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Demand an Irish lightbulb law to save energy

Background - 8 February, 2008
We did it! Greenpeace called on the Irish Government to outlaw inefficient lightbulbs, setting the standard for European energy efficiency lawmakers. Ireland's Minister for Environment, John Gormley, announced in December 2007 That they would do it. It is a small victory, but a victory we can all be proud of.


ToIrish Minister for Environment John Gormley,

It's time to change the lightbulb. Ireland should take the lead in Europe and the world by passing a law setting mandatory, ever-improving, efficiency standards for lightbulbs by January 1, 2010.

UPDATE: The petition is closed. Our objective won, thanks to all the great work of volunteers, supporters and fellow travelers in Ireland and around the world. Ireland is banning the bulb, starting in 2009 -- 12 months ahead of our demand.


Frequently Asked Questions...Answered.

We want the Irish Government to take thelead in Europe by setting mandatory, ever-improving, efficiencystandards for household lighting by January 1,2010.

Lightbulb manufacturers admit that their old lightbulbs are bad for theclimate. The Government needs to make a law setting ever-improvingefficiency standards, so that lightbulb companies can only make andsell the good stuff, starting January 1, 2010.

Ireland could save more energy per household, than any otherEU country, simply by switching to efficient lightbulbs.  Thatis because Ireland currently has the highest energy consumption perhousehold for lighting at 920 kWh (the worst in the EU-27), comparedwith say Germany at 337 kWh.

The Irish Government hasacknowledged the need to phase-out grossly inefficient lightbulbs inthe Program for Government and National Climate Change Strategy,proposing in the latter document an eco-tax levy that would encourageconsumers to buy CFLs (energy saving bulbs) instead of incandescentlightbulbs.

Greenpeace welcomes the eco-taxproposal, but is calling on the Irish Government to do better,faster-To be lead the way for the EU by legislating mandatory,ever-improving, energy efficiency standards.  For residentiallighting, setting the minimum standard at 25 Lumens per Watt, wouldeffectively ban energy wasting incandescent lightbulbs and someinefficient halogen bulbs.

Ireland should ban thebulb as soon as possible.

The sale of inefficientbulbs should be outlawed as soon as possible, to set in motion theprocess of ratcheting-up to higher efficiency standards, and topositively influence other EU countries brooding over the same issuenow.  If the energy efficiency law comes into effect byJanuray 1, 2009, and plans for it are announced now, Ireland's examplecould significantly influence the EU eco-design policymakingprocess.  That process is already underway (established byDirective 2005/32/EC), and must lead to tough climate-conscious law(not voluntary industry self-regulation).

Thenumbers: Banning the bulb reduces emissions while saving consumersmoney.

With energy-related CO2 emissions 53% higherin 2005 than they were in 1990 (Assuming 0.637 kg of CO2per kWh), Ireland has a long way to go to honour itsKyoto commitment and fall in line with the recent agreement to cut EUgreenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020.  Conservative estimatesshow that a ban on inefficient bulbs in Ireland would result in areduction of about 750,000 metric tones of CO2 perannum(Assuming 0.637 kg of CO2 perkWh).  The residential sector is responsible for11,640 kt of CO2 annually (Energy in Ireland, 1990-2005,prepared for Sustainable Energy Ireland) with electricityconsumption accounting for 41% of these emissions.  If all theinefficient bulbs in homes were switched to CFLs, emissions fromresidential electricity use would be reduced by 15%.  Evenfurther, the switch from incandescents to CFLs could avoid theconsumption of more than 1.1 billion kWh per annum saving consumers ofapproximately EUR185 million annually (Figured based onthe 2006 average electricity price in Ireland, 0.159 perkWh).

This summer 8 of the 13 IrishMEPs signed a written declaration to ban inefficient lightbulbs.  Support for the ban elsewhere in the world is buildingas well with commitments by Australia and Canada to ban the bulb, Cubaand Venezuela are already phasing them out, and Californiacontemplating moving in the same direction.