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Sales of halogen lightbulbs will be banned in the UK from September this year, with high-energy fluorescent lights to follow suit, under new climate plans from the UK government. The move will cut more than 1.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year, which is the equivalent of removing more than half a million cars from the UK’s roads and is part of tighter energy efficiency rules which will help save consumers £75 a year, according to the Business Department.

The UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lightbulbs in 2018 under EU-wide rules, however retailers will now no longer be able to sell most remaining halogen bulbs. The plan is to help continue the shift to low-energy LED lightbulbs, which already account for about two-thirds of lights now sold in Britain. It is expected to mean LEDs will account for 85% of all bulbs sold by 2030, officials said.

Changes to the energy labels that consumers see on packaging are going to be brought in to help people to choose the most efficient lightbulbs, with the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings scrapped, and replaced with efficiency grades between A-G.

Legislation will also include moves to phase out high-energy fluorescent lightbulbs, such as strip lights commonly found in offices, with a view to bringing an end to their sale from September 2023.

The new bulb rules are part of a package of measures designed to help save consumers money which include the right to get goods repaired, the new energy labels and higher efficiency standards for white goods, TVs and other appliances.

The EU had announced a ban on old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, the ones that give off more heat than light and use a lot of electricity in the process. It was a move that led to a campaign of resistance with one newspaper even giving away the bulbs to encourage their use. Many types of halogen bulbs were already banned several years ago, so this is a tightening of the screw on energy waste rather than a massive upheaval.

Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We’re phasing out old inefficient halogen bulbs for good, so we can move more quickly to longer-lasting LED bulbs, meaning less waste and a brighter and cleaner future for the UK. By helping ensure electrical appliances use less energy but perform just as well, we’re saving households money on their bills and helping tackle climate change.”

The UK government’s announcement reflects that of the EU in March of this year, which also targeted light bulbs, the right to repair and the introduction of new efficiency ratings for white goods, which the UK is now also adopting to help cut green homes gas emissions and meet the target of hitting net-zero by 2050.

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