The European Commission officially adopted on March 18, two regulations aimed at improving the energy efficiency of light bulbs in homes and offices, as well as public and industrial lighting products.
The regulations provide for the phasing out of all incandescent bulbs and lamps halogen ineffective from here to 2012 (EurActiv.com) 09/12/08. According to localbusinessexplorer, households will be able to choose between compact fluorescent lamps, which use up to 75% less than traditional bulbs, energy and efficient halogen lamps, which lead to the energy savings of 25-50%.
According to the Commission, the two measures adopted in accordance with the European directive on ecodesign will reduce the energy bills of Europeans of 11 billion euros annually, is the electricity of the Belgium up to 2020 consumption. These measures will also reduce the CO2 emissions of 32 million tons, said the EU Executive.
The process of adoption of these measures is not made without incident. The potentially harmful impact of compact fluorescent lamps on sufferers of lupus, migraines, epilepsy and autism, has for example been put forward. The EU Executive was also charged to replace one environmental problem by another by allowing the mercury in some lamps hallogenes.
Brussels said, however, that a Scientific Committee leaned on health aspects and had concluded that the new lamps were no danger to health. The Commission for energy, Ferran Tarradellas Espuny, spokesman said that the mercury concerns were unfounded because the levels present in the bulbs were acceptable under the legislation of the EU. In fact, new regulations would reduce the rate of mercury by reducing the energy demand of the coal-fired plants, which emit mercury during the manufacturing process.
The Commissioner for energy, Andris Piebalgs, said that these ‘innovative measures’ would confirm the commitment of the EU to reach its energy efficiency and climate protection objectives. “By replacing the lamps of the last century by more advanced technologies, households, buildings and the streets in Europe will keep the same quality of lighting, while saving energy and money, and by emitting less CO2″, he said.
German MEP Peter Liese (EPP – of) stated that «the significant energy consumption in all of the Member States was causing catastrophic problems whose resolution falls also to the environmental citizens.» Climate change can be stopped if we are moving quickly in the field of energy efficiency”, he said.
The British John Bowis MEP (conservative) said that he had no doubt about the fact that “bulbs are respectful of the environment.” He praised the decision of the Commission to reduce the use of bulbs incandescent noting however that “the Commission, as well as the British Government must take custody to not cause nuisance in the process”.
Environmental NGOs have, however, welcomed the ban, overdue, on light bulbs energy-consuming (EurActiv.com 14-10-08).
First step towards Smart lighting
However, some industry representatives indicated that the measures constituted nothing more than a first step towards effective lighting in Europe. Honeywell representatives, producer of lighting systems, accused the big manufacturer of light bulbs to pollute the working of the EU institutions hogging the attention on the defence of their interests.
“Is only one aspect of the issue”, said representatives of Honeywell, “significant savings simply by turning off the lights when there is need.” “Regardless of the efficiency of the system, if the lights stay on while this is not necessary, there is waste”, they added.
According to Honeywell, the ultimate step energy saving will be to install sensors on ceilings to turn on the light when a person enters a room. And to turn it off automatically when the person will come out.
This type of smart system can be installed in many environments, offices in the factories, but they are too expensive to be considered for residential buildings.
Citing various studies, Honeywell estimated that the sensors could allow 30% energy saving in residential buildings, where lighting accounts for 26% of the total energy consumed. An annual saving of 4.2 billion euros, according to the company.
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