New Zealand phases out old light bulbs
to save energy, greenhouse gas output
Jun 15, 2008 - The Associated Press
New Zealand will ban traditional light
bulb sales from October 2009 to cut greenhouse gas emissions
and save up to half a billion U.S. dollars a year in energy
costs, the government said Tuesday.
Energy Minister David Parker said incandescent
bulbs would be phased out and replaced with compact fluorescent
bulbs across the country.
"The traditional light bulb is very old
technology and very inefficient. Only five per cent of
the energy it uses generates light - the rest is wasted
as heat," Parker said in a statement.
"There's a whole new generation of lighting
coming through that is more cost-effective, saves energy
and is better for the environment," he said.
The sales ban will take effect next year,
the same time as neighbor Australia introduces a similar
Government spokeswoman on energy efficiency
and conservation Jeanette Fitzsimons said the range of
fluorescent light bulbs on the market already saves money
and electric power for New Zealand families, while pricing
subsidies by the nation's Electricity Commission make
them cheaper to buy.
"Each year we spend approximately NZ$660
million (US$497 million) on electricity for lighting in
this country, generating about 2.65 million tons (2.9
million U.S. tons) of greenhouse gas emissions," she said.
"New Zealanders will be able to save almost
NZ$500 million (US$377 million) by 2020, just by changing
the lights," Fitzsimons said.
Unlike Australia, New Zealanders will be
allowed to import old-style light bulbs into the country
for personal use.
"Officials considered an import ban but
felt we could achieve our objective of keeping them off
the market with the point of sales ban," Fitzsimons said.
The New Zealand Parliament currently is
debating an emissions trading scheme as part of a bid
to cut harmful greenhouse gas emission levels aimed at
making the country carbon neutral.