The EU ban agreed to in December last year which will put an end to the sale of 100 watt and frosted incandescent light bulbs comes into place on 1st September 2009. The ban will help reduce carbon emissions, as energy efficient CFL (Compact Florescent Lamp) bulbs use less energy than the familiar incandescent bulbs, and also last up to 7 years, therefore significantly reducing the number of bulbs people need to buy.
Energy efficient light bulbs have become much cheaper to buy over the past couple of years, and advances in technology have meant they are now available in many different sizes and shapes, with both bayonet and screw fittings, and are even available to work with dimmer switches. There is some criticism however regarding the newer types of CFLs that they do cost more, however the Energy Saving Trust estimates that each energy efficient light bulb used can save between £3 and £6 on your electricity bill each year.
The ban will apply to the manufacturing and shipping of new stock to shops and stores, therefore shops with existing stocks of 100 watt and frosted incandescent light bulbs will still be able to sell them. Lower wattage incandescent light bulbs will also be phased out however by 2012.
Dan Norris, the Environment Minister, is pleased with the ban, which by 2020 should save up to 1 million tonnes of CO2, therefore helping contribute to government targets of reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. He said,
“We can no longer rely on light bulbs which waste 95 per cent of their energy as heat. We are glad the EU has put this measure in place to stop the waste of energy and money from old fashioned high energy bulbs. The UK has had a successful voluntary initiative in place for a few years, and now the rest of the EU will follow suit on a mandatory basis.”