June 17, 2008 / 10:11 AM / 9 years ago

New Zealand to turn off old light bulbs

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand will ban traditional light bulbs in favor of energy-saving alternatives in 2009, Energy Minister David Parker said on Tuesday.

He said the move would cut lighting energy consumption by 20 percent by 2015 and save up to NZ$500 million ($376 million) by 2020.

"It is intended that from late next year, these inefficient incandescent bulbs will be phased out because they waste so much energy," Parker said in a statement.

He said a wide range of more energy efficient bulbs using less power and lasting longer, such as compact fluorescent lamps and low voltage halogens, were now available.

New minimum energy standards would mean no fresh stocks of the incandescent bulbs could be imported from October 2009.

New Zealand is currently estimated to produce about 2.65 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year in generating the power for lighting.

The minority centre-left Labor government, a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has set a long-term goal of making New Zealand carbon neutral.

Around 60 percent of power the country's comes from hydro-electricity, and a hold has been put on new thermal-generated power stations.

More than half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions come from 40 million sheep and 9 million cattle, which are the mainstay of the economically key agricultural sector.

($1=NZ$1.33)

Reporting by Gyles Beckford

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