Gormley lights the way with ban on bulbs
Ireland yesterday became the first country in the world to ban the traditional lightbulb.
Householders will be forced to switch to new long-life low-energy bulbs in 12 months' time.
New legislation is being introduced banning the sale of the normal incandescent lightbulb from January, 2009.
As the normal lightbulb expires, householders will have to replace them with the more environmentally friendly long-life bulb which uses far less energy.
Consumers will save €185m in electricity costs every year as a result of the measure.
The National Climate Change Strategy proposed a levy on low-efficiency bulbs.
However, Environment Minister John Gormley, in his Carbon Budget, announced an all-out ban on the old-style lightbulb.
Mr Gormley said the minimum energy efficiency standards for lighting will be introduced from 2009.
These standards will result in an effective ban on the sale of traditional lightbulbs.
According to the minister the aim of the measure was to completely end the use of these lightbulbs across the country.
"These bulbs use technology invented during the age of the steam engine," said Mr Gormley.
"By getting rid of these bulbs we will save 700,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year," he added.
"Their replacement with low-energy alternatives will save householders in the region of €185m a year in lower electricity bills," said the minister.
Admitting there would be teething problems in the run up to the ban, the minister said that as part of the preparation of the legislation there would be full consultation with all stakeholders.
Greenpeace congratulated the Government on its decision "to lead the world in this simple but essential step in tackling climate change".
Eoin Dubsky, Greenpeace campaigner said: "Today Ireland has taken a lead in banning energy-wasting lightbulbs by as early as January 2009. Greenpeace hopes that Ireland's decision will light the way for the EU and the rest of the world."