It'll be lights out for the old bulbs as China on Friday unveiled its five-stage roadmap for phasing out incandescent lightbulbs, aiming to save energy and reduce emissions.
November 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012 will be a transitional period and as of October 1, 2012, imports and sales of ordinary incandescent bulbs of 100 watts or more will be prohibited, Xie Ji, a deputy director with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Friday.
The first phase will be followed by a ban on 60-watt-and-higher incandescent lightbulbs starting in October 2014. By October 2016, all incandescent lightbulbs will be banned in China.
The final phase may be the adjusted according to the results of interim assessment from October 2015 to October 2016, he said.
"This endeavor will promote structural optimization of the lighting industry. The government will provide funds to energy-saving bulb producers and guide them to save costs, so poor people can afford them,"Xie said.
Besides regulation and promotion of energy-saving bulbs, it's also important to enhance people's awareness of energy conservation, Christophe Bahuet, China Country Director of the United Nations Development Program, said.
The NDRC is working on a draft plan for energy-saving LED lighting, and output of the industry is expected to quadruple in five years, Xie said.
Lightbulbs account for 12 percent of China's power consumption. China is a major producer and consumer of incandescent bulbs, he said. "Meanwhile, China is also world's largest producer of energy-efficient bulbs, with its global market share from 20 percent in 1996 to 85 percent in 2010."