Energy-hungry light bulbs fading outGovernment sets target of 2011

28 September 2007

Energy-guzzling light bulbs will begin to disappear from shop shelves early next year as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions.

The initiative, led by major retailers and energy suppliers, will see energy efficient light bulbs replace their less efficient equivalents over the next four years.

The government aims to phase out inefficient light bulbs by the end of 2011.

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 ten times longer than a non-efficient version.

Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn added: ‘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.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.’

Energy saving bulbs

Energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs 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.

Advice from the Energy Saving Trust suggests that because it will last up to ten 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.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust said: ‘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.’

It’s estimated that if you fit all the lights in your house with energy saving bulbs 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 which causes 900,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.