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EU bans Edison's light bulbs !

In Europe, the traditional light bulb perfected by American scientist Thomas Edison 130 years ago will soon be a remnant of the past.
The European Union is banning the production of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs starting Tuesday in a bid to introduce compact fluorescent models, widely known as energy-savings bulbs.
The move is in line with Brussels' plan to reduce the continent's energy demand and its carbon dioxide emissions footprint. Brussels hopes for the complete ban to slash around 15 million tons of C02 per year. It is also due to save 40 terawatt hours of energy per year -- roughly equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of Denmark.
The phase-out will come in several stages, with the additional lower-wattage models going in the years until 2016.
While energy-savings bulbs are more expensive, they use up to 80 percent less energy and live much longer than the traditional bulbs, resulting in bottom-line savings, the European Commission says.
The European Consumers' Association BEUC welcomed the move, saying that "consumers benefit financially from the measure, but most importantly, they will be able to contribute to improved energy efficiency."
But critics say that their light is too cold and not bright enough. Germans seem to be especially attached to the traditional models.
"We've seen a lot of hoarding," an electrical retailer from Wiesbaden told German public broadcaster ZDF. "Elderly people in particular are worried about the changes."
In the Hamburg stores of the hardware store chain Max Bahr, sales of 100-watt bulbs are up 337 percent, a spokeswoman told German daily Die Welt. In other European countries, however, sales of the old-style light bulbs are declining.
European light bulb producers such as Germany's Osram or Philips from the Netherlands say their new energy-savings bulbs are much better than what was on offer a few years ago. The latest models are shaped like the traditional bulbs, offer a greater choice of color and radiate warmer light.

1 comment:

Panta Rei said...

Hardly surprising about the German hoarding you mention Bahman...

Europeans (like Americans) choose to buy ordinary light bulbs around 9 times out of 10 (European Commission and light industry data 2007-8)
Banning what people want gives the supposed savings - no point in banning an impopular product!

If new LED lights - or improved CFLs etc - are good,
people will buy them - no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (little point).
If they are not good, people will not buy them - no need to ban ordinary light bulbs (no point).
The arrival of the transistor didn’t mean that more energy using radio valves/tubes were banned… they were bought less anyway.

The need to save energy?
Advice is good and welcome, but bans are another matter...
people -not politicians – pay for energy and how they wish to use it.
There is no energy shortage - on the contrary, more and more renewable sources are being developed -
and if there was an energy shortage, the price rise would lead to more demand for efficient products – no need to legislate for it.

Supposed savings don’t hold up anyway, for many reasons:
about CFL brightness, lifespan, power factor, lifecycle, heat effect of ordinary bulbs, and other referenced research

Effect on Electricity Bills

If energy use does indeed fall with light bulb and other proposed efficiency bans,
electricity companies make less money,
and they’ll simply push up the electricity bills to compensate
(especially since power companies often have their own grids with little supply competition)
Energy regulators can hardly deny any such cost covering exercise...
- in which case money savings affected

Since energy efficiency in effect means cheaper energy,
people simply leave appliances on more than before
(in the case of CFLs they're supposed to be left on more anyway, to avoid cutting down on their lifespan)
- in which case energy savings affected

The only real "energy saving" going on is in the mental activity of politicians in Brussels.. London... Dublin...

Does a light bulb give out any gases?
Power stations might not either:
Why should emission-free households be denied the use of lighting they obviously want to use?
Low emission households already dominate some regions, and will increase everywhere, since emissions will be reduced anyway through the planned use of coal/gas processing technology and/or energy substitution.

Direct ways to deal with emissions (for all else they contain too, whatever about CO2):

The Taxation alternative
A ban on light bulbs is extraordinary, in being on a product safe to use.
We are not talking about banning lead paint here.
This is simply a ban to reduce electricity consumption...

Even for those who remain pro-ban, taxation to reduce the consumption would be fairer and make more sense, also since governments can use the income to reduce emissions (home insulation schemes, renewable projects etc) more than any remaining product use causes such problems.

A few dollars tax that reduces the current sales (EU like the USA 2 billion sales per annum, UK 250-300 million pa)
raises future billions, and would retain consumer choice.
It could also be revenue neutral, lowering any sales tax on efficient products.
When sufficent low emission electricity delivery is in place, the ban can be lifted

Taxation is itself unjustified, it is simply a better alternative for all concerned than bans.

Of course an EU ban is underway, but in phases, supposedly with reviews in a couple of years time...

Maybe the debate in other countries will be affected by the issues being raised by the ban here in the EU?