Septem­ber switchoff for halo­gen light bulbs in the EU

The Malta Business Weekly - - LEADER / NEWS -

En­ergy in­ten­sive and in­ef­fi­cient halo­gen light bulbs can no longer be sold across the EU as of 1 Septem­ber, help­ing con­sumers save on en­ergy bills and help­ing the EU to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions.

As a re­sult of these rules, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion es­ti­mates that Euro­pean con­sumers stand to gain sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings on their house­hold en­ergy bills. This will also lead to EU-wide en­ergy sav­ings which will be equiv­a­lent to the elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion of Por­tu­gal over five years.

The changes to the EU rules en­ter­ing into force re­late to stan­dard* halo­gen bulbs (mainly the pear-shaped ones) with non-di­rec­tional light, but do not cover special types like those used in desk lamps and flood­lights.

The halo­gen bulbs will be re­placed by LED light bulbs, which due to in­no­va­tion have be­come safer, more af­ford­able and more en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

The new mea­sures will not ap­ply to prod­ucts that are al­ready on the shelves in stores, but only to new prod­ucts pro­duced in or im­ported to the EU.

Orig­i­nally de­cided in 2009 by the EU mem­ber states and the Euro- pean Par­lia­ment, the new rules were re­con­firmed in 2015, but their in­tro­duc­tion was de­ferred un­til Septem­ber of this year so as to en­sure that suf­fi­cient af­ford­able al­ter­na­tives would be avail­able.

The changes are part of the EU's Ecode­sign Work Pro­gramme, which is an el­e­ment of the EU's ac­tion to put en­ergy ef­fi­ciency first and to lead the clean en­ergy tran­si­tion. This June, as part of the Clean En­ergy for All Euro­peans pack­age, co-leg­is­la­tors reached po­lit­i­cal agree­ment on a new 32.5% en­ergy ef­fi­cient tar­get for 2030.

LED bulbs tend to last five to 10 times longer than their halo­gen equiv­a­lent and use much less en­ergy (of­ten less than one-tenth of the halo­gen equiv­a­lent) and so the po­ten­tial sav­ings for con­sumers are con­sid­er­able.

House­holds should also need to change bulbs much less fre­quently. Cal­cu­la­tions in 2013 es­ti­mated that switch­ing from an av­er­age halo­gen lamp to an en­ergy ef­fi­cient LED would save at least €115 in the life­time of the bulb and pay back its cost in 12-18 months.

The same study es­ti­mated that, by im­ple­ment­ing the rules at EU level, the changes would pro­vide an­nual sav­ings of 9.4 TWh − equiv­a­lent to the elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion of Por­tu­gal over five years. These sav­ings cor­re­spond to a re­duc­tion of 3.4 mil­lion tonnes of CO2 emis­sions ev­ery year. The changes will also mean a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in waste − EU con­sumers will use con­sid­er­ably fewer light bulbs ev­ery year and more­over the new LED bulbs are re­cy­clable.

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