Philips leads Ban the Bulb call in North America

In Washington DC yesterday, a coalition advocating energy efficiency presented plans for proposed legislative action that will cause a major shift towards high-efficiency lighting technologies in home and office settings.

The coalition supports the planned phase-out of inefficient lamps through the substitution of existing (or yet-to-be-developed) energy-efficient alternatives including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and energy-saving halogen lamps, as well as LED lamps.

The announcement follows the recent introduction of legislation in California, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Rhode Island to ban the sale of incandescent bulbs (see related stories). Australia has also announced it will begin to phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2010.

Leading the coalition, Philips Electronics agreed to become the first lighting manufacturer in North America to seek a phase-out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs by 2016. This will be achieved in a phased, orderly market transition that reflects manufacturing capacity constraints and ensures a robust competitive marketplace.

The call-to-action was introduced by Philips Electronics along with Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Illinois), and the Lighting Efficiency Coalition. The latter comprises the Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Californians Against Waste, Natural Resources Defense Council and Earth Day Network.

"I'm thrilled that Philips, the world's top manufacturer of light bulbs, has taken the initiative to lead by example and advocate for new energy- efficiency incentives," said Senator Pryor. "This innovative coalition is a win-win for the environment, industry and consumers."

The Lighting Efficiency Coalition's proposal is to enact public policies that would provide incentives for consumers and businesses to purchase more energy-efficient products and to set technology-neutral performance standards that will phase out the least efficient products from the market such as the 128-year old incandescent-style lamps.

Legislation could include policy measures in the areas of green procurement, environmental performance targets, and financial incentives to secure participation from the leading manufacturers like Philips. This would help bring new products to the market while at the same time helping to address America's energy and environmental challenges.

Jim Rogers, Chairman, President and CEO of Duke Energy (a utility company) and Co-Chair of the Alliance to Save Energy, said "Encouraging our customers to use advanced products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs is a key part of our plans to meet growing demand for electricity in a way that is cost-effective for consumers and businesses."

"A wide range of energy-efficient light bulbs are already available on the market today," said Brian Dundon, Vice Chairman, Philips Lighting. "These bulbs are not only a better environmental choice than incandescent light bulbs, but cost far less to operate. To ensure a timely and broad adoption of energy efficient lighting, such as compact fluorescent lamps, Philips recommends that leaders of industry, government and NGOs support discussions to develop a plan to prudently phase out inefficient incandescent light bulbs."

Incandescent lighting – facts & figures

  • In the United States there are approximately four billion screw-base light sockets that currently house inefficient, old-style general service incandescent lights.
  • If adopted across the United States, energy-efficient lighting would save consumers and business approximately $18 billion annually on electricity bills.
  • Annual energy demand for lighting would be reduced by the equivalent of the generating capacity of 30 nuclear power plants or up to 80 coal burning power plants.
  • More than 158 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 5,700 pounds of air-born mercury emissions would be eliminated.

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