Energy Efficiency

From the end of this month halogen lightbulbs are to be removed from the market across Europe, with households expected to switch to LED lights – which cost more but last far longer and use much less electricity than energy-hungry halogens. According to Philips, the lighting manufacturer, the average UK household has 10 halogen bulbs and uses them for 2.7 hours a day. (So 272 million bulbs) If that is correct, then hundreds of millions of halogens are going to have to be replaced. So why are they heading for the scrap heap – and what do you have to do? What is the ban? Old-fashioned incandescent bulbs were the first to go, in 2009, and in 2016 the phased removal of halogens began in an EU-wide effort to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions. Halogens are hugely wasteful of energy – the Energy Saving Trust estimates that the typical halogen uses £11 of electricity a year while a replacement LED would use only £2 worth. What’s more, halogen bulbs typically fail after about two years, while LEDs should last for around 15 to 20 years on the same usage. This is an EU thing. Can’t we just ignore it because of Brexit? The initial ban caused some outrage. James Delingpole, the Daily Telegraph columnist, said he was “incandescent with rage” at “another piece of typically, bullying, ill-thought-through piece of EU legislation”. But lighting manufacturers have made it clear that they are not likely to produce special bulbs for the UK market alone. And we are still in the EU, so EU rules apply. A spokesperson for Philips says: “As the UK is still governed by EU ruling and we are still within the EU at the time of the imposed ban we cannot ignore the new regulation.”

Guardian 11th Aug 2018 read more »

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Published: 12 August 2018