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Friday, June 22, 2007

EU light bulb manufacturers back phase out (8 yrs)

According to Associated Press, European light-bulb makers have said they want to phase out the standard incandescent light bulb in eight years, replacing it with more eco-friendly, energy-efficient lamps.

The manufacturers' proposal, submitted to the European Commission, is similar to plans under way or under consideration elsewhere, including Australia, California, and Canada, as governments seek energy savings and green-friendly credentials.

The switch could lead to significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from domestic lighting, and savings of $9.4 billion for European consumers, said the European manufacturers. The group includes General Electric Co., Havells Sylvania, and Philips.

The leaders of the 27 European Union nations agreed on new energy and emissions cutting guidelines in March, including phasing out the old incandescent lamps.

Andris Piebalgs, the EU's energy commissioner, welcomed the initiative, saying it showed efficiency "is a way of combatting climate change" and reducing energy dependency across Europe.

The EU is applying new binding minimum energy efficiency rules for all lights used, either in the home, at work, or in street lighting.

The industry group said manufacturers will have eight years to switch to high-efficiency halogen and compact flourescent lamps and develop high-efficiency incandescent bulbs.

"Under the proposal, within eight years from now, 85% of the total EU traditional incandescent lamp market of 2.1 billion lamps would need to meet new efficiency requirements," the group said.

It added that the highest watt lamps, those between 25 watts and 100 watts, will be phased out by 2015.

Ban The Bulb feels that 8 years is rather a long time to phase out light bulbs between 25W and 100W, and that somewhere between 3 and 5 years would be more appropriate.

BTB would also like to see the European Commission being more specific about the 15% of light bulbs which will be allowed to exceed the minimum standard.

The 20W CFLs which replace 100W incandescents, are already available so taking 8 years to reach this minimum standard does not seem to make the most of the immediate gains which would be possible if 60W and 100W incandescents were phased out more rapidly.

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