Lights out for inefficient bulbs

Inefficient light bulbs will be banned in Canada by 2012 according to Natural
Resources Minister Gary Lunn.

“Making the switch to more efficient lighting is one of the easiest and
most effective things we can do to reduce energy use and harmful emissions,”
Mr. Lunn said at a news conference in Ottawa.

Households using the more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) would
save $50 a year, he said. CFLs use about 75 per cent less energy than older
incandescent bulbs.

“By banning inefficient lighting, we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions
by more than 6 million tons per year,” Lunn said.

The gradual ban will make allowances for situations where incandescent bulbs
are “the only practical alternative.” Such exceptions would include
some medical lighting or lights for some ovens.

According to a Canadian Press report, Home Depot, the largest retailer of light
bulbs in the country, saw a 350 per cent increase in sales of more efficient
compact fluorescent light bulbs between 2004 and 2006.

Canada is second only to Australia to announce national standards for energy
efficient lighting. In the United States, California and New Jersey are considering
a similar measure; the European Union is also seeking a ban on inefficient bulbs.

Turning the corner

This measure comes as the government announces a plan to cut air pollution
in half by 2015. In a published op-ed piece, Environment Minister John Baird
said the goal is to slash emissions by 150 million tons, 20 per cent below current

The government’s “Turning the Corner” plan will fix emission
caps for industrial pollutants that release greenhouse gases and cause smog
and acid rain.

The plan also seeks to balance the need to act on the environment with responsible
economic management. “We will turn the corner, with a balanced plan that
recognizes the urgent need to act on the environment, while also respecting
our responsibility to keep Canadian families working,” Mr. Baird said.