2016 deadline for old light bulbs
Durban - It will take government four years to change South Africa’s light bulbs.
The country will be the first in Africa to completely phase out the old incandescent bulbs, according to the department of energy.
A statement released during a United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP] media briefing at COP 17 in Durban said the phase-out would start in January.
“South Africa will become the first African country to phase out incandescent lamps following an integrated approach, including the development of collection and recycling systems.
“Beginning in January [next year], the country fully supports the 2016 global deadline for the phase out of inefficient lamps and will successfully complete [this] by 2016,” the department said.
In doing so, it would save enough electricity to power over four million homes.
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters was absent from the briefing, but was quoted in the statement as saying the phase-out “is a key measure to reduce CO2 emissions”.
UNEP head Achim Steiner said that while CFLs (candescent fluorescent lamps) were more expensive than the incandescent bulbs, they lasted longer.
“It [the CFL] is cheaper to run over its lifetime,” he said.
More than 25 countries have signed up for UNEP’s Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme.
It is understood that from 2016, it will not be possible to buy or replace the old-style incandescent bulbs in South Africa.
According to the statement, more than 130 countries still market incandescent lamps.
“Lack of awareness about the energy saving and financial benefits of efficient lamps is a key deterrent for their market penetration in developing countries.”