China will phase out energy-draining light bulbs

November 4, 2011 - 3:55 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China will phase out power-draining light bulbs within five years in a move to make the world's biggest polluting nation more efficient but also certain to impact the global market.

China will ban imports and sales of 100-watt-and-higher incandescent bulbs from Oct. 1, 2012, in an attempt to save energy and curb climate change, China's main planning agency said Friday.

Bans will also be imposed on 60-watt-and-higher bulbs from Oct. 1, 2014 and 15-watt-and-higher old-style bulbs from Oct. 1, 2016. The time frame of the last step may be adjusted according to an evaluation in September 2016, the National Development and Reform Commission statement said.

State-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Xie Ji, deputy director of the NDRC's environmental protection department, as saying China is the world's largest producer of both energy-saving and incandescent bulbs and so the plan will also "have a significant impact" in reducing the use of incandescents worldwide.

Last year, 3.85 billion incandescent light bulbs were produced in China and 1.07 billion of them were sold domestically, the agency said. Power consumption for lighting is estimated to be about 12 percent of China's total electricity use, it said.

The statement said China will save 48 billion kilowatt hours of power per year and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 48 million tonnes annually once the bulbs are phased out.

Several countries plan to phase out traditional light bulbs. The United States will ban the making and sale of incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012. The 27-nation European Union agreed in 2008 to phase out the bulbs by 2012.