Mind my bulbs: EU bans wasteful lightbulbs

Selling incandescent lightbulbs in the UK is now banned after an EU law came into effect on Saturday. Shops will no longer be allowed to order new stocks of energy […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

Selling incandescent lightbulbs in the UK is now banned after an EU law came into effect on Saturday.

Shops will no longer be allowed to order new stocks of energy intensive incandescent light bulbs of 40 watts or lower. Buying higher wattage bulbs had already been outlawed.

Energy efficient bulbs use only a fifth of the energy compared with the traditional bulbs.

The move has been hailed by environmental groups as good for the public purse as well as the planet.

Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns, Andrew Pendleton said: “Pulling the plug on these energy-guzzling light bulbs is good news for cash-strapped consumers and the environment. Swapping out-dated bulbs for longer-lasting, energy efficient alternatives will lead to significant cuts in electricity bills.”

Analysts say bans such as the EU’s push British homeowners towards efficiency more quickly.

Dustin Benton of Green Alliance, who recently penned a report on efficiency standards, believes they can help homes cut bills by an average of £158 a year.

Mr Benton said: “Efficiency regulation in the UK works: the compulsory shift to condensing boilers has saved consumers £800 million this year alone.”

He warned EU sceptics could be jeopardising more savings for homeowners: “But £26 billion of potential savings from the EU ecodesign directive is at risk because of opposition to EU regulation.

“Whatever your view of the EU, this legislation is good news for consumers. It rewards innovative manufacturers and could cut bills by £158 per year. The government should ignore Eurosceptic opposition and help consumers to save money by regulating for efficient products.”