John O and I were talking a while back about little things everyone could do to combat global warming. I told him that I was slowly switching over our house to the high efficiency lightbulbs. We agreed that the government should either start taxing incandescent bulbs to subsidize the high efficiency bulbs, or simply stop selling them. It sounds like the Australian government was listening.
Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the standard incandescent light bulb, which has been around for 125 years, will be phased out by 2009.
It will be replaced by the compact fluorescent bulb which costs $5 more, but saves an average of $30 a year, and is around 80 per cent more energy efficient.
Mr Turnbull said new government standards will be in place by 2009.
“We are introducing new energy efficiency standards and these old lights simply won’t comply, they will be phased out and basically over a period of time they will no longer be for sale,”
At Walmart or Schnuck’s, it’s more like $5 more for a 4 or 6 pack of bulbs and each bulb will pay for the difference in price almost 10 times over when you consider the energy savings.
Mr Turnbull said the plan was expected to save up to two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in Australia over time and, if introduced globally, could have an enormous impact.
“If the rest of the world supports us … follows our lead, this will reduce an amount of energy … to the tune of five times as much energy as Australia consumes,” he said.
“It’s a little thing but it’s a massive change.”
I have to admit that part of my decision to switch our house over is selfish. I’m sick of changing light bulbs every couple of days (yes, we have that many lightbulbs). Once the change is complete, I won’t have to change another lightbulb until Justin can drive — 2012.