US globe makers pledge sustainability

by Matthew L. Wald
Published: March 14,2007 

WASHINGTON, March 13 — A coalition of industrialists, environmentalists and energy specialists is banding together to try to eliminate the incandescent light bulb within the next 10 years.

Randall B. MoorheadIn an agreement to be announced Wednesday, the coalition members, including Philips Lighting, the largest manufacturer; the Natural Resources Defense Council and two efficiency organizations, are pledging to press for efficiency standards at the local, state and federal levels. The standards would phase out the ordinary screw-in bulb, technology that arose around the time of the telegraph and the steam locomotive, and replace it with compact fluorescents, light-emitting diodes, halogen devices and other technologies that may emerge.

Compact fluorescents are three times as efficient as old-fashioned bulbs, and light-emitting diodes six times as efficient. These also last much longer. But while they cost much less to run, they are more expensive to purchase, and getting home users to change the bulbs in the estimated four billion sockets in the United States would probably require eliminating the choice.

James E. Rogers, chief executive of Duke Energy and the co-chairman of one of the efficiency organizations in the coalition, the Alliance to Save Energy, said in a statement, “Encouraging our customers to use advanced compact fluorescent light bulbs and other energy-efficient lighting is fundamental to our plans to meet growing demand for electricity as economically as possible.”

The agreement is a compromise among the participants. Some favored an outright ban on incandescent bulbs, like the one Australia said last month it would seek by 2009 or 2010. Philips, a unit of Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands, has pledged with others doing business in Europe to seek a shift to more efficient lighting there, too.

Read full article at The New York Times  

Caption: Randall B. Moorhead of Philips Electronics North America with a 60-watt incandescent bulb, left, and his company’s energy-saving bulb. Doug Mills/The New York Times

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