I’m a bit behind the eight-ball on this one, but outraged nonetheless. My mother told me a couple of days ago that incandescent light-bulbs are to be banned. I thought Mum was having a senior moment. “You can’t just ban light-bulbs Mum”, I said.

Well, I was wrong. Apparently the government can. In fact it seems these days the government can do anything.

CFL Light bulbs

Where will it end? Gerry Brownlee suggests that next on the list will be “petrol-powered lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and garden vacuums”. I recommend a ban on 4-wheel drive vehicles (unless you are a farmer) and V8 motorcars (unless you are a racing car driver) as well.

David Parker in Parliament today, showed off the complete range of energy efficient light-bulbs. He says that there are even energy efficient bulbs for chandeliers. I’m relieved to hear this as we have a chandelier in our bathroom – but that’s not really the point. The fact that I can’t put whatever bulb I want into whatever apparatus I want seems absurd. Especially since I’m being a good kiwi and turning off my heated towel rail, and my phone charger when not in use.

Surely if I’m saving power in other areas I should be allowed to generate some heat, and a little bit of light using the old style bulbs.

You can view the New Zealand Efficient Lighting Strategy here. It was formulated by a group of government and industry experts. They’ve been meeting every three months since March 2006 and have finally hatched this plan. The document has some wonderful formulas on efficiency:

Potential efficiency gains = Efficiency of the current lighting – Efficiency of the improved lighting

It also includes wonderful recommendations such as:

Things we can do immediately:

Replace high-use incandescent GLS lamps with CFLs or other energy efficient options.

Switch off lights that are not in use.

Reduce lighting when there is adequate daylight…

Without reading the whole document I’m guessing near the end it says: Ban all old lightbulbs by October 2009

Will National follow through on this if they win the election? John Key is unlikely to tell us before November. But for the sake of chandeliers, light dimmers, and people who suffer migraines from flickering CFL’s I hope they don’t.