Timetable set to phase out high-energy light bulbs

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The Independent Online

A bid to phase out all high-energy light bulbs on sale in British shops was announced by the Government today.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said he wanted to see the energy wasting bulbs start to disappear from the shelves in January and phased out by 2011.

He told the Labour conference that retailers, energy suppliers and lighting manufacturers were taking part in the voluntary initiative.

Greenpeace said the "long overdue" announcement would help cut CO2 emissions, but pointed out that most retailers had already agreed to remove the bulbs following their own campaign.

From January 2008, stocks of 150 watt light bulbs will not be replaced by retailers, 100 watt bulbs the following year and 40 watt bulbs the year after that, Mr Benn told delegates.

He also indicated that he wanted to see manufacturers phasing out their least efficient products such as energy-wasting TVs.

Mr Benn said the move would save five million tonnes of CO2 per year from 2011.

He said: "The major retailers and energy suppliers are now leading a voluntary initiative, with the strong support of the lighting industry and the Government, to help phase out traditional high-energy light bulbs.

"We need to turn them off - for good."