Feds Turn Back on to Incandescents

Posted on October 19, 2013 by Michael Benarroch

Feds Turn Back on to Incandescents

Posted on October 19, 2013 by Michael Benarroch

The Canadian government is shining a (decidedly less environmentally friendly) light on its efforts to become more energy efficient, of late.

In early October, the feds announced a proposal to pull back on their previously ambitious plans to overhaul Canada’s energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. Citing a desire to increase consumer choice and economically integrate our standards with those south of the border, the Minister of Natural Resources has said it will ease regulations such that sales of incandescent halogen bulbs will be permitted in this country. These old-style bulbs would otherwise have been banned as of January 1, 2014 (or at least the 75- and 100-watt versions of them; 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs were to be prohibited as of December 31).

 This development follows on from an aggressive pitch by the feds in 2007 that incandescents be eradicated, bowing to pressure to act on climate change. A 2011 update gave Canadians more time to prepare for the switchover.

 With this news, however, incandescents re-enter the spotlight, freshly celebrated for such apparent advantages as being more efficient than a traditional bulb, and containing none of the mercury of their heir apparent, compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs. They’re also cheaper than CFLs and possess a particular quality of light generally preferred by consumers over CFLs.

Finally, this move — say those behind it — will strengthen trading links with the States.

 Still, there’s no arguing that an incandescent halogen bulb is less efficient than a CFL. The energy they consume produces way too much wasted heat compared to light, say their critics.

 What’s more, this amendment presents a new challenge for Canadian retailers, many of whom had already begun clearing their shelves of incandescents and loading up on CFLs (and light-emitting diode lamps, or LEDs).

 The proposal must undergo a 75-day consultation period before it can be enacted.