This is fantastic! I sincerely hope their example is followed by other nations as well.
By Mark Kenny and staff writers
February 20, 2007 12:18pm
THE initial cost of replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs will be offset by longer-term savings, Prime Minister John Howard said today.
Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull this morning announced standard incandescent light bulbs would be phased out within three years in a bid to reduce energy consumption.
"We are introducing new energy efficiency standards and these old lights simply won't comply, they will be phased out and basically over a period of time they will no longer be for sale," Mr Turnbull said.
Compact fluorescent or low-wattage bulbs cost about $5 more, but are more energy-efficient and save an average of $30 per year.
"They'll be a bit dearer to start off with but over time they'll be less expensive and they'll last four to 10 times longer," said Mr Howard.
"We need to take practical measures in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The standard incandescent light bulb, developed for the mass market more than 125 years ago, consists of a metal filament glowing white-hot in a vacuum which wastes up to 95 per cent of the energy it uses.
Compact fluorescent lights use about a fifth of the electricity to produce the same illumination. Each bulb also lasts between four and 10 times longer.
The move to sell the electorate a simpler environment policy contrasts with Labor's plan to introduce emissions trading, increase mandatory renewable energy targets and sign the international Kyoto climate agreement.
Details of the plan, including costs, have not been made available, but a source said it was expected the purchase cost of the new technology lights would come down as the volume of sales dramatically increased.
Federal Government figures suggest energy used for household lighting in Australia contributes up to 12 per cent of coal-energy greenhouse gas emissions and around 25 per cent of emissions from commercial and public lighting.
It is felt the change to fluorescent lighting could cut greenhouse gas emissions by the order of 800,000 tonnes a year by 2012.
Founder of environment group Planet Ark, Jon Dee, said he had been working with Mr Turnbull's predecessor, Ian Campbell, and lighting company Phillips on the idea since late last year.
Mr Dee said Planet Ark and Phillips were to announce a Ban the Bulb campaign next week, but that had now been gazumped by Mr Turnbull's announcement.
Although he was disappointed by Mr Turnbull's timing, he was glad the Government had made the decision.
"The fact is we have to do more real world things to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce climate change," he said.
"The fact that the Government is committing to this idea is absolutely fantastic."