Low-energy light bulbs replace all ordinary bulbs by 2012

Light bulbs go green as government promises all low-energy bulbs by 2012

Conventional light bulbs will be a thing of the past by 2012 as supermarkets and energy suppliers will phase them out from next year.

The initiative was announced yesterday by environment secretary Hilary Benn who wants only low-energy lightbulbs to be sold by 2011, meaning 5m tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved a year.

Low-energy bulbs use nearly 80% less electricity than ordinary bulbs to give the same amount of light. Although they cost more, they last 12 times as long.

Mr Benn said: ‘Major retailers and energy suppliers are leading a voluntary initiative to phase out traditional high-energy light bulbs. We need to turn them off – for good.’

However the government’s initiative has been criticised by environmental groups who say it is weak compared to the actions of other countries. Australia has banned conventional bulbs beyond 2009.

Many stores announced they would support the scheme. Currys has agreed to stop selling the bulbs by the end of this year, Habitat by 2009, Woolworths, the Co-op, Asda, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s by 2010 and Tesco by 2001.

Greenpeace director John Sauven said: ‘The government needs to go further and introduce tough mandatory efficiency standards. For every year of delay in getting rid of these bulbs, 5m tonnes of CO2 are emitted into the atmosphere unnecessarily.’

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