heat energy light bulb

Government proposes stringent minimum efficiency standards for lighting

Image credit: ohio state

The government has proposed increasing minimum efficiency standards for lighting in a bid to cut energy use and save money for households across Great Britain.

The proposals would introduce performance standards that are higher than regulations currently in place in either the US or EU.

Switching to more efficient lighting can save a household around £2,000 to £3,000 over the lifetime of the bulbs, depending on the size of the home.

The EU instituted a ban on the sale of halogen bulbs in 2018 and the UK is banning high-energy fluorescent lightbulbs from September 2023.

The higher standards being proposed would see only the most energy-efficient light bulbs, such as ones powered by low-energy-use LEDs, available in shops.

LEDs are capable of turning about 70 per cent of their energy into light which makes them much more efficient than other bulbs, which waste a lot of energy by turning it into heat.

It only takes a 6-watt LED bulb to produce the amount of light that a 40-watt incandescent does, and their lower temperature also makes them safer to operate.

Business minister Lord Callanan said: “Putin’s warmongering in Ukraine means everyone is feeling the effect of higher energy bills this winter, but these new standards can help lighten the load by ensuring British homes and businesses are lit as efficiently as possible.

“As we’ve shown in the government’s energy-saving campaign, small changes, like switching to more efficient light bulbs, can add up to big savings.

“By going further with these regulations than either the US or EU, British homes, factories and offices will have some of the cheapest and greenest lighting in the world, helping keep down bills and reducing energy usage.”

As of March 2022, half of product models on the British market already met the new standards, but with lighting accounting for a significant portion of electricity use in buildings, the proposed regulations could result in 1.7 million tonnes of carbon savings by 2050, the equivalent of a year’s worth of carbon emissions from 2.5 million UK households.

If adopted, the proposals in the government consultation being launched today would come into force in late 2023, with further increased minimum standards introduced from September 2027.

Making homes and businesses more energy efficient and so bringing down fuel bills is part of the government’s wider long-term commitment, announced as part of the Autumn Statement, to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15 per cent by 2030 against 2021 levels.

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