This is just in from one of my colleagues, Eoin, at Greenpeace International
Ireland currently has the highest energy consumption per household for lighting in the EU. Energy is being wasted by grossly inefficient lighting like incandescent bulbs and old halogen lights. The Government needs to make a law setting ever-improving efficiency standards, so that lightbulb companies can only make and sell the good stuff.
To Irish Minister for Environment John Gormley,
It’s time to change the lightbulb. Ireland should take the lead in Europe and the world by passing a law setting mandatory, ever-improving, efficiency standards for lightbulbs by January 1, 2010.
We want the Irish Government to take the lead in Europe by setting mandatory, ever-improving, efficiency standards for household lighting by January 1, 2010.
Lightbulb manufacturers admit that their old lightbulbs are bad for the climate. The Government needs to make a law setting ever-improving efficiency standards, so that lightbulb companies can only make and sell the good stuff, starting January 1, 2010.
Ireland could save more energy per household, than any other EU country, simply by switching to efficient lightbulbs. That is because Ireland currently has the highest energy consumption per household for lighting at 920 kWh (the worst in the EU-27), compared with say Germany at 337 kWh.
The Irish Government has acknowledged the need to phase-out grossly inefficient lightbulbs in the Program for Government and National Climate Change Strategy, proposing in the latter document an eco-tax levy that would encourage consumers to buy CFLs (energy saving bulbs) instead of incandescent lightbulbs.
Greenpeace welcomes the eco-tax proposal, but is calling on the Irish Government to do better, fasterâ€”To be lead the way for the EU by legislating mandatory, ever-improving, energy efficiency standards. For residential lighting, setting the minimum standard at 25 Lumens per Watt, would effectively ban energy wasting incandescent lightbulbs and some inefficient halogen bulbs.
Ireland should ban the bulb as soon as possible.
The sale of inefficient bulbs should be outlawed as soon as possible, to set in motion the process of ratcheting-up to higher efficiency standards, and to positively influence other EU countries brooding over the same issue now. If the energy efficiency law comes into effect by Januray 1, 2009, and plans for it are announced now, Ireland’s example could significantly influence the EU eco-design policymaking process. That process is already underway (established by Directive 2005/32/EC), and must lead to tough climate-conscious law (not voluntary industry self-regulation).
The numbers: Banning the bulb reduces emissions while saving consumers money.
With energy-related CO2 emissions 53% higher in 2005 than they were in 1990 (Assuming 0.637 kg of CO2 per kWh), Ireland has a long way to go to honour its Kyoto commitment and fall in line with the recent agreement to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020. Conservative estimates show that a ban on inefficient bulbs in Ireland would result in a reduction of about 750,000 metric tones of CO2 per annum(Assuming 0.637 kg of CO2 per kWh). The residential sector is responsible for 11,640 kt of CO2 annually (Energy in Ireland, 1990-2005, prepared for Sustainable Energy Ireland) with electricity consumption accounting for 41% of these emissions. If all the inefficient bulbs in homes were switched to CFLs, emissions from residential electricity use would be reduced by 15%. Even further, the switch from incandescents to CFLs could avoid the consumption of more than 1.1 billion kWh per annum saving consumers of approximately EUR185 million annually (Figured based on the 2006 average electricity price in Ireland, 0.159 per kWh).
This summer 8 of the 13 Irish MEPs signed a written declaration to ban inefficient light bulbs. Support for the ban elsewhere in the world is building as well with commitments by Australia and Canada to ban the bulb, Cuba and Venezuela are already phasing them out, and California contemplating moving in the same direction.