‘Cleaner future for UK’: Halogen lightbulb sales to be banned from September – new rules

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Halogen light bulbs will be banned this year with fluorescent light bulbs to follow, with the removal of fluorescent lights being taken off the shelves from September 2023. It comes as part of the UK’s wider efforts to tackle climate change, and retailers will no longer be able to sell the majority of halogen bulbs for general household use in the UK from September 1, 2021.

The shift to LED bulbs will cut 1.26million tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent to removing over half a million cars from UK roads.

The new rules come as part of tighter energy efficiency standards for electrical appliances, helping Britons save £75 a year on their energy bills.

To help people make the switch, ministers are also announcing that all lightbulbs will start to feature new energy efficiency advice via ‘rescaled’ energy labels on their boxes.

The labels will simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G.

It is thought that very few bulbs will now be classified A, helping customers pick the most environmentally friendly lightbulbs.

Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We’re phasing out old inefficient halogen bulbs for good, so we can move more quickly to longer lasting LED bulbs, meaning less waste and a brighter and cleaner future for the UK.

“By helping ensure electrical appliances use less energy to perform just as well, we’re saving households money on their bills and helping tackle climate change.”

In addition to this, the Government also plans to phase out the sale of high-energy fluorescent light bulbs. 

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This reflects changes being brought in by the European Union.

The Government’s plan also includes a ban on the sale of lighting fixtures with fixed bulbs that cannot be replaced.

Fixtures like these account for more than 100,000 tonnes of electrical waste each year.

Minister for Climate Change, Lord Martin Callanan said: “Flicking the off-switch on energy inefficient light bulbs is a simple way that households can save money at the same time as saving the planet.

“Phasing out halogen bulbs in favour of LED alternatives that last longer, are just as bright and cheaper to run, is another way that we are helping tackle climate change.”

LED alternatives cost slightly more initially, but provide savings on electricity bills in the long run.

Retailers will be allowed to continue to sell their existing stock until it runs out.

Chief Executive of Signify UK, which owns Philips lighting, Stephen Rouatt said: “We welcome the UK Government’s next step in the transition towards more sustainable lighting products.

“Using energy-efficient LED equivalents for halogen and fluorescent lighting on an even broader scale will significantly help the UK on its journey to decarbonisation, as well as lowering the annual electricity bill for consumers.”

The UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen light bulbs in 2018 and it is said that already two thirds of bulbs sold in the UK are already LED.

LED bulbs typically last around five times longer than halogen ones, and also use up to 80 percent less power while still providing the same amount of light.

It is estimated that the energy efficiency improvements will cut eight million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2021 by reducing the amount of energy products consume over their lifetime. 

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