Environment minister calls for ‘ultra-efficient lighting’

An environment minister has praised the lighting industry for pursuing energy-efficient technology and called for more promotion of low-energy lighting to consumers.

In a debate on incandescent lamps, Conservative minister Richard Benyon said it is essential to encourage the development of ‘ultra-efficient lighting’, because of the major role of lighting in global energy consumption.

‘The government recognises climate change is one of the gravest challenges that we face and that urgent action is required to tackle it,’ Benyon told the House of Commons.

‘We need to promote the most efficient products to consumers, which in turn rewards the businesses developing and selling them’, he said, adding that the coalition’s promise to be the greenest government ever ‘must be based on action, not words’.

Benyon acknowledged the limitations of alternatives to incandescent lamps in terms of quality, such as UV radiation and flickering. But he recognised the potential for improvement as technology develops and praised the lighting industry for its response to the ‘challenge to produce new quality products’.

The International Energy Agency estimates that lighting represents almost 19 per cent of global electricity use and is responsible for approximately 8 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The phasing out of incandescent lamps is expected to save the European Union 39TWh of power annually by 2020, Benyon said, and the UK is expected to benefit to the tune of £108 million a year on average between now and 2020.

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