CARICOM countries to get rid of incandescent bulbs

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are expected to complete the phase out of the use of the old incandescent bulbs by September this year, the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat announced Wednesday.

Objective is more energy efficiency

The Secretariat said the regional countries are undertaking the project to become more energy efficient, on the basis of a mandate from the CARICOM Energy Ministers.

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Plans for the phase out program are now being developed by the CARICOM Secretariat and the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).

The program will include a roadmap to reduce the import and sale of incandescent light bulbs within the region and guide and support countries in the establishment of regulations and actions for the phasing out exercise.

Phase out period begins Jan. 2019

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“If all goes according to the plan, incandescent bulbs will gradually be phased-out as energy efficiency standards for lighting are phased-in. The phase-out schedule could begin as early as January 2019 with the 100-watt incandescent bulbs, with further restrictions on smaller lamp sizes entering into force in incremental stages over a number of years,” the Secretariat noted.

The decision to develop the phase-out program was taken at the recently-concluded meeting of CARICOM Energy Ministers as part of the menu of quality measures that are being undertaken to steer the Community towards energy efficiency and sector regulation.

Been around for over 130 years

The incandescent light bulbs have existed for 130 years and are inefficient because they waste most of their energy. They are very cheap to manufacture and purchase, but only five per cent of the input power is converted into visible light, with the remainder converted into waste heat.

Cuba was the first country in the world to successfully complete the phase-out of incandescent bulbs. In 2007, the Caribbean country banned the import and sale of incandescent bulbs and implemented a program for their direct substitution with CFLs in households.

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