Canada Delays Light Bulb Phase-out

LED Markets and Opinion

staff writer,


In response to an April notice for extension, The Verdict Seemed Clear:


Although only 25% of respondents were in support of a delay and 58% Supported the new legislation, Canadian government still implements 2 year delay


Excerpts from;


Regulations Amending the Energy Efficiency Regulations


For the delay


One quarter of respondents supported a delay, stating that the market is not ready for the 2012 effective date. It was stated that more options need to be made available to the consumer and that some alternatives to incandescent light bulbs are still too expensive and not all perform adequately.


Against the delay


Of all the comments received, 58% are against delaying the effective dates for general service lighting by two years, stating that the justifications in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement are not valid, and that the loss of energy savings and cost to consumers and the environment outweigh the potential benefits of the proposed delay.


These stakeholders are of the view that options for alternative lighting products are available to Canadians and that the market is ready for a 2012 phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps.


They observed that the performance standard does not mandate the use of CFLs, which renders the issue of safety regarding this product a non-issue.


Mercury and recycling


An environmental organization stated that mercury released in the atmosphere from coal-fired power plants will have far greater reach than the small amounts of mercury used in CFLs that make their way to landfills and stay local. Most of today’s CFLs only contain 3 mg of mercury, compared to 10 mg used 10 years ago. EC has published its intentions to limit the content of mercury in lamps and to eliminate any remaining CFLs that may still be using larger quantities of mercury.


Another environmental organization stated that using incandescent lamps releases twice as much mercury in the atmosphere as the amount used in CFLs, even if they are not recycled.


There are several retailers and local governments that do recycle CFLs today and this will only improve through EC’s proposed framework for extended producer responsibility of CFL recycling.


Some have opposing views and believe that more time would allow for a more robust recycling structure to be in place in Canada prior to the Regulations taking effect. Outcome


The Government has decided to proceed with the delay of the standard for the reasons originally cited. It feels that this is the best way of balancing the achievement of its GHG reduction objectives and assuage the concerns expressed by a significant percentage of the population since the standard was proposed.


British Columbia’s implementation of the standard


The Province of British Columbia implemented part of the performance standard for general service lamps on January 1, 2011, a full year before the federal government’s currently planned date. The Province and other stakeholders argue that this experience has provided the federal government with valuable information on the acceptance of the standard by consumers. It has raised awareness of the light bulb standard and alternatives to inefficient lighting, so the timing is right for national implementation. They also contend that media and public dissatisfaction with the standard has quickly subsided.


B.C. takes lead and continues with applying new standards anyway.

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