March 13, 2007

Euro eco-fascism

Richard North carries a scathing piece about the EU's plan, within two years, to ban the sale of traditional incandescent light bulbs, forcing us to buy the so-called high energy efficient lights.

They flicker 50 times a second rather than producing continuous light, and not everyone can stand flickering lights. Does this raise health issues? The lights take time to warm up. And so on. In fact the technology's just not very good.

In addition, says North,
CFLs cannot be used with dimmer switches or electronically-triggered security lights (see package label, illustrated below), so these will become a thing of the past. They cannot be used in microwaves, ovens or freezers, because these are either too hot or too cold for them to function (at any temperature above 50C or lower than –18C they don't work),

More seriously, because CFLs need much more ventilation than a standard bulb, they cannot be used in any enclosed light fitting which is not open at both bottom and top (such as the type illustrated) - the implications of which for homeowners are horrendous.

Astonishingly, according to a report on "energy scenarios in the domestic lighting sector", carried out last year for Defra by its Market Transformation Programme, "less than 50 percent of the fittings installed in UK homes can currently take CFLs".

In other words, on the government's own figures, the owners of Britain's 24 million homes will have to replace hundreds of millions of light fittings, at a cost upwards of £3 billion. Not only is this an unwelcome cost, but the time scale of two years to replace as many as 60 million light fittings is wholly unrealistic.
He makes other points well worth reading and sums up that
There was not a hint of democracy in this crackpot decision, which will have a major impact on all our lives, costing many of us thousands of pounds and our economy billions – all to achieve little useful purpose, while making our homes considerably less pleasant to live in.
Where is the impact assessment? And do we really believe the eurobulb law would be observed in Spain, Greece, Italy, Romania, Poland...?

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