The European Commission adopted two ecodesign regulations to improve the energy efficiency of household lamps and of office, street and industrial lighting products.
The two regulations lay down energy efficiency requirements which will save close to 80 TWh by 2020 (roughly the electricity consumption of Belgium, or of 23 million European households, or the equivalent of the yearly output of 20 power stations of 500 megawatts) and will lead to a reduction of about 32 million tons of CO2 emission per year. Inefficient incandescent light bulbs will be progressively replaced by improved alternatives starting in 2009 and finishing at the end of 2012. As a result of these regulations, 11 billion euros are expected to be saved and re-injected every year into the European economy.
"These groundbreaking measures respond to the request of the 2007 Spring European Council to the Commission (confirmed by the European Parliament) to address the efficiency of lighting products both in the domestic and tertiary sectors by 2009. They deliver a clear message about the EU's commitment to reach its energy efficiency and climate protection targets. By replacing last century lighting products by more performant technologies, European homes, buildings and streets will keep the same quality of lighting, while saving energy, CO2 and money", said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.
In two meetings of the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee held in Autumn 2008, the Representatives of the Member States endorsed the Commission's draft regulation improving the energy efficiency of household lamps and of street, office and industrial lighting products. Then the draft regulations were sent to the European Parliament for consultation. The Commission has taken today the formal adoption, the last step of the comitology procedure.
The two regulations set energy efficiency, functionality and product information requirements for households lamps (in particular incandescent bulbs, halogen lamps and compact fluorescent lamps), as well as for lighting products typically used in office, street and industrial lighting (fluorescent lamps, high-intensity discharge lamps and related ballasts and luminaires).
The regulation takes into account user expectations in terms of aesthetics, functionality and health concerns. It progressively removes inefficient conventional bulbs and other lighting products from the market in a way that allows manufacturers to adapt their production for efficient alternatives.
Households will still have the choice between long-life compact fluorescent lamps that currently yield the highest energy savings (up to 75% less energy than incandescent lamps), or efficient incandescent lamps (of the halogen type) fully equivalent to conventional bulbs in terms of light quality, providing between 25% and 50% energy savings.
Depending on the number of lamps installed, an average household switching from conventional bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps could make net savings (taking into account higher purchasing price of the lamps) between 25 and 50 € a year on their electricity bill.
These regulations are only two of the Ecodesign measures that will be adopted by the Commission over the coming months, targeting many more products such as consumer electronics, white goods or heating appliances.
Further information on Eco-design: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/ecodesign/eco_design_en.htm