Since 1 September 2018 energy intensive and inefficient halogen lightbulbs can no longer be sold in the European Union. EU member states and the European Parliament agreed on a replacement of standard halogen bulbs in 2009 (confirmed in 2015), however, new rules were deferred in order to ensure that sufficient alternatives are available.
The new rules adopted by the European Union are part of the EU's Ecodesign Work Programme and effectively implement EU energy and climate policy, particularly energy efficiency first principle. The new rules are expected to contribute to achieving a new 32.5% energy efficiency target for 2030 and to facilitate EU’s energy transition. In addition, the new rules will allow EU citizens to save on their household bills. Energy efficient LED-lightbulbs are expected to save at least €115 in the lifetime of the bulb. All ecodesign measures are expected to deliver savings of up to €500 on household energy bills every year by 2020.
Mains-voltage non-directional halogen lightbulbs will be replaced by LED-lightbulbs, which are considered to be safer, more affordable, and more energy efficient. Products that are already on the shelves in stores will not affected and special types of lightbulbs like used in desk lamps and floodlights will not be covered.
Potential savings in energy consumption are likely to be significant. According to the European Commission, once fully implemented, the new Ecodesign rules for lightbulbs will provide savings in annual electricity consumption across the EU of 9.4 TWh a year (equivalent to Estonia’s annual energy consumption). The new rules are equally important due to their positive environmental impact. Once fully implemented, the new rules will provide annual savings of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions (equivalent to nearly double the annual emissions of Malta). Thus, the new rules will significantly contribute to achieving the goals set in the Paris Agreement. In addition, LED bulbs have much longer lamp life (10-20 years) and are recyclable.