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Friday 24 August 2001

Lightbulbs

  Energy Efficiency standards for light ballasts


Friday 24 August 2001
Minimum energy efficiency standards for fluorescent light ballasts have been set by a new EC Directive.

The standards will take effect in two stages. The first commences next November, although a six-month transitional period will apply beyond then to ballasts manufactured to existing national standards.

The second stage takes effect in November 2005, when the maximum input power of ballasts will have to be reduced by between 3% and 11% from the first-stage limits for ballasts of different types.

The results of these measures are to be evaluated by the European Commission by the end of 2005, with a view to a further tightening of standards. However, proposals for this third stage may be made earlier if more efficient electronic ballasts appear unlikely to achieve a 55% market share by then.

In an intriguing joint declaration appended to the Directive, the Commission, Council and European Parliament say that the Commission "shall assess the possibility of applying the flexibility mechanisms defined under the Kyoto Protocol" to ballasts exported outside the EC. This suggests that ballast manufacturers may want to claim carbon credits for efficient models.


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