The voluntary initiative is being backed by leading retailers, (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) and energy suppliers as part of their activities through the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).
“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”The government has proposed, as an illustrative schedule for the phase out of inefficient lamps, that retailers are suggested to follow:
Kevin Hawkins, Director General, British Retail Consortium
“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 light bulbs, we would save enough energy to power all the UK’s street lighting for a year.”
Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust
- 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).
“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.”This voluntary initiative will be an effective curb on carbon emissions from the home for the near future, and could potentially lead to an annual reduction of CO2 emissions of 5m tonnes (0.9% of UK CO2 emissions), equivalent to taking 1.8m cars off the roads. The benefits of this will be felt by all parties, with the negative impact being felt only by those who oppose energy efficient bulbs for whatever ideology (Matt Wright explains the most common excuses). There is one important factor to consider for the future and that is the disposal of the bulbs as they contain mercury. They are now covered under WEEE, but educating the public of the need to recycle could be a greater task than having previously asked them to buy energy saving bulbs in the first place.
Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment
The benefits far outweigh the potential negatives and could not only reduce emissions but improve the quality of life through reduced air pollution, government from the reduced adverse social impacts of power stations will also benefit financially. Energy companies and government will also be able to effectively increase renewable energy rates in percentage points in a short period of time, and as more renewable energy farms are built they will provide a greater proportion of total national usage than they would have previously. It's only a shame they didn't phase it in faster. Goodbye Bulb!