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CARICOM members to phase out incandescent bulbs Print E-mail
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Thursday, 10 May 2018 00:00

As members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) move to become more energy efficient, steps are being taken to phase out the use of incandescent bulbs. On the basis of a mandate from the CARICOM Energy Ministers, plans for the phasing out are being developed by the CARICOM Secretariat and the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). Those plans are expected to be completed in September 2018 with the initiative beginning possibly as soon as January 2019.

According to the CARICOM Secretariat, the program will include a roadmap which will detail ways in which to reduce the importation and sale of incandescent light bulbs within the Region as well as a guideline as it pertains to the establishment of regulations and actions for the phasing out exercise. The target is to achieve a standard of more energy efficient lighting.

The incandescent light bulbs have existed for over 100 years and are inefficient. Although they are very cheap to manufacture and purchase, only five per cent of the input power is converted into visible light, with the remainder converted into waste heat. Consequently, they are expensive to operate and lead to high electricity bills for households and businesses that use them. The incandescent bulbs may be replaced with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) which use 60-90% less energy than incandescent lighting and offer a much longer lifespan.

Cuba was the first country in the world to successfully complete the phase-out of incandescent bulbs. In 2007, they banned the import and sale of incandescent bulbs and implemented a programme for their direct substitution with CFLs in households. According to reports, about 116 million incandescent bulbs were replaced by CFLs in every household in Cuba, resulting in peak demand savings of about 4,000 MW and eight million tons of carbon emissions.