As part of a new EU directive, incandescent lamps and other lighting products that are heavy users of electricity will be phased out from 1 September 2009. Starting with the most inefficient lamps, the ban will come into effect over a period of eight years until only energy efficient alternatives are available in the UK with the onus being placed on retailers and manufacturers to ensure only approved lamps are made available to purchase.
The phase out process will see some inefficient products removed from shelves earlier than others. Incandescent lamps of more than 80W and frosted lamps that are not in EEI category A will no longer be available from 1 September 2009 and further lamps and wattages will come under the terms of the ban in 12 month stages. By September 2012, all incandescent lamps above 7W will be removed from circulation.
Commenting on the new directive Martin Goetzeler, CEO of Osram said: “The new EU directive is good news for consumers and the environment. The transition phase will ensure that energy efficient lamps of the highest quality will be available as replacements for all standard applications, holders, shapes and wattages. The directive is a strong signal that the EU is serious about climate change and that the future of the lighting industry belongs to energy-saving lamps and LEDs.”
The EU directive merely regulates retail sales so consumers may still use inefficient light bulbs that are already in use in their home and are not required to replace these from 1 September 2009 even though they would save money by doing so. Although energy efficient products are more expensive to purchase initially, in most cases they pay for themselves after only one year due to the much lower electricity costs.