Households and businesses across the UK could cut their energy use and save money on bills by having some of the most efficient lighting in the world under new government proposals.
The new proposals will ensure that lighting in domestic and non-domestic buildings in England, Scotland and Wales meets minimum energy performance standards that are higher than regulations currently in place in either the US or the EU.
Introducing higher standards for lighting products will see only the most energy efficient light bulbs, such as ones powered by low energy-use LEDs, available in shops, making it easier for consumers to replace old bulbs with ones that use less energy while still providing the same levels of lighting performance.
With new bulbs being cheaper to run, replacing a household’s halogen bulbs with LEDs consumers can expect savings of around £2,000 to £3,000 over the lifetime of the bulbs, depending on the size of the home.
Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said:
Putin’s warmongering in Ukraine means everyone is feeling the effect of higher energy bills this winter, but these new standards can help lighten the load by ensuring British homes and businesses are lit as efficiently as possible.
As we’ve shown in the government’s energy saving campaign, small changes, like switching to more efficient light bulbs, can add up to big savings.
By going further with these regulations than either the US or EU, British homes, factories and offices will have some of the cheapest and greenest lighting in the world, helping keep down bills and reducing energy usage.
Global innovation in lighting technology in recent years has made it possible to achieve greater energy savings and the proposed new minimum energy performance standard reflect what is already technologically and reasonably achievable for lighting products.
As of March 2022, half of product models on the GB market already met this standard, but with lighting accounting for a significant portion of electricity use in buildings, the proposed regulations could result in 1.7 million tonnes of carbon savings by 2050, the equivalent of a year’s worth of carbon emissions from 2.5 million UK households.
If adopted, the proposals in the government consultation being launched today would come into force in late 2023, with further increased minimum standards introduced from September 2027.
Stew Horne, head of policy at Energy Saving Trust said:
Energy Saving Trust welcomes the government’s proposals to improve lighting performance standards, which would directly benefit households and businesses by saving energy and reducing bills. We look forward to helping shape these standards as part of the transition to decarbonisation.
Making homes and businesses more energy efficient and so bringing down fuel bills is part of the government’s wider long-term commitment, announced as part of the Autumn Statement, to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030 against 2021 levels.
Improving the energy efficiency of homes is the best long-term method of cutting household energy use and bringing down bills. That is why the government is accelerating the pace of upgrading the energy efficiency of housing with £6 billion of funding committed to 2028 in addition to £6.6 billion in this parliament.
A further £4 billion has been committed through ECO4 scheme, which is delivering home insulation measures to low income and more vulnerable households, and the £1 billion ECO+ scheme, which will install measures in households who have previously not been able to access support through the Energy Company Obligation scheme.
The government has also launched the £18 million ‘It All Adds Up’ energy saving campaign to raise public awareness of straightforward actions that people can take to cut their bills by bringing down the amount of energy needed to keep their homes warm and stay safe this winter.
This comes in addition to an unprecedented package of government support that is helping households meet their energy costs this winter, including the Energy Price Guarantee, saving a typical household over £900, the Energy Bills Support Scheme providing a £400 discount to millions and the most vulnerable receiving £1,200 each this year.