Phase-out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs
On 20 February 2007, former Australian Minister for the Environment and Water Resources the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP announced action to phase out inefficient light bulbs by 2009 - 2010. As of November 2009, due to these government regulations you'll no longer be able to purchase standard incandescent globes.
Minister Turnbull stated that the step should reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tonnes per year by 2012. This is the equivalent to taking 1 million cars off the road or planting 4 million trees.
Australia's annual greenhouse emissions in 2004 totalled 564.7 million tonnes.
According to the Australian government, lighting is responsible for 37% of greenhouse gas emissions; household lighting is responsible for 12% of the total greenhouse emissions and commercial lighting such as public and street lighting 25%.
Lighting costs the community over $2 billion in electricity each year and it is predicted that converting to low energy lighting will save Australians 66% off their household lighting bills, or $1.3 billion per year.
Low Energy Lighting
Low energy or energy saving lighting is about reducing the wattage used in a light fitting while maintaining similar light output. By using energy saving lighting you can generate huge savings on your electricity bills, and contribute towards building a better environment.
Low energy lighting alternatives such as CFLs cost more to purchase, however the investment is outweighed by the fact that they use only 20% of the electricity consumed by a standard incandescent light globe. This produces significant savings on your power bills.
Furthermore, CFLs will last from four to ten years, as opposed to a standard globe which lasts about one year, saving you the inconvenience of having to regularly purchase and replace globes.
And most importantly, energy efficient globes reduce energy consumption and therefore help cut greenhouse gas emissions which are harmful to the environment.
The Australian government has yet to announce the process by which incandescent lamps are to be phased out of use, nor have they provided details of any exemptions to banned lighting within the legislation and their subsequent phase-out process.
Currently there are three proposals being considered the federal government and Australian Lighting Council are working closely to develop outcomes that benefit all stakeholders, in particular consumers.
The lighting industry expects to see a gradual phasing out of inefficient light globes.
It is most likely that the government will commence the phase-out process by banning standard GLS globes in October 2008. This will be the first stage in embracing new technology that will substantially increase efficiency. Then, as energy efficient alternatives become available for other light globes, the government will ban the inefficient equivalent.
There will be no ban on any globe format until there is a direct replacement that is tested, proven and widely available to all consumers. We expect that after the standard bulb, floodlights will be the next incandescent globe to be banned from sale in Australia.
Over the next ten to twelve years the Australian government will introduce legislation to improve the efficacy of light globes. Manufacturers must gradually reduce the wattage of globes, which generates carbon dioxide, while maintaining the light output (lumen). So in the future, the most energy efficient globes will require fewer watts to generate the equivalent light which will further reduce carbon dioxide emissions from lighting.
Lighting tips to save energy
Use these tips to help reduce your household lighting:
- Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs, especially in rooms where lights are on for long
- Use the lowest wattage bulb required to meet each room's lighting needs
- Turn off the lights of unoccupied rooms
- Turn outside lights off when you're not using them
- Consider using timers and sensors for outdoor lights
- Regularly dust your low energy light bulbs and fittings
- Make the most of natural light. Open curtains and blinds during daylight hours
- When you're wiring up your home, allocate one switch per light rather than turning on
multiple lights with the one switch
- Use two-way switching in rooms with two exits to ensure lights are turned off when
leaving the room
- Install a light dimmer
- Use table or floor lamps fitted with CFLs where most light is required so that you don't
light unoccupied areas of the room
- Choose light fittings that allow most of the light through so a lower wattage lamp can be
used. Some light fittings can block 50% or more of the light, especially those with