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Inefficient lighting phase-out in Canada… simply put

January 29, 2014 - New standards affecting the importation or interprovincial shipment of bulbs used in general service applications have now come into effect. The standards affect 75- and 100-watt bulbs manufactured on or after January 1, 2014, and 40- and 60-watt bulbs manufactured on or after December 31, 2014.

January 29, 2014  By Jonathan Farkouh

The standards are designed to remove an inefficient 100-year-old technology from the marketplace while ensuring that viable, cost-effective and environmentally-sensitive lighting technologies of all types are available for sale. These new standards are implemented under the federal Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations. They do not have any effect on bulbs currently in use.

In December of 2008, as part of its effort to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the Government of Canada amended the Energy Efficiency Regulations to implement standards that phase-out inefficient light bulbs.

The standard for lighting efficiency is a performance or technology neutral standard. It does not prescribe any particular light source technology and is set at a minimum performance level that ensures a wide array of choices will be available to Canadians once it comes into effect. The standards apply to medium screw-base, A-shape incandescent bulbs.

A revision to the 2008 minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for general service light bulbs was proposed on October 4, 2013. This amendment to the regulations provides greater choice for Canadians and reduces costs for industry through better alignment with U.S. standards. These changes mean that, in addition to compact fluorescent light bulbs and light-emitting diodes or LEDs, Canadians can purchase an incandescent halogen light bulb that looks and performs like a traditional incandescent but that uses 28% less energy.

The United States and a number of other countries are either developing or have already implemented similar standards for the elimination of the least-efficient light bulbs from their markets.

Current status
Consumers will have a variety of energy-efficient lighting options to select from when shopping for light bulbs. The lighting industry is working diligently to develop more energy-efficient light bulbs, and the next few years will bring further developments. Retailers can offer consumers a variety of technologies, such as LED, fluorescent and halogen incandescent, in all shapes and sizes, light outputs and colour temperatures.

Jonathan Farkouh is manager, member programs with the Retail Council of Canada.

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