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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Switch off for traditional bulbs
Major retailers are backing the scheme, Mr Benn said
Plans to phase out the traditional lightbulb by 2011 have been announced by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

Mr Benn told the Labour conference he wanted to see an end to the sale of 150-watt bulbs from next January.

Less powerful traditional bulbs would be taken off the shelves in stages under the voluntary energy-saving scheme by 2011.

Greenpeace said the move was "long overdue" and would help the UK reduce its CO2 emissions.

Off for good

Mr Benn told the conference in Bournemouth: "The major retailers and the energy suppliers are now leading a voluntary initiative with the strong support of the lighting industry and of the government to help phase out traditional, high-energy lightbulbs.

Incandescent light bulb.  Image: BBC

"We need to turn them off for good.

"And so our aim is for traditional 150-watt lightbulbs to be phased out by January next year, 100-watt bulbs the year after, 40-watt bulbs the year after that and all high-energy lightbulbs by 2011."

Mr Benn estimated that the move would save five million tonnes of CO2 a year and take the UK closer to its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050.

Greenpeace said most retailers had already agreed to stop selling high-energy bulbs following a campaign of its own.

Mr Benn said he also wanted to see an end to products such as energy-wasting TVs.

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