Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Ho Ho oh! Festive Energy Saving Lightbulb giveaway not too bright

I'm indebted to Green Building Press for posting a rather catchy post about how a new energy saving lightbulb, which has been developed and built in the UK, could save up to 70% of energy usage compared with current streetlamp bulbs.

Whilst street lighting only accounts for 2% of the UK's total energy consumption, a saving is still a saving. Who knows? They might even install more of them.

What caught my eye was a paragraph lower down, a story within a story almost about energy companies mailing out vast quantities of energy saving lightbulbs for the home as a way of 'meeting' their own energy efficiency targets as set by the Government.

Apparently, one supplier sent out 12 million over Christmas, adding a quite unnecessary burden to a busy postal service.

As Green Building Press reports - The Energy Saving Trust calculates the average home already has 6 or more energy saving lightbulbs laying unused in drawers and cupboards. These mail schemes are actually paid for by homeowners through fuel bills - the average customer pays £38 a year towards subsidies for green projects (according to the energy watchdog Ofgem).

The scheme which was supposed to see energy companies subsidising loft and cavity wall insulation saw them, not surprisingly, choose the easier option of mailing energy saving lightbulbs, to help them meet their carbon reduction targets.

The government actually banned free light bulb mailing schemes from the New Year.

Read the full report which includes insights into how exactly the energy companies have neatly side-stepped more serious efforts to promote energy efficiency at Green Building Press by clicking here.

photo credit: Elsie Esq

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