Aug 24, 2009

Germans fail to see the light on bulbs

Conserv-A-Store says:

Believe you are aware of the assault on the incandescent bulb. It is hard for folks to change their old ways as we see below:

Germans, Austrians and Hungarians are hoarding energy-hungry light bulbs, which haven fallen out of favour in other European countries, ahead of a European Union ban that takes effect next month.

The scramble for conventional bulbs illuminates the challenges of persuading consumers to embrace environmentally friendly shopping habits – particularly in the midst of an economic crisis. Sales of incandescent light bulbs have risen by 34 per cent year-on-year in Germany in the first six months of 2009, data from GfK, the German consumer research group, shows.

In most other European countries, sales of old-style light bulbs have fallen at double-digit rates this year. In the UK, sales dropped by 22 per cent, amid a voluntary agreement between retailers and energy companies to phase out light bulbs nine months ahead of the EU ban.

Last year, the UK experienced a similar tendency to stockpile light bulbs ahead of the voluntary ban that came into effect in January.

Christian Schraft, head of the consumer division at Osram, one of Europe’s largest lighting producers owned by engineering group Siemens, said he had been taken aback by Germany’s reluctance to accept energy-saving bulbs.

“Germans are often sceptical about innovations. And in difficult economic times in particular, they tend to stick to what is tried and tested,” Mr Schraft said.

The hoarding instincts have been heightened by an EU rule change that comes into effect in September, banning 100-watt bulbs and widely used pearl bulbs from store shelves. The move will be followed by further phase-out steps, until ultimately all conventional bulbs will be banned in four years’ time.

The shopping behaviour appears to contradict stereotypes of Germans and Austrians as environmentally aware. But Hans-Georg Häusel, a psychologist who uses brain science to explain consumer behaviour, said they were reluctant to change. “There is a fear that they could destroy the snug atmosphere of their homes,” he said.

courtesy of

By Daniel Schäfer in Frankfurt

Published: August 21 2009 18:14 | Last updated: August 21 2009 18:14

Conserv-A-Store says:

Now to update you on where the USA stands

In addition to raising auto fuel efficiency

standards 40 percent, an energy bill passed by Congress yesterday bans the incandescent light bulb by 2014.

President Bush signed the 822-page measure into law today after it was sent up Pennsylvania Avenue in a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. The House passed the bill by a 314-100 vote after approval by the Senate last week.

Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the legislation will boost the energy efficiency of "almost every significant product and tool and appliance that we use, from light bulbs to light trucks."

The phase-out of incandescent light is to begin with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and end in 2014 with the 40-watt.

All light bulbs must use 25 percent to 30 percent less 2014. By 2020, bulbs must be 70 percent more efficient than they are today.

Australia was the first country to announce an outright ban by 2010.

Courtesy of

Posted: December 19, 2007
7:18 pm Eastern

© 2009

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