Saturday, March 10, 2007

will ndp bill follow like: Brussels pulls plug on old light bulbs

Brussels pulls plug on old light bulbs
10/03/2007 Telegraph.UK

Traditional light bulbs have only two years of life left after a Brussels summit declared yesterday that they will be phased out in the battle against climate change.

Banned: Energy efficient lights will replace incandescent bulbs

The old-style incandescent filament bulbs will be replaced by more energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

The decision came as Tony Blair and other European Union leaders agreed measures to slash carbon emissions and to ensure that by 2020 a fifth of Europe's energy is from renewable sources.

Calling time on the traditional bulb, first patented in the United States by Thomas Edison in 1879, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor said: "We believe that each individual can make a genuine contribution through responsible use of light bulbs and lamps."

EU sources said that driving the old bulbs off shop shelves by 2009 will be achieved by increasingly tightening the restrictions on what is legal, thereby forcing manufacturers to invest in the new technology. While the measures, to be drawn up by the European Commission in the form of an EU directive, will delight the green lobby, the public may take more convincing.

A petition on the Downing Street website - - which asks the Prime Minister "to ban non-energy efficient light bulbs" has attracted only 478 names, compared to the millions that have signed another No 10 web petition protesting Government plans for road pricing.

A Government spokesman said: "Switching to energy efficient light bulbs offers people the opportunity to do their bit in the fight against climate change."

The eco-friendly CFLs will reduce the EU's carbon emissions by up to 25 million tons a year if old-style bulbs disappear.

EU officials described the CO2 reduction as "up there" with plans to include aviation in Europe's carbon trading scheme, a measure which saves 50 million tons annually.

The Government calculates that if every British household were to replace three 60 or 100 watt light bulbs with CFLs the energy saving would be greater than the power used by the country's entire street lighting network.

But there are drawbacks. The new CFLs are more expensive and require more energy to make.

There is also an environmental cost to be set against the energy savings. CFLs contain mercury so extra waste disposal rules may be required.

Householders will also have to change their habits in other ways. They will no longer be able to throw old bulbs out in the rubbish.

Consumers will also find that the new bulbs take longer to switch on, that their light is less warm and that they do not work with dimmer switches.

British officials believe that CFLs, which use 67 per cent less electricity, will appeal to the public eventually. "The good thing for consumers is that CFLs save electricity and last four times longer, saving money for people in the long term," said one.

Dewar bill to end use of incandescent bulbs
8 Mar 2007 NDP.CA

A Private Members’ Bill that would effectively phase out the sale and use of incandescent bulbs is being drafted by NDP MP Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre).

Incandescent light bulbs use electricity that flows through a filament to create light. Approximately 95% of the energy each standard light bulb uses is wasted as heat. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), in comparison, use only 20% as much electricity to produce the same amount of light.

“Canadians want changes in how we produce and use energy. My bill will phase out the production of incandescent bulbs and replace them with energy-efficient bulbs, such as compact fluorescents,” said Dewar. “Changing light bulbs is a simple measure that will make a huge difference -- in terms of the environment and the electricity bill of ordinary Canadian families. Changing even one bulb will generate up to $50 in energy savings and cut greenhouse emissions by up to half a tonne over the lifetime of the bulb. The technology already exists, let’s use it.”

“The light bulb is the universal first action in the kind of broad public participation we need to take action on climate change,” said Stuart Hickox, Executive Director of Project Porchlight. “We’ve seen in Ottawa that if you can get someone to change even one bulb they are engaged as part of the solution to these issues, and are therefore much more likely to participate in other proposed actions that may be more complex.”

Project Porchlight is a grassroots energy efficiency campaign that began in Ottawa in 2005 and is now running in Guelph, Thunder Bay and across the Yukon. Porchlight mobilizes volunteers to deliver one free CFL to every household, to prove that saving money and protecting the environment can start with something as simple as changing one light bulb.

According to calculations from Australia, where similar legislation is being introduced, lighting, which is mostly from incandescent lamps, represents 12% of greenhouse gas emissions from households, about 25% of commercial-sector emissions and another 25% from emissions associated with public and street lighting.