EU bans low-efficiency light bulbs from 2012

All bulbs must meet at least C-class energy standard in stages from 2009 in "groundbreaking" move

EU governments have agreed a phase-out timetable to remove from the market all incandescent light bulbs and low-efficiency halogen bulbs by 2012 at the latest. The restrictions will be introduced as "implementing measures" under the energy-using products (EuP) directive and will begin to bite from next year.

"It's a groundbreaking measure that will change the way we consume energy," EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs said after the decision was taken by a committee of member state representatives in Brussels on Monday. The move should be formally approved by the EU in early spring, following a three-month scrutiny period in the European parliament.

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