Light Bulb Ban

December 22, 2011 by staff 

Light Bulb BanLight Bulb Ban, Drop any fears the light bulb police might be peeking in your windows or pounding on the door New Year’s Day searching for energy-hungry incandescents. Energy Minister Chris Bentley confirmed Wednesday that Ontario is scrapping a five-year-old promise to make it “lights out” for incandescent bulbs in 2012 by banning stores from selling them.

He blamed a recent federal government decision to delay new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs until Jan. 1, 2014, when it will become illegal to import inefficient incandescent lighting across the country.

“Did it make sense for us to have a different approach from the federal government on this issue? No,” Bentley said.

“Our thinking is how do we make it easiest for consumers. It would be hard and confusing to do it differently.”

The Star first reported on Saturday that the Ontario promise, made by former energy minister Dwight Duncan in 2007, was in jeopardy because of the federal move.

But postponing the incandescent ban for two years will just make it harder for the province to meet its energy conservation targets already under fire by Ontario Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller, said New Democrat environment critic Peter Tabuns.

“In keeping with the season, this is a lump of coal,” said the MPP for Toronto-Danforth, noting that the new compact fluorescent bulbs use less than half the electricity of incandescent bulbs.

Ottawa changed its plans to “allow for innovations in technology” and to improve recycling options for new energy-efficient bulbs, which last far longer and use less electricity than incandescents, but contain mercury.

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