New regulatory approach for LED lighting
The COAG Energy Council Ministers have agreed to further improve lighting energy efficiency regulation by phasing out inefficient halogen light bulbs and introducing minimum standards for LED light bulbs in line with European Union standards. The decision was made at the 16th COAG Council meeting held in April.
The phase-out will remove remaining incandescent light bulbs and a range of halogen light bulbs from the Australian market, where an equivalent light bulb is available. Timing of the new regulation will align with revised EU minimum standards that will apply to LED light bulbs (planned for September 2020).
The details of the new EU regulation are expected to be final in 2018. This decision is expected to deliver around $1.4 billion in benefits from 2020 to 2030 to households and businesses, through savings on their electricity bills and reduced light bulb replacement costs. The average Australian household will be around $650 better off over 10 years by changing from inefficient halogen lamps to minimum standard LED lamps.
Lighting Council Australia welcomed the meeting, which endorsed a new regulatory approach for next-generation LED lighting in Australia.
The lighting industry, which provides 4500 manufacturing jobs across Australia in a highly competitive global market, had been facing a significant increase in compliance costs arising from a Commonwealth Department of Environment proposal to be made under federal law, said Lighting Council Australia.
“The earlier proposal would have been a disaster,” according to Lighting Council Australia CEO Richard Mulcahy.
“An additional $80 million worth of red tape would have raised consumer prices and have seen job losses in one of Australia’s few remaining viable manufacturing industries.”
The dispute was the subject of an intervention by Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg after significant industry representations, said Lighting Council Australia. “Minister Frydenberg saw that there was a problem with the proposal and instructed his department to rework the policy on the basis of real industry consultation. The end proposal, which was endorsed by COAG recently, was a very reasonable compromise that will align Australian regulations with those applied overseas.
“Halogen lamps use between three and five times as much electricity as new-generation LED technology. As an industry committed to strong environmental outcomes, we’re pleased to play a major role in taking pressure off household and business budgets.”
The Minister recently opened Lighting Council Australia’s office in Melbourne.
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