of domestic incandescent light bulb over the next 4 years.

In 2005, the National Audit Office told us that promoting energy efficiency was 7 times more cost effective than building new supplies of electricity, so the government's production of an illustrative timetable for phasing out 150W, 100W and 60W incandescent light bulbs from Jan 2008 onwards, and the voluntary moves by the retailers and energy companies to make energy saving light bulbs more available are very positive steps in the right direction.

Ban The Bulb now feels that it is important that the minimum energy performance standards used to determine the next generation of lighting technologies are robust and at least as good as those already possible with today's compact fluorescent lamps.

Binding statutory bans should also be fully implemented within 5 years, rather than the 12 years currently being proposed by the lighting industry.

The Ban The Bulb campaign was set up in 2005 and is grateful to all of those in California (Lloyd Levine), Australia (Malcolm Turnbull), the EU (Angela Merkel), UK (Tony Blair + Gordon Brown) and India (Greenpeace) who have supported the goal's of this campaign.

A brief history of the Ban The Bulb campaign can be read here.

Please see the articles on the left of this page or the following articles from The Guardian's website for more details:

Chain stores to end sale of traditional lightbulbs

Ban the bulb?



The Government News Network on 27 September 2007

The most energy-guzzling light bulbs in Britain will start disappearing from shop shelves early next year as part of efforts to cut CO2 emissions, Secretary of State for the Environment Hilary Benn said today.

This voluntary initiative, which is being led by major retailers and energy suppliers, will see energy efficient light bulbs replace their least efficient equivalents on shop shelves over the next four years.

Its aim is to save up to 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2012 from UK electricity generation - the equivalent to the carbon emissions of a typical 1 Giga Watt coal fired power station.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced in March, while Chancellor of the Exchequer, his aim for the UK to be one of the first countries to phase out inefficient light bulbs and set an ambitious target date to achieve that by the end of 2011, ahead of possible actions by the EU to ban these products altogether.

Secretary of State Hilary Benn
said: "Britain is leading the way in getting rid of energy-guzzling light bulbs and helping consumers reduce their carbon footprint. Choosing energy saving light bulbs can help tackle climate change, and also cut household bills, with each bulb saving up to £60 over its lifetime.

"I am delighted that major companies have said they are prepared to help deliver this ambitious timetable and offer products which will help their own customers play their part in combating climate change."

"But there are many more energy hungry gadgets on sale in shops that waste too much energy. That's why I want to see today's initiative widened. I want to see more retailers, manufacturers and service providers taking action to phase out
the least efficient products from their ranges, for example, certain set top boxes and TVs, and so help offer greener choices to their customers."

Kevin Hawkins, Director General of the British Retail Consortium said: "Retailers are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and play an active role in helping consumers reduce their own environmental impact. This is just the latest in a number of initiatives in which retailers are helping to shape consumer habits through the promotion of energy saving products. We look forward to working closely with Government and manufacturers in the lead up to the 2011 deadline to ensure the supply of energy saving light bulbs matches demand, and that they become a viable alternative to conventional light bulbs for consumers of all incomes"

Keven Verdun
, Chief Executive of the Lighting Association said: 'The UK lighting suppliers strongly support the Government's ambition in this initiative. For many years the European lamp industry has promoted the benefits of phasing out energy inefficient light bulbs. In June 2007 the industry
presented its own proposals for EU legislation to phase out inefficient light bulbs across the whole of Europe, commencing 2009. We welcome the positive support of governments for this transition to more efficient lighting technologies which we believe can make a substantial contribution to reducing our energy consumption and CO2 emissions."

Philip Sellwood
, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust said: "We fully support the idea of phasing out inefficient lighting in favour of energy efficient light-bulbs. In most homes, lighting accounts for 10 - 15% of the electricity bill and UK households currently use £1.8 billion worth of electricity every year on lighting. An energy saving light bulb can last up to 10 times longer than a non-efficient version. Just one energy saving bulb could save up to £7 a year, fit all the lights in your house with energy saving bulbs and you could save around £600 over the lifetime of the bulbs. If everyone in the UK installed three energy saving lightbulbs, we would save enough energy to power all the UK's street lighting for a year."

Duncan Sedgwick
, Chief Executive of the Energy Retail Association, said: "Britain's major energy suppliers welcome this move and are committed to distributing low energy light bulbs to households across the country over this period. This is building on the 43 million low energy light bulbs that they have already distributed through their current energy efficiency commitment."

Energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and contribute to tackling climate change because they use only a fifth to a quarter of the electricity of ordinary bulbs to generate the same amount of light.

CFLs are also cost effective. Advice from the Energy Saving Trust suggests that because it will last up to 10 times longer than a traditional bulb, just one energy saving bulb could save up to £7 a year and, depending on the length of time lights are in use every day, could save around £60 before it needs replacing. Fit all the lights in your house with energy saving bulbs and you could save around £600 over the lifetime of the bulbs.

In the UK £140 million a year is wasted by leaving lights switched on unnecessarily. This causes 900,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Each house currently has on average around 23.5 light bulbs.


1. The Government has proposed, as an illustrative schedule for the phase out of inefficient lamps, that retailers might want to follow:

* By January 2008, cease replacing stock of all inefficient (General Lighting Service, GLS) A-shaped incandescent lamps of energy rating higher than 100W (predominantly 150W lamps).

* By January 2009, cease selling all inefficient GLS A-shaped lamps of energy rating higher than 60W (predominantly 150W lamps, 100W lamps, plus some 75W lamps)

* By January 2010, cease selling all GLS A-shaped lamps of efficacy of energy rating higher than 40W (predominantly 60W lamps)

* By 31 December 2011, cease selling all remaining inefficient GLS A-shaped lamps and 60W "candle" and "golfball" lamps. (predominantly 40W and 25W A-shaped GLS bulbs, and 60W candles and golfballs).

At the moment, we expect candles and golfballs, tungsten halogen lamps and lamps supplied with non-lighting electrical appliances to remain on sale, because suitable energy-efficient alternatives do not currently exist.

2. The following retailers support this initiative: ASDA, B&Q, The Co-operative Group, Home Retail Group (Argos and Homebase), IKEA, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Somerfield, Tesco, Waitrose, Wickes, Woolworths, British Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores and the British Hardware Federation. It is also being promoted through the major energy companies as part of their activities through the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).

3. The next phase is that the Government will be issuing a public consultation paper on the detailed analysis, targets and standards that we would like to achieve for domestic lighting products in the UK, with a view to updating the illustrative phase out schedule above.

4. The EU is expected to bring forward its proposals for lighting measures under the Framework Directive for the Eco-design of Energy Using Products (the EUP Directive). Implementing measures will set specific and potentially compulsory standards for several of the least efficient street, office/industry and domestic lighting products destined for the European market in order that they meet energy efficiency, as well as other, requirements. Proposals for street and office lighting are due to be agreed by the end of 2008. Work on the domestic lighting begun at the beginning of June. The Commission is expected to table a proposal by the end of 2009.

5. Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock today also wrote to retailers to progress the initiative announced in Budget 2006 to encourage more energy efficient set top boxes and other consumer electronics, including setting targets to reduce stand-by power.

6. Defra launched its ActOnCO2 carbon calculator as a public trial version on 20 June. There have been over 300,000 visits so far. The calculator helps people make the link between their own actions and climate change. Individuals or households can calculate the carbon footprint resulting from their home, appliances and personal travel using Government approved data and methodologies. Users can also receive a personalised action plan with tips for reducing their carbon emissions. The calculator takes account of lighting in its home section.

7. Under the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC), electricity and gas suppliers are required to meet targets for the promotion of improvements in household energy efficiency. They do this by encouraging householders to take up measures like cavity wall and loft insulation and energy efficient lights. The current phase of EEC is from 2005-08 and the Government has recently consulted on the third phase, to be called the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, from April 2008 to March 2011. At least 10 million households received measures under the first phase of EEC (2002-05), which stimulated £600m of investment in energy efficiency and delivered net benefits to householders in excess of £3 billion.

It will achieve carbon savings of around 1.1 MtC02 annually by 2010. EEC2 is at broadly double the level of EEC1 and is expected to save around 1.8 MtC02 annually by 2010. CERT is proposed to roughly double the activity under EEC2 and is expected to achieve an annual saving of about 4.0 MtCO2 by 2010.

8. The European Lamp Companies' Federation proposal for Domestic lighting, published June 2007 ( - Latest News), sets out the EU industry's full position and proposals to the European Commission for EU legislation regarding the phase out of inefficient bulbs. These proposals are intended to allow time for a smooth switch to high-efficiency halogen and compact fluorescent lamps and the development of LED and high efficiency incandescent lamps.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

China and the US moving towards light bulb bans?
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, both China and the US are moving towards bans of domestic incandescent light bulbs...

This is great news, but as you will see below their are reasons to be concerned that the lighting industry will be left to determine what the new minimum energy performance standards of domestic light bulbs should be and how long should be allowed for everyone to stop using incandescent light bulbs.

Ban The Bulb feels the minimum energy performance standards should:

(1) Be the same or better than today's compact fluorescent lamps and

(2) That no more than 5 years should be allowed before 100W and 60W incandescents are phased out.

The House and Senate are working on legislation that over the next seven years would phase out the conventional light bulb, a move aimed at saving energy and reducing man-made emissions believed linked to climate change.

General Electric Co., Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands and other manufacturers have been meeting with conservation and environmental groups and say they are close to agreement on the general terms of a phaseout. Bipartisan coalitions in Congress are likely to add these terms to a broad energy bill expected to be voted on next month.

While manufacturers voiced some concerns about producing enough bulbs to meet the new deadlines, they emphasized that they want prompt federal legislation that would prevent states from setting their own standards, creating a patchwork of differing requirements. Nevada has already set its own standard, and California is considering one.

Paul Waide, a policy analyst with the International Energy Agency, based in Paris, told the Senate Energy Committee yesterday that the European Union, Canada and Australia are planning similar phaseouts of conventional incandescent bulbs, and China is beginning to consider one.

"It is not inconceivable that over the next 10 to 15 years that maybe all incandescent lights will be removed from the global market," he said. If that happened, he added, the resulting reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions might equal almost three-fourths of the reductions that industrial nations have promised under the Kyoto Protocol to curb global warming.

The U.S., which has four billion electric lights using such bulbs, represents about a third of the world market. Installing more-efficient incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs would save consumers about $6 billion a year in energy costs, said Jeffrey Harris, a vice president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit group based in Washington.

Common incandescent bulbs, which have been around for more than 100 years, are able to convert only 5% of the electricity they use into visible light. The rest is lost as heat.

Under the timetable proposed in both House and Senate versions, incandescent bulbs would begin to disappear from U.S. markets beginning in 2012, with 100-watt bulbs going first, then 75-watt bulbs a year later and then the more popular 60- and 40-watt bulbs by 2014.

They would be replaced by compact fluorescent bulbs and more-efficient incandescent lamps, which can cut energy use from 30% to 75%. By 2020, both bills call for lighting standards that can only be met by the compact fluorescents or other technologies that can match their efficiency.

Manufacturers hope to use a few different technologies to meet the proposed standards, but they say it will be a challenge getting new lamps out by 2012, the proposed starting date. The manufacturers also had initially been looking for a longer phaseout period of five years instead of three.

Randy Moorehead, vice president of government relations for Philips Electronics, North America, said the industry mostly supports the phase-in period but has problems with the 2020 proposed standards. Mr. Moorehead said Congress should wait to set a 2020 standard to see where the technology is headed. He said manufacturers will have to scrap new multimillion-dollar investments in equipment and employees to meet 2012 standards.

GE had announced a new energy-efficient incandescent lamp that will be 30% more efficient by 2012. GE plans to roll out the first version in 2010. GE indicated the bulb would likely be comparable to a 60-watt or 40-watt bulb. Osram Sylvania, a unit of Siemens AG, is also introducing an energy-efficient incandescent bulb.

Philips is unveiling a halogen light this fall that will be markedly more efficient and three times longer-lasting than incandescent bulbs -- but will also be more expensive initially than compact and incandescent bulbs.

GE and the two other big light bulb makers, Philips and Osram Sylvania, also are looking at light emitting diodes, or LEDS, as new sources of residential lighting. "We'll certainly fill in any gaps with other technologies," says Earl Jones, senior counsel for GE's consumer-and-industrial unit.

Nearly all compact fluorescent bulbs are made in China. Although they cost more than conventional bulbs, the energy savings over their longer lifetimes are substantial. Noting that only 10% of bulbs sold in the U.S. are compact fluorescents, Kyle Pitsor, vice president of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, said the industry will mount a public-education campaign to push the more efficient bulbs.

BTB is deeply concerned that some of the world's biggest light bulb manufacturers, such as Philips and GE, are lobbying to be allowed to sell the next generation of incandescent light bulbs, which use 30% less electricity that today's models, and are not focusing their efforts on scaling up the production of compacts fluorescent lamps which already offer 75% energy savings.

The motives for this move remain unclear. However, it seems crazy to halve the effectiveness of the world's proposed light bulb bans, for no apparent reason, and BTB hopes that all of the big manufacturers will consider refocusing their efforts on bringing more compact fluorescent lamps to market and developing new technologies, such as LEDs and ceramic lighting technologies, which will significantly improve on what is already possible with CFLs.

Ban The Bulb supports measures which are technology neutral, and is not opposed to incandescents on principle, but is not prepared to endorse minimum standards which encourage the unnecessary waste of money, energy and carbon and delay changes which are already feasible.

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