The proposals set out the lighting industry's preferred vision for EU minimum efficiency standards on domestic lighting. These are due to be adopted under the eco-design of energy-using products (EuP) directive (EED 27/07/05).
The commission welcomed the announcement as 'a very positive contribution' but insisted it was committed to carrying out a two-year study of the issue under the EuP directive before tabling its own proposals.
A spokesman for energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs told ENDS: 'Of course we reserve the right to propose tougher standards, but under EuP this is always done in consultation with industry.'
EuP 'implementing measures' on domestic lighting were originally scheduled for adoption in 2010 but in March EU leaders called for them to be finalised by 2009 (EED 09/03/07).
The European lamp companies federation (ELC) claimed its phase-out proposals would cut CO2 emissions from domestic lighting by 60 per cent between now and 2015. Under the plan a first phase of binding efficiency standards would enter force in 2009 covering bulbs over 100 Watts.
Every two years thereafter new standards would be introduced for lower wattage bulbs, down to 25W in 2015. By then all traditional incandescent light bulbs would effectively be banned. By 2017 only bulbs rated A, B or C in the EU energy labelling scheme would be allowed for sale.
The industry says it is still reviewing possible standards for specialist incandescent lamps such as those used in ovens and medical devices. As well the efficiency standards, companies would guarantee that all lamps have a minimum rated lifetime of 1000 hours.
ELC secretary general Gerald Strickland told ENDS the phased approach was needed to allow time for a large-scale switch to high efficiency lighting. 'This is the best way that we can see to make that switch, but it's up to the [European] commission to verify or challenge what we are proposing,' he said. One condition the industry insists on is that binding efficiency standards are backed by 'strict market surveillance'.
Meanwhile campaign group Greenpeace criticised the proposals as 'too slow' and called for all incandescent bulbs to be phased out by 2010.
Courtesy of ENDS Europe Daily