Imagine my absence of shock.
ENERGY-saving lightbulbs are set to more than treble in price as the final supplies of traditional bulbs dwindle, industry experts warn.
The cost of the newer bulbs has been kept artificially low by subsidies from energy companies for the past three years.
However, energy secretary Chris Huhne has pulled the plug on the practice and ordered energy companies to stop the subsidies by March.
The move is expected to send costs soaring and bulbs that now cost 33p are expected to go up to more than £1. Some could even top £3.
The subsidies were stopped so that the money can instead be used to help householders insulate their lofts and walls.
Ian Fursland, managing director of independent light bulb suppliers The Lamp Company, said customers were not being well served by the combination of an EU ban on traditional bulbs and the end of the subsidy.
He said: “The price will undoubtedly rise and people will realise that the bottom end energy-saving bulbs that might have been worth 30p to them are not worth more than a pound. They will have to start buying the more expensive bulbs to get good quality light.
“As a nation we are being forced to pay more for a product that we don’t really want. We are being led down this route by the EU but 60 watt bulbs are hardly gas guzzlers.”
Zoe McLeod, energy expert at Consumer Focus, said: “In the long run energy saving bulbs will save people money by cutting bills but the extra up front costs will be a bitter pill to swallow.”
Under EU laws it has been an offence to manufacture or import frosted or “pearl” 100 watt bulbs since September 2009. Four months ago 75 watt bulbs were banned, while Tesco’s final consignment of 40 watts bulbs went on sale on Monday.
By 2012 all of the familiar tungsten bulbs will be banned.
Under the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, the biggest energy suppliers must help customers cut their fuel bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The companies have met their targets by promoting energy-saving bulbs and have given away about 230 million in the last few years.
The quality of eco-bulbs has improved in the past few years but there are still complaints about their light.
Medical charities have called for an “opt out” for vulnerable people, claiming the bulbs can trigger epileptic fits, migraines and skin rashes.
Thursday January 20,2011
By Anil Dawar
Source: The Express