Halogen bulb sales set to end in September 2021

10 June 2021   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Phasing out of halogen light bulbs is part of wider efforts to cut UK's carbon footprint and tackle climate change.

The ban on sales of most halogen bulbs will come into force in September 2021, meaning only sales of specialist lighting equipment bulbs will be permitted after that date.

The Government has confirmed proposals to ban fluorescent light bulbs will follow in September 2023.

Rescaled energy labels on light bulbs will also help customers choose the most energy efficient bulbs for their homes.

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Halogen sales

From 1 September 2021, retailers in the UK will no longer be able to sell most halogen bulbs for general household use.

Under the legislation brought forward this week, sales of fluorescent bulbs will be also banned from September 2023.

It's likely many households will already be using halogen and fluorescent alternatives, with Government figures suggesting two thirds of lightbulbs sold in the UK are more environmentally friendly LED bulbs.

They say the shift from halogen and fluorescent bulbs to LEDs will cut 1.26 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of taking half a million cars off the roads.

In addition, the sale of lighting fixtures with bulbs that can't be replaced will be banned from September, as these must be thrown away once the bulb has reached its lifespan.

The Government say these types of lighting fixtures account for 100,000 tonnes of electrical waste every year.

Lightbulb labelling

It was also announced that tougher labelling will be brought in to ensure customers can easily see which are the most environmentally friendly lightbulbs on the market.

Just as they are doing with household appliances, the Government is rescaling the energy efficiency labels on lightbulbs to make it harder to bulbs to achieve A ratings.

This will remove the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings that can be confusing for customers and replace the scale with a simple A to G rating system, with only the most eco-friendly bulbs reaching the top of the rating scale.

Consumer impact

The Government say the wider package of energy efficiency measures including the right to repair home appliances rules set to come into force this summer will cut 8 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2021.

It's estimated the measures will also save customers £75 each year on their energy bills because LED bulbs last much longer and stronger labelling across the board will enable customers to choose greener options on their bulbs and appliances from the start.

All this is part of the UK's ambition to reach net zero by 2050, something both the Government and energy regulator Ofgem have been working on for several years now.

Small changes such as switching home lightbulbs to LEDs from halogen and fluorescent alternatives may seem like a drop in the ocean compared to the emissions of industrial businesses across the UK and beyond, but they can quickly add up to reduce the amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere significantly.

We're seeing various sectors and business coming up with initiatives and innovations to reduce carbon emissions and improve the longevity of their products.

For example, last month O2 and Vodafone confirmed they had joined the Eco Rating scheme to help customers across Europe make informed choices about the sustainability of their mobile devices.

The amount of tech waste that isn't being recycled or reused remains a big issue for environmentalists, with the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) drawing attention to the problem in November 2020.

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