Climate change: UK to ban sale of halogen light bulbs from September

Prasun Sonwalkar/London
Filed on June 9, 2021
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A law will be introduced later in June to ban fluorescent lights from September 2023.

The Boris Johnson government in the United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday (June 8) announced plans to end the sale of halogen light bulbs from September this year as part of the UK’s wider efforts to tackle climate change, with a law will be introduced later in June to ban fluorescent lights from September 2023.

Officials said that currently around two-thirds of bulbs sold in Britain are LED lights, which improves the energy efficiency of the country’s buildings, last five times longer than halogen light bulbs, and produce the same amount of light – but use up to 80 per cent of less power.

The UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen light bulbs in 2018. The new legislation would mean retailers will no longer be able to sell the majority of halogen bulbs for general household use in the UK from September 1.

To help people make the switch, ministers are also announcing that all light bulbs will start to feature new energy efficiency advice via ‘rescaled’ energy labels on their boxes. The labels will simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G, doing away with the A+, A++, or A+++ ratings.

The new labels will raise the bar for each class, meaning very few bulbs will now be classified as A, helping consumers choose the most environmentally friendly bulbs.

This measure is expected to mean that LED light bulbs will account for 85% of all bulbs sold by 2030.

Together with phasing out the sale of high-energy fluorescent light bulbs from September 2023, officials hope that it will mark a significant shift to more energy-efficient and longer-lasting LEDs and will stop 1.26 million tonnes of carbon being emitted every year.

Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We’re phasing out old inefficient halogen bulbs for good, so we can move more quickly to longer-lasting LED bulbs, meaning less waste and a brighter and cleaner future for the UK”.

“By helping ensure electrical appliances use less energy but perform just as well, we’re saving households money on their bills and helping tackle climate change,” she added.

The plans announced also include a ban from September on the sale of lighting fixtures with fixed bulbs that cannot be replaced – meaning the fixtures have to be thrown away. Fixtures such as these account for 100,000 tonnes of electrical waste every year – out of a total of 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste each year.

Overall, officials said that the package of energy efficiency improvements will also cut 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2021 by reducing the number of energy products consume over their lifetime – the equivalent of removing all emissions from Birmingham and Leeds each year.

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