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Light Bulb Ban Good for the Environment and Bill Payers

September 1, 2011 4:23 PM

Lib Dem MEP Sir Graham Watson has welcomed the next phase of the ban on incandescent light bulbs citing evidence that it will cut almost 5 million tonnes of CO2 and save the average household £55 per year.

From today, incandescent light bulbs of 60 watts will cease to be produced, although shops will still be able to sell their current stocks. All incandescent bulbs will be removed from the market by next year to pave the way for energy efficient lighting.

Research commissioned by Together.com, an organisation part of the Climate Group, estimated that when the change over is complete, cuts in the UK's CO2 emissions will be the equivalent of taking 2 million cars off the road per year.

There will also be instant savings on household electricity bills. A 15 watt energy efficient bulb produces as much light as a 60 watt incandescent bulb, but lasts around 8 times longer and annual saving of £2.62 per bulb result.

Sir Graham heralded the ban as a positive step in the right direction;

"Europe-wide savings produced by this ban will negate the need for the equivalent of almost six Hinkley B nuclear power stations; plus all the toxic waste and de-commissioning costs that come with them.

"Increasing energy efficiency is crucial to cutting CO2 emissions and protecting the environment. But as with the feed-in tariff for households to install solar panels on their roofs, protecting the environment often goes hand in hand with making drastic savings on energy bills."

He also issued a reminder;

"Energy saving light bulbs contain mercury, and need to be disposed of properly. Many retailers will do this for free, and I strongly urge people to take them up on the offer."


Editors Notes;

UK Data commissioned by the Together campaign and conducted by GFK NOP 2007

• Nearly 5m tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually. This assumes an annual saving of 11kg per light bulb based on replacing an average 67W traditional bulb with an average 15W Compact Florescent Lamp (CFL) for 592 hours of use per year. A grid electricity carbon factor of 0.572kg CO2 per KWh is applied. (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Carbon Emissions Reduction Reform Data)

• £55 saved on electricity bills per household. Assumes an annual saving of £2.62 per bulb and all compatible light bulbs are changed from an average 67W traditional bulb to an average 15W CFL. Average annual use of 592 hours per year and an electricity price of 8.5p per KWh are applied. (Department for Business,Enterpriseand Regulatory Reform).

• £1.2 billion in energy cost savings every year. Based on replacing 441,600,000 light bulbs (See above).

• Nearly 2 million cars off the road. Assumes the average car on the road emits 2.57 tonnes of CO2 per year (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and Department for Transport Data).

The European Commission estimates that switching to energy saving bulbs will save EU citizens close to 40m terawatt-hours (roughly equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of Romania, 11m European households, or the yearly output of ten 500MW power stations)